The amount of equipment and materials needed will depend on the types of surface to be decorated and the condition of existing surfaces.
Brushes The size of a brush is denoted by the widths of the bristles. A range of sizes is needed to enable narrow and wide surfaces to be painted more easily and to a higher standard.
For most interior work a useful kit will comprise 25, 50 and 75mm brushes. The smaller sizes are used on narrow items such as window frames; the 75mm brush is needed for covering wide areas.
For walls and ceilings a 125mm brush is best (or a paint roller or paint pad).
A useful addition is a small, 12mm cutting-in brush. This has angled bristles which enable window frames to be painted without smudging paint on the glass. For painting behind a radiator and other awkward places, a crevice brush is needed. This has a long wire handle which can be bent to get the bristles into tight corners.
Pure bristle brushes are a good investment — the bristles are well bulked and have a strong, stiff, springy feel. They hold paint well and produce a good finish.
Roller A paint roller enables ceilings and walls to be covered quickly. Rollers are made in various materials — a good one made from lamb’s-wool or mohair will cover a surface well and will not spatter paint around. A roller tray is also needed. Paint pads Available in a range of sizes and shapes for use with both emulsion and gloss paint. The larger pads come into their own for speedy and effortless coverage of walls and ceilings which are smooth.
A pad consists of a piece of foam covered with mohair pile. It is held in a metal or plastic holder. Though it can be loaded straight from a paint tin or roller tray, special applicators are available.
Filling knife For filling surface cracks. The blade is flexible: wide and narrow types are available.
Paint scraper Has a stiff blade for stripping paint from flat surfaces.
Shavehooks For stripping paint from mouldings, tight corners and other intricate places. There are two types — one has a triangular head, the other has curves and straight portions and is more versatile.
Blowtorch For fast stripping of old paint. A canister of gas is fitted to a burner taking care to ensure a good seal. When the canister is empty, a new one is fitted.
Electric paint stripper A blast of hot air softens old paint ready for stripping. Chemical stripper A liquid or paste stripper which is dabbed or spread on to old paint to soften and shrivel it for stripping. Glasspaper Sheets of glasspaper or an abrasive block are used to rub down surfaces to smooth them and provide a key for the new paint. A power operated sander makes this work much easier.
Sponge For washing down surfaces.
White spirit or brush cleaner For cleaning equipment used with gloss paint.