The essential decorating tools

There is such a variety of different tools and gadgets found in the decorating tools section of any DIY retailer I wouldn’t be surprised if you wondered what some of them are for! I often get asked what my essential tools are for preparation and decorating. I think that all of us in the profession will have our favourites and these will vary from one person to another, but here’s my guide to the essential kit to get a professional finish;

Stripping and filling

Filling Knife – With a flexible edge it allows you to fill any holes with ease.

Scraper – Essential to remove any old paint or wallpaper without scratching up the walls. These come with different edges so you can get into difficult to reach places, do your research and get one suitable for the job.

Wire Brush/ Wire Wool – perfect for loosening any paint and debris on wall, wood and metal. You can’t prepare for decorating without it!


Paint Brushes – these come in various shapes and sizes depending on the job at hand. Usually for cutting in you will need a smaller brush to give an even finish. Likewise, for painting or varnishing wood you may need a smaller brush to enable you to get into the corners. You can buy brushes that have a variety of tips from angled to rounded so ensure that you buy the correct one for the job. Ideally you want a brush that isn’t going to shed bristles whilst you are working so look for lossless bristles. If you make sure you clean and dry your brushes properly you can use them over and over again.

Paint Roller – are quick at covering a large area but they don’t get in all the nooks and crannies so you will need a paint brush to finish off. Paint rollers tend to apply the paint thinly so you will need more than one coat to get a good finish. Like brushes paint rollers come in all shapes and sizes and choose one that is appropriate but also pay attention to the texture. Flat ones are great for smooth surfaces but you may need a rougher one for uneven walls or exteriors.


Wall paper table – no you can’t use your dining room table!! A wall papering table is higher than most dining room tables, and easy to fold up and transport if necessary. Wider than a sheet of wallpaper and perfect for measuring, cutting and pasting your paper. Make sure you buy a stable one with good strong legs, you don’t want one that is going to wobble or collapse whilst you work.

Paste Brush – designed to help with the smooth application of paste onto your wallpaper, an essential tool.

Wall paper scissors – extra long and sharp for cutting wall paper easily.

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