Product List For Your Next DIY Painting Project.

Ready to get started on your next DIY painting project?  Do you have everything you need?  Even for seasoned DIY’ers, the supply list for a new project can sometime be daunting.  And you usually end up making at least one run to the hardware store mid-project anyway when you run out of something!  🙂

We have tested a large majority of supplies including paint brushes, sponges, cleaning products and more. We have accumulated a substantial list of what we usually need, and thought you might find it helpful, too!  Bonus: You can download our painting instruction manual here.  This comes free with attendance to any of our furniture painting classes (Learn more here. We offer in-home classes as well!).

Let’s go through the list in the order of project steps…

Cleaning & Scuffing


  • Denatured AlcoholTara likes to use the clean-burning fuel kind, but you can find denatured alcohol at your local hardware store on the same shelf with the cans of acetone and mineral spirits. 
  • Mirlon PadsMirka’s mirlon pads are great for cleaning as well as finish sanding.  Use the Very Fine level for cleaning.
  • Sandpaper – Read more on types of sandpaper here
  • Cleaning cloths – Old t-shirts will work well for this.  Whatever you use, avoid fabrics that leave behind loose fibers.
  • Dusting ClothsThose in the link are by far the best in the market in our opinion.  They get the job done and seem to hold up the longest!  Tip: Stick to the oil-free types to avoid leaving residue on both the surface of your products as well as your hands (yuck!).


  • Shellac  This is the best option for a stain blocking primer for a project that you plan to distress.  You can find it in Clear for transparency to the wood underneath.  It’s also available in aerosol for your smaller projects (yay, no cleanup!)  Tip: Make sure you have good ventilation, shellac can be stinky.
  • ShellacWhite shellac you can use to when using light colors or not distressing.
  • Stain Blocking PrimerThis is a water-based option by General Finishes.  Avoid the odor, with the option to brush or spray on.  However, it only comes in white.

Painting / Staining

  • Wooster BrushFor hand painting, these large wall brushes work great for large surface coverage. Tara prefers firm brushes, but each person’s slight-of-hand is different. Becca loves the short handle for cutting into corners.
  • Chalk Paint BrushWe really like these brushes for chalk painting, because they hold a lot of paint and get into groves nicely – Great for projects with raised details.
  • Sponge Pad – Application sponges like this hand-held one are great for staining large surfaces.  They hold a lot of project and get great coverage.  They are also useful for glazing!


  • Angle Brush Make sure you have a good artist’s brush (preferably with an angle) like this one if you are applying glaze with an inking technique.
  • TJR C.A. Technologies Spray GunIf you are doing a lot of inking or glazing try out this guy!
  • Clean, dry cloths – As mentioned in cleaning supplies above, old t-shirts work great.  Just aim for staying away from pilling cloths that leave behind loose fibers that will ruin your finish.

Clear Coating


  • SpongeWhen applying by hand, sponge brushes work best for even coverage.  The pads mentioned above for staining large surfaces are also fantastic!  This one also works well.
  • Scuffing Sanding – 220 grit sandpaper, or fine grit mirlon pads
  • Final Coat Buffing – 1000 grit sanding discs (optional)

Be sure to check out our post on safety gear, too!

We hope this will help you finish up some of your DIY projects! If you have used anything else and had great luck we would love to hear about it and test it out ourselves!

Happy DIYing,

Tara and Becca


* This blog contains affiliate links. Affiliate link purchases do not effect your shopping experience or price. However they will kick back small amounts back to me for sharing this information on my blog. We only recommend products that we believe in and use ourselves.


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