Spatulas and painting tools

Neither cosmetic nor major repairs can do without a spatula, brushes and painting accessories. The selection of hand tools is often overlooked, although it is this type of equipment that is responsible for the appearance of surfaces. The final quality of the finish also depends on it.

Types of spatulas and painting tools

Painting tools include spatulas, rollers, brushes, mounting guns and related accessories.

What are spatulas

All spatulas can be divided by size into three groups:

  • Small spatulas with a blade up to 150 mm. They are often used as a handy tool. They help to remove the solution from the container, gently apply it to a large spatula. They process small surface defects and sides.
  • Medium spatulas with a blade from 150 to 450 mm. Convenient for filling door and window slopes, sealing drywall joints, leveling perforated corners. They are also used as auxiliary equipment when trimming paper wallpaper and applying liquid wallpaper.
  • Large spatulas with a blade width over 450 mm. The tool requires steady skills. Used to quickly and evenly cover large areas and as a mini-rule. Finishing is done with large-sized spatulas. With such a tool, one finisher can process up to 300 square meters along straight walls. for a shift.

Additional division goes by functionality:

Conventional spatulas

A spatula with a flat blade is used for applying putty and plaster. As an auxiliary tool, it can be used for any finishing needs – from trimming the corners to removing the fugue. Common spatulas also include trowels – a tool with a platform in the form of a blade and a handle fixed on top.

Notched trowels or combs

For working with solutions in which there should be no voids. These are tile adhesive, mastics and other materials that are difficult to apply as a single mass without the formation of air gaps. The teeth of the spatula drive out the formed voids, which affects the strength and quality of the installation.

The size of the teeth is selected for a specific type of material, taking into account surface irregularities. For example, mastic is applied on a self-leveling floor with a notched trowel with teeth up to 3 mm – this is enough to glue the surfaces, taking into account small depressions.

Tile adhesive on concrete substrates may require a comb with 1–1.5 cm teeth, although 0.5 cm variations are more commonly used for leveled walls.

Rubber spatulas

Spatula for working with non-abrasive materials on smooth surfaces. Most commonly used for grouting tile joints. Do not leave marks on a smooth surface and do not scratch it.

The color of the rubber is selected according to the shade of the material with which to work. For example, for light ceramic tiles, a white rubber spatula is more appropriate.

There is a separate type of rubber spatulas designed to work with textured and structural plasters.

Plastic spatulas

This type of spatula is more often with uneven edges, usually rounded. It is used as a smoother for ordinary and liquid wallpaper or smoothing other thin materials that are damaged by a metal tool.

What are rollers

Short pile rollers

These rollers are preferred for spatter prone materials. These are primers, thin-layer paints and impregnations. There is a separate type of short pile rollers – velor, often seamless. It is used for uniform application of paint on smooth surfaces without smudges and transitions.

Rollers with long pile

They are used to work with thick mixtures and hide small surface defects, for example, for painting walls and ceilings with insufficient leveling quality. Long pile rollers are optimal when working with all types of wallpaper paste. They allow you to capture the amount of solution necessary for the rapid impregnation of the segments.

Also, a long pile serves to apply a uniform and thick layer of mortar to walls and ceilings, although there are exceptions. This type of roller is not suitable for impregnating the top layer of fiberglass with glue – the canvas can move away entirely due to the excess weight of