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Prep Materials Buying Guide

Good prep work is essential for a quality paint job. Use this buying guide to help you find the best prep materials and tools for your next painting project.

Types of Prep Materials

Types of Prep Materials

A variety of prep materials can be used to prepare a surface for priming and painting. Some materials are designed to remove old paint or wallpaper, while others are meant to repair and smooth out the painting surface. Still other materials can help you protect surrounding areas from paint spills. Which materials and tools you'll need will depend on the details of your project. These are several of the most common prep materials available.

Wall Scrapers/Joint Knives

These tools can be used to scrape off old peeling paint or wallpaper, or to repair holes in plaster walls. They are generally 3-12 inches long and can have stiff or flexible handles.

shop Wall Scrapers/Joint Knives
Warner
$11.55 $7.62

INCLUDES: (1) 6" Flex Drywall Joint Taping KnifeFEATURES: Flex blade that works great with heavier spackles and compounds Standard... carbon steel hollow-ground blade to provide consistent flex and proper stiffness Comfortable soft grip ergonomic handle for extended usage periods Professional quality tool Full tang blade to prevent blade breakage Tapered handle design making the tool easier to clean after usage Safe to use with chemical solvents Made in the U.S.A.The ProGrip 6" Flex Drywall Joint Taping Knife is part of Warner's premium professional line of putty knives and scrapers. All ProGrip tools come in red for a stiff blade, blue for a flexible blade, yellow for a fully flexible blade. read more

Presto
$37.99

This electric knife sharpener is the easy, automatic way to sharpen most kitchen and sporting knives to a razor sharp edge. The Sa...pphirite wheels give the blades a perfectly honed edge, and the knife guides eliminate guess work. Materials: Sapphirite,... read more

Wusthof
$446.00 $199.99

Wusthof Gourmet 12-Piece Knife Block Set with Bonus Knife Sharpener. This set has a knife for every task and includes a bonus hand...held two-stage sharpener! Great for any culinary expert or for someone just starting out in the kitchen, this collection is essential for the home.This 12-piece set includes: 1 2.5-in. paring knife1 3-in. paring knife1 4.5-in. utility knife4 4.5-in. steak knives1 8-in. bread knife1 8-in. cook's knife1 9-in. honing steel1 Pair of come-apart kitchen shears1 13-slot storage b read more

Oriental Trading Company
$4.50

This 68" cardboard banner will light up any room with inspiration! Includes nylon cords for hanging. OTC

Putty/Putty Knives

Putty can be used to fill holes and cracks in wood. Use a putty knife to apply the putty or to scrape off old paint or putty from furniture.

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Color Putty
$7.59

Use Color Putty to fill imperfections in woodwork, paneling, furniture and cabinets to achieve a truly polished, finished look you... will be proud of for years. Try test sample before using. Not recommended for table tops or floors. read more

Sandpaper

This handy tool can smooth out a surface to help it blend in with surrounding areas, or it can be used to help paint adhere to a glossy surface.

shop Sandpaper
$520.00

"This Metallic Illusions V collection features designs that are among the highest quality prints in the world, as they provide an ...authentic look for metallics. All wallcoverings are perfect for residential, commercial or display use.  Dimensions: 36 inches wide X 6 or more yards. Paper-backed, Solid Vinyl Wallcovering Straight Match Priced by the yard, 6 yard minimum. Use a premixed vinyl adhesive for installation Class A flame rating This item will come untrimmed with white edges. These edges will need to be trimmed prior to installation. Please note: Burke Decor does not accept wallpaper returns at this time. Why? Wallpaper is produced in batches (similar to tile) and due to dye-lot variations that occur based on when the rolls are produced, we are unable to accept returns. We are more than happy to exchange unopened wallpaper for another pattern or store credit. Please allow 3 - 5 business days for shipping. Items that are not in stock may have a delivery time of up to 3-4 weeks.*This item is excluded from sale events and not available for additional discounting or promotional offers." read more

Rags/Sponges/Cloths

Rags, sponges, or microfiber cloths can help you clean surfaces before applying paint. Use a liquid detergent to remove pen and crayon marks and water stains from walls.

Wire Brush/Power Washer

These tools can help you clean your home's exterior. A power washer can speed up the cleaning process and make it easier to reach the upper level without ladders or scaffolding. Use a wire brush to scrape paint that's flaking.

Painter's Tape

Before painting, apply this tape around windows, trim work, or other areas you don't want to paint.

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True Value
$118.53

Jef-9, painter's select everyday, 5 gallon, white, exterior flat latex house paint, durable acrylic flat finish, high hiding cover...age, resistant to mildew & fading, easy soap & water clean up, 15 year warranty, voc less than 50 grams per litre. read more

True Value
$33.34

Jf-1, painter's select everyday, gallon, white, interior flat latex wall paint, washable flat finish, ideal for walls & ceilin...gs, easy soap & water clean up, quick drying/non spatter formula, 15 year warranty, voc less than 50 grams per litre. read more

True Value
$27.78

JEF-T, Painter's Select Everyday, Gallon, Tint Base For Exterior Flat Latex House Paint, Durable Acrylic Flat Finish, High Hiding ...Coverage, Resistant To Mildew & Fading, Easy Soap & Water Clean Up, 15 Year Warranty, VOC Less Than 50 Grams Per Litre. read more

Drop Cloths/Tarps

Use drop cloths and tarps to protect floors, furniture, or other areas from paint spills or drips. Drop cloths are constructed from various materials; some are best for indoor use, while others can be used outside as well. Tarps usually feature grommets along the edges so they can be tied down if necessary.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Before shopping for the prep materials you'll need for your project, examine your painting surface carefully. The tools you need depend on the type of surface you are painting and what kind of repair is needed. Will you be painting an interior wall or your home's siding? Do you need to simply clean the area, or do you also need to fill holes and cracks in the wall's surface? Do you need a wall scraper that can get into corners, or will a general, all-purpose scraper do the job? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are selecting your tools.

