Make sure your toolbelt is fully equipped

Whether you're a professional painter or a DIY enthusiast, having the right tools for the job can make all the difference.

The experts will tell you there's more to a great paint finish than a can of paint and a brush, so make sure you've got everything you need before you start your next job.

If you're painting the exterior of a building, an extendable roller is essential to reach those tricky spots. It's also a good idea to use a sturdy, stable ladder or even a machine such as a cherry picker or scissor lift if the building is particularly tall.

An extendable roller is also handy inside on areas such as ceilings to save you moving up and down ladders.

Make sure your roller sleeve matches your paint.  If you are using a few different kinds of paint it is likely you will need different roller sleeves for each.  Using the right roller sleeve will help you apply the right amount of paint and get a good looking finish.

It's important to have a variety of brushes on hand for different surfaces and paints. Large exterior surfaces would benefit from an 88-100mm wide brush with a thickness of 18-25mm. For interior walls and ceilings, use a 75mm wide brush, and a tapered edge brush for cutting in corners. Trim and joinery works well with anything from a 25mm wide brush to a 63mm one.  If you're new to painting, you may want to try a slightly smaller brush and then when you get used to painting, try moving to a wider brush.  Holding a brush for long periods of time can be surprisingly tiring so make sure the brush is comfortable.

Drop cloths are essential for ensuring your floors and belongings don't get damaged by falling droplets of paint. It's a good idea to remove as many pieces of furniture and fittings from a room as you can before you start painting, and then lay down a drop cloth.  If you can have multiple drop cloths covering the area – it will save you moving them back and forwards, which can save a lot of time, effort and spills.  Many a paint spill has been caused by moving the drop cloth and knocking the container over.

Look for a large paint tray to avoid having to constantly refill it throughout the job, and have all your rollers and brushes close to hand before you start work. Have a water bottle handy to keep you well hydrated and suntan lotion, sunhat and other sun protection if you are working outside. Protect your clothing with painter's overalls or simply wear old clothes, tie your hair up and away you go!

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