A Painting Girl’s Must Haves!!

Alright Y’all, I am about to launch a series of my own must haves and tips to share with you.  You can leave a comment asking your questions and I’ll do my best to be sure that they will be answered in the upcoming posts!!

Today, I just want to share with you My tools or favorites that I make sure are in my studio {aka garage} to paint with at all times!! If you are a painter already you probably already have this down… but if you are new to the scene you might see a few things  you want to add to your shopping list!!

I’m picky, no lie. I don’t skimp or cheat just to save a buck- because in the end it only wastes time and money!! So because I’ve painted a lot and with a lot; we will start with the skinny on all my brushes.  I love brushes and I have a lot because of that love!!  All my brushes I paint furniture with are stubby, short, or cubby’s!! You can get in tight areas without scraping paint off the top area and it’s sooo much better for your hands!!  I keep a little pink solo cup of water around so I can dip it in to smooth an application, or drop in if I am switching to a new color and don’t want to go rinse it out just then. I also sometime wrap it in a wipe and ziplock it if I am going to come back for a second coat and don’t want to waste the paint in the brush already.  I also give my brushes a little spa treatment once a week using a douse of fabric softener in cup of water.  Keeps them soft and lovely!!

Hanging around!!
Always have a bucket or two of artist brushes around.
  1. My go to brush is the little blue rubber handled Blue Hawk from Lowes… It has a not firm and not soft ended bristle that keep just the right shape and seems to really take well to chalk paint.  Working a little longer- meaning smoother brush strokes. And at $5.97 you can’t go wrong!!  Almost identical is the Wooster …
  2. Second go to- Ace brand black handled.  It does great in really tight places. Very firm bristles that are great on narrow trim and places you need a good line.
  3. Zibra white bristles I bought only one not knowing if it would be good or not and went back after falling in LOVE and it’s no longer there.  It is the perfect brush to use on table tops and long dressers.  Smooth application just got smoother with this one!! I LOVE it!!
  4. My Purdy, it’s not my fave of faves because it’s so soft on the bristles that it doesn’t hold good form.  But I do still love it.
  5. Artist brushes are a save so many times!! And I found the best ones at Tuesday Morning!! Check them out and see what you think- $1.99 and you can get nice quality 3 to 5 packs.

Next Can’t Live Without are the tools that get some of the dirty work done!!

I thoroughly clean all the furniture I pick up and that is brought to me… I have found stockings from ages ago in packages, doctor ledger receipts, oh the things I have found.. Anyhoo, even when painting with chalk paint where you think no prep is required- still clean it!! Shop vac the inside out, wipe out the drawers {clorox wipes do wonders}, on the outside it’s always good to clean it up!! I use wipes sometimes if it’s fairly new and good shape- let it dry completely.  Or I use most of the time TSP- it does work as a deglosser and it is a concentrate so read instructions and take necessary precautions in using.  It’s a great cleaner!!
I also use Tack Cloths.  These work great for cleaning up your distressing mess {aka chalk dust}.  Especially if you are working indoors!!

I’ve tried a ton of different stripping agents and have found that I really like Jasco gel and spray the most!! It’s what works for me!! Don’t be fooled by the whole if it’s more $$$ it must really work!! Because I have already tried that route for you!! And I’m here to tell you it didn’t for me!!

Primer- I am smitten with the Zinsser Shellac Primer especially in the spray!! I don’t tend to love priming but this makes it easy.  And I want to share with you because I have been there and ooops done that… Always, always prime a piece that is super old and dry!! The moisture from the paint will release the oils and tannins in the wood and allow them to seep over time.  Especially in mahogany!! I woke to a nightstand overnight that had been painted in the beautiful old white- it was pink!! ACCCKKK- but thankfully this lovely primer took that all away!! It’s great for tough stains like ink as well in drawers and such!! I do love it.

What else do I love and couldn’t live without??

