Your Guide to Exterior Painting Tools

Painting the exterior of your home is a major undertaking, and of course, you’ll want to ensure you have the right tools to do the job right. If you’ve painted your house before or if you’re getting ready to do exterior house painting for the very first time, having a list of the tools you need will serve as a handy reference before you get started. Make sure your list includes the following.

Drop Cloths

Drop cloths are needed to protect grass, plants and concrete surfaces not only from paint but from the chemicals you may be using during surface prep. Use canvas drop cloths as opposed to the thinner plastic ones that can easily tear. Or as an alternative, you can use heavy-duty plastic sheeting that won’t be susceptible to rips.

Prep Products

Every paint job, interior or exterior, should start with surface prep. To accomplish that task, you will likely need a paint scraper, putty knife, wire brush sanding block, caulk and caulk gun, and commercial house wash to remove dirt and grime from the surface of your house. If the dirt and grime is minimal, you may be able to clean the surface by attaching the house wash container to a garden hose. For more extensive grime and homes with mildew stains, your best bet may be to use a pressure washer—but be cautious. If not used properly, a pressure washer may damage your siding. If you’re concerned about that, hire a professional contractor to do the job for you.

Ladders and Ladder Accessories

If your exterior painting job requires an extension ladder, be sure to use it safely. Literally hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year from falling off ladders. Place your ladder securely on the ground, and move your ladder frequently rather than trying to extend your reach. There are various ladder accessories that will help you use your ladder more safely and effectively, such as levelers that level the ladder on uneven surfaces and ladder covers that will prevent the ladder from scratching or denting your siding as you paint.

Paint Cups, Roller Trays and Utility Buckets

Secure your paint and tools to your ladder with paint cups, roller trays and utility buckets especially made for that purpose. Lightweight accessories made of plastic will make it easier and safer to use your ladder without worries about juggling or dropping your tools as you stand at a great height.

Paint Applicators

Use paintbrushes and paint rollers especially for the type of paint you are using and the surface you are painting. A 3- to 4-inch brush is typically the best size for exterior siding. Use a professional-level paintbrush to achieve quality results. In the case of rollers, a ¾-inch nap thickness is suitable for most outdoor siding, but use a thicker nap when painting stucco or other textured surfaces. An airless sprayer is another option for painting your house, but you do need to receive proper training to ensure you use the equipment correctly.

Personal Protection Equipment

When scraping, sanding and using harsh chemicals or an airless sprayer, make sure you use appropriate PPE such as gloves, eye protection and respiratory protection to keep yourself safe as you prep and paint.