Tools for applying paint come in both synthetic and natural materials. Latex-based paints require synthetic tools because synthetic tools maintain their shape in water, which keeps bristles firm during painting.

Brushes. Brushes come in various sizes. Brushes with a three-to-four-inch width are used on large, flat surfaces. Brushes with 1 1/2” width, also known as sash brushes, are good for detailed areas because of the angle of their bristles. Trim brushes are flat brushes, three inches wide, and are used to paint trim. All brushes should have dense, tightly packed bristles and should be tested for resilience before each use.

Rollers. For large, flat areas, rollers can apply more paint more quickly than a brush. Rollers have a variety of thickness of nap, the material part of the roller that transfers paint to the wall. The rougher the wall’s surface, the thicker a roller nap should be.

Sprayers. Paint sprayers work well on larger areas of the home, like the exterior or the deck. Care should be taken to avoid spraying paint onto adjacent areas, such as gutters, windows, and fixtures, when painting the exterior of a home. There is also a chance of overspray. Professional painters will take precautions to avoid overspray on cars and neighboring homes. However, homeowners should double-check that painters carry adequate insurance in case an accident occurs.