I use Mineral Spirits to clean my wax brushes and my Ooops I forgot to rinse my brushes… I clean my wax brushes after every use- which lately I haven’t been using because I discovered the buffing pad!! It is so simple to use and so easy to find- Harbor Freight!

Tomorrow I’ll give distressing tips!! All things distressing!! Thanks for visiting!!


Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.



don't miss a single thing. plus a free printable from time to time...

I'm In!

* indicates required
  1. elsietee says:

    Thank you!! Great tips!

  2. MarLeigh says:

    awesome tips! Thanks for sharing!!! ; )

  3. Kisha! says:

    NICE! I’ve been eyeing those little brushes at home depot for a while and thought last night with my latest project- I sure wish I had one of those! Also – REALLY looking forward to your distressing tips because I’m going to be working on a kitchen table and I’m not sure how to go about distressing it at all. (Do I prime and then distress the primer before painting it black/white etc…)

    SO THANK YOU for taking time to go over your favs and sharing these tips with us! I really appreciate it!

  4. Amy Hardy says:

    A little confused about the primer. What if I’m distressing – won’t you be able to see the primer like a coat of white paint? Getting ready to do a very large dining table. Wondering now if I should prime the top, but I wouldn’t want to see any white.


  5. Lori Young says:

    What type of table is it? Is there a reason you are wanting to prime first?? If you are using chalk based paint you will not need to prime. You can email me at vintagecharmrestored@live.com if you would like to send a picture of your table.

  6. Amy Hardy says:

    I misunderstood your comment above about primer for old, dry pieces. Sorry!
    The dining table I’m doing is solid oak and it is being painted with ASCP – Coco. How many coats of wax do you recommend? Is there anything else I should protect it with since it will be used and cleaned daily?

    Thanks again!

  7. Amy Hardy says:

    I’m back with another question….sorry!
    I have someone wanting the stain over paint technique for a tabletop. Do you brush or wipe on the stain? Does the color of stain matter? Does it look streaky? And, is this the order….paint, stain, wax, poly? I really want to practice a few times before I do it for her!
    You’ve been so helpful! I really appreciate it!


    • Lori says:

      Hi Amy,

      The color of stain does matter as well as the color of paint… it all depends on the look you are trying to create. You can always just do a few sample boards for them to see. I have brused the stain on and used a staining pad. Again it’s just preference for the look. And yes you have the order correct. But when you wax- just one coat is needed and it shouldn’t be too heavy… allowing it to fully cure before adding on the poly.

      Have fun!!

  8. Amy Hardy says:

    Thanks again Lori!
    I have done some sample boards, experimenting with different colors. I really like the look it gives. And it’s fun!

  9. Mary says:

    Awesome! Thanks!

  10. Debbie says:

    Hi, I have a question regarding painting childrens furniture, not really doing dressers or vanity type furniture but more like little chairs and tables. I am looking to doing some brightly colored pieces. I have some old rocking chairs, high chairs and things like that. Do you have any suggestions on what to do with them? Should I mod podge pictures on them? I am not sure what to do. If possible do you have any that you have done or can dirrect me to a site that has insperation pieces that I can go by?
    I appreciate any help that you can give me.
    Thank you

    • Lori says:

      Hi Debbie, pinterest is always a go to for inspiration!! I don’t have any pieces that I can show you- Lucky Peach Designs on facebook does a lot with brightly colored paints and designs!! If you have fun bright colored papers you would like to incorporate- mod podge is great for that!! Painting a bright color underneath before you start!! Have fun!!! ~ Lori

  11. Beth Finney says:

    Hi. When you talked about brushes, you mentioned Zibra white bristles. When you click on that,
    the page is not found. What exactly is that? Is it a brush and where do you purchase them?

  12. […] you their preferred primer is Bull’s Eye Primer 1-2-3.  My other favorite!! It’s on my painting girls must-have’s list […]

  13. Debbie says:

    Can you show a picture of the harbor freight buffing pad


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's be Friends

Connection is the key to a happy full life. 
Creativity and encouragement in your inbox?
Yes Please!! 

* indicates required


listen on: