What Tools do You Need to Paint a Room

Updated May 14, 2024 | Posted Aug 6, 2023 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 0 comments

Some people are happy to hire a Painter and Decorator when they need a room painting, which can be a lot easier than keeping on top of the work yourself. However, for a little bit of investment in proper tools, almost anyone can carry out basic decorating themselves. In this blog, I’m going to explain what tools you need to paint a room and give you my recommendations on specific products.

I’m a Decorator myself, and I have used a vast array of different brands of tools over the years. The quality of your tools will make a huge difference to the quality of finish you can achieve. Not just that, but good painting tools will last you many years, so it makes sense to buy everything you need, then look after it.


The Tools You Need to Paint a Room


I’ll get into the tools you need to paint a room now. First by providing a quick checklist, and then going into a bit of detail about with specific brands I recommend based on my experience. I’ll link to merchants as I go to make it easy for you to find the products, but you can get all this stuff from just about any trade decorating centre.



  •  Dust sheets
  • A pair of step ladders
  • Paint brushes
  • paint rollers
  • Roller frame
  • Roller pole
  • Scuttle
  • Filling knives
  • Sundries

Dust Sheets


The first thing you will need to do when painting a room is to sheet up, particularly if you’re working around furniture, or you mean to keep the carpet in a room. There’s no point in me overcomplicating things with all the different types of floor protection, so I’ll keep it simple. The two types of sheets you should use when painting a room are cotton twill and plastic membrane.

Cotton Twill dust Sheets

As the names suggests, these are tightly stitched, heavy cotton dust sheets, which you would normally use to cover a floor when painting. They catch any paint spats from your brush or roller and stop the paint from reaching the floor. They also protect your floor from dust and light spills.

I often double up on sheets when painting, simply because a double sheet will stop any larger spills from getting through, and it will also protect a floor from knocks caused by falling tools. It’s worth spending a little bit extra and buying thick sheets. Otherwise paint will bleed through onto the floor.

Plastic Membrane

The best plastic membrane I have used is ProDec Advanced Super Cling. It comes in a box with its own cutter for easy application, and the plastic is electrostatically charged. This makes it perfect for covering furniture and kitchen units while you paint.

I’m not a fan of using excessive amounts of single use plastic when I’m painting, but as a Professional Decorator, I make protecting my client’s property my number 1 priority, which is why I use ProDec Super Cling.

Lick Tools

Another type of plastic membrane you might want to consider is Lick Tools. It doesn’t electrostatically stick to a surface like ProDec super Cling, but it is more environmentally friendly.

It’s made from recycled plastic, which is recyclable once you’ve finished with it. I’ve started using this a lot at work, simply because plastic membrane is something I use on every job, and I’m conscious of the amount of single use plastic I was sending to landfill.

plastic sheeting to cover furniture when painting a room

A Pair of Step Ladders


You will need a stepladder when painting a ceiling, or cutting-in the tops of your walls. Any stepladder will do really, but I use Youngman, simply because I use them every day at work, and I know they’re safe.

These lightweight ladders may be on the expensive side, but they’re robust, sturdy, and easy to move. You feel secure when painting from them, and they even have a shelf on the top so you can rest your paint and keep your hands free.

Feel free to find a cheaper pair, but just make sure they’re safe. I’ve had cheaper steps in the past and they get worn over time and then collapse.

Even with a good pair of stepladders like Youngman, you should always take safety measures when using them to paint a room. Always have 3 points of contact when you’re on the ladders, and make sure they’re secure before climbing them.

Paint Brushes


A good paintbrush will make a huge amount of difference when painting a room. Don’t just buy cheap and then rely on masking tape as you will really struggle. Buy a good quality brush that will last for years and you’ll be able to strike sharp lines without the use of tape.

ProDec Ice Fusion

This is probably my favourite paintbrush on the market, and it isn’t even that expensive. The bristles are tapered from base to tip, meaning it holds loads of paint and distributes it more evenly. The bristles are springy too, which means it holds its shape well while you’re painting. A sleek seamless stainless steel ferule prevents paint build up while you’re working.

The ProDec Ice fusion is great for use in any water-based paint products, including emulsion, water-based gloss, and water-based satinwood. It’s an absolute joy!

Purdy Monarch Elite XL

The second paintbrush I want to mention is the Purdy Monarch Elite, simply because it’s a good all-rounder. It’s more expensive than the Ice Fusion, but it can do everything an Ice Fusion can, and it’s also good for use in oil-based paints.