Painting Surface

The prep tools you choose will depend largely on the type of surface you'll be painting. For example, paint scrapers are available in several different designs. Straight scrapers are good for removing softened paint and wallpaper from most wall surfaces; curved wall scrapers are also available for corners and hard-to-reach areas, such as along baseboards. You may want to opt for a scraper with a telescoping handle if you'll need to reach areas near the ceiling. Consider using a glass or tile scraper to remove paint from windows. Similarly, painter's tape is available for various surfaces, so be sure to choose the best tape for your specific job.

Quality

Drop cloths are essential for protecting surfaces and furniture near your painting area, but the cost and quality can vary depending on whether the drop cloths are designed to be reusable or disposable. Consider whether you're likely to paint again soon—if so, it may be worth paying a little more for a reusable drop cloth. If you'll be buying a reusable canvas cloth, look for one with a butyl backing; this rubberized coating helps ensure paint spills won't bleed through the cloth and provides slip resistance.

Safety

If you think you may have lead paint in your house, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Lead paint, common in the 1950s, was outlawed in 1978 and is an extreme health hazard. For more information about the issue, visit epa.gov/lead.

Home Improvement on sale

BEHR Premium Plus
$125.00 $117.00

BEHR Premium Plus Zero VOC, Self-Priming Interior Satin Enamel is 100% acrylic and provides a mildew resistant finish. This versat...ile, easy-clean sheen provides ultimate durability and exceptional hide. The finish displays a pearl-like appearance.... read more

Brewster
$69.99 $59.50

A fun floral over a snazzy plaid, this wallpaper mural energizes any space! Designed to harmonize with any and all of the other mi...x and match mural patterns, these bright panels coordinate with sassy panache! Product Features: Measures to 6ft x 4.2ft Comes with 2 panels Paste included Made in Germany read more

Brewster
$69.99 $59.50

This groovy wall mural with vibrant flower graphics has a dazzling effect in any space. Designed to look brilliant with any of the... other mix and match designs, this vivacious mural lets you style your home like no other! Product Features: Measures to 6ft x 4.2ft Comes with 2 panels Paste included Made in Germany read more

Sweetums
$34.99 $26.24

Don't leave your bed looking lost without a headboard, give a plush fabric look with buttons and spare the expense. This headboard... wall decal will fill the blank bare space behind your bed without taking up the extra room or costing a lot of money. The... read more

Therm O Web
$179.25 $106.07

This 17" x 75 yds Heat N' Bond Lite Iron-On Adhesive is a paper-backed sheet of solid heat-activated glue. It uses a low-temperatu...re and short pressing time so it allows for a wider range of materials that can be bonded. The Heat N' Bond iron-on... read more

York Wallcoverings
$23.98 $10.11

Bring your walls to life with this floral scroll peel and stick wall border. Featuring bright colors and a gorgeous, trendy patter...n, this border is sure to dress up any room. Because RoomMates borders are completely removable and repositionable, you... read more

York Wallcoverings
$28.01 $10.99

RZM2464 Features Peel & Stick Giant Wall Decals/Wall Stickers collection Peel and stick Made in the USA Product Type: Wall dec...al Theme: Trees & Flowers Color: Multi-colored Number of Items Included: 24 Compatible Surface Type: Multi-surface/Flat... read more

ART.COM
$130.00 $77.99

Add creativity and whimsy to your space in a unique way with this wall decal-just peel, stick and enjoy. a quick, simple and affor...dable alternative to painting self-adhesive stickers are repositionable, so they're easy to use-and easy to remove when you want to change your look works best on dry, clean and smooth surfaces Vinyl. Decal sheet measures 28x20"H; includes 42 decals. Made in America. read more

ART.COM
$130.00 $77.99

Add creativity and whimsy to your space in a unique way with this wall decal-just peel, stick and enjoy. a quick, simple and affor...dable alternative to painting self-adhesive stickers are repositionable, so they're easy to use-and easy to remove when you want to change your look works best on dry, clean and smooth surfaces Vinyl. Decal sheet measures 24x36"H; includes 18 decals. Made in America. read more

ART.COM
$130.00 $77.99

Add creativity and whimsy to your space in a unique way with this wall decal-just peel, stick and enjoy. a quick, simple and affor...dable alternative to painting self-adhesive stickers are repositionable, so they're easy to use-and easy to remove when you want to change your look works best on dry, clean and smooth surfaces Vinyl. Decal sheet measures 28x20"H; includes 80 decals. Made in America. read more

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