It has a nice thick stock, which holds onto loads of paint. It also keeps its shape well, which makes using it nice and easy. This is probably the industry leader amongst Painters and Decorators.

Paint Rollers and Everything That Comes with Them


Paint rollers are another essential tool when painting a room, but it isn’t just the roller. It’s everything else too. You need a good quality roller sleeve, a frame, a pole and a scuttle. Get all this right, and it will drastically cut down on the amount of time it takes to paint a room.

Hamilton Perfection 12” Roller Sleeve

This is probably the industry leader amongst Professional Decorators, and it’s perfect for painting with emulsion. This roller sleeve holds plenty of paint, distributes it evenly, leaves very little orange peel, and will last for ages.

I have a huge selection of rollers, but I always come back to Hamilton Perfection to apply emulsion paints. I’d probably caveat that by saying the Purdy colossus is better to apply paint products that drag such as contract matt. For every other paint, there is Hamilton.

a good paint roller

Roller Frame

Most trade quality tools have universal sizes. This includes all the accessories for paint rollers. I may love painting with a Hamilton Roller Sleeve, but I still like to use a Purdy Frame, no matter what.

These have a quick release mechanism, making them easy to take your roller sleeve out to wash it, or change it when using a different paint colour. It’s lightweight, manoeuvrable, but solid. I have been using these roller frames when painting for years, and I swear by them.

Roller Pole

Again, most poles made for Trade Decorators are universal. They either have a push fitting or a screw fitting, but the fittings are always a standard size. Roller poles are all pretty similar really. You need something that’s solid, lightweight and extendable.

You can use a paint roller without a pole, but you will really struggle, especially when painting the high parts of your room.

It may be worth getting 2 poles (one for painting ceilings, and the other for walls), but to be fair, I just use one most of the time. Either way, go for either Hamilton or Purdy.

Scuttles and Scuttle Liners

I see too many people using trays when painting, and they’re making life hard work for themselves. Scuttles are much easier!! They hold more paint, are less messy, don’t move when you’re using them, and are difficult to knock over.

You can even buy scuttle liners if you don’t want the faff of having to clean paint out of your scuttle after each use. These are just little plastic membranes that sit inside your scuttle and hold the paint.

Filling Knives

You will need a flexible scraper or filling knife to carry out the prep in a room. Whether that be applying filler or scraping loose paint from a surface before you sand it. As you’re probably aware, prep is quite possibly the most important part of the job, so a filling knife is definitely one of the tools you will need to paint a room.

I like the ROLLINGDOG Joint Knife. It has a stainless steal blade which runs all the way from tip to the end of the handle. It’s nicely weighted and robust. The perfect filling knife really! I’ve had mine for years and it’s as good now as it was when I bought it.

The Fillers and Sundries Needed to Paint a Room


Regardless of what paint you use, you also need a few sundries when painting a room. I’ll just briefly run through them and link as required.

Sandpaper –The best sandpaper is Axus, but it doesn’t really make loads of difference. 120 grade sandpaper will do for your initial prep, and 240 grade is better for the “in between coats” sand. Always go for rolls of sandpaper rather than squares.

Caulk – This fills any cracks around the edge of woodwork and other trim before you paint the room. HB42 is good. Paint will not craze or crack over the top of it, it’s easy to use, and it won’t cost a fortune.

Filler – A great filler for the interior of a room is EasiFill. You’ll find it cheap, easy to use, and easy to sand. Just mix it in a bowl before use.


What Tools You Need to Paint a Room – Final Thoughts


I hope this blog has given you all the information you need without boring you to death. I know there is a cost involved, but if you’re going to tackle your own painting, then having proper tools really will make a huge difference. Your lines will be sharper, your finish will have less defects, and you’ll get the room done in a quicker time.

The other tip I can give you is to buy trade paint. This may be more expensive than the paint you buy from DIY stores but will perform much better. Click here to see my take on the best trade paints. If you do want to buy trade paint, then it’s usually cheaper to buy it online. I recommend using the Decorating Centre Online, who stock pretty much everything, are reasonably priced, and will match the colours from one brand to another for you. Click here to visit Decorating Centre Online.

Another great website for trade paint is The Paint Shed. Like Decorating Centre Online, these guys have a vast array of trade paint and tools you need for painting, all at competitive prices. Click here to visit the Paint Shed.

Updated May 14, 2024 | Posted Aug 6, 2023 | 0 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Gregory is a Professional Painter and Decorator who works in the Northwest of England. He mainly sub-contracts for large decorating firms and works on a wide variety of projects.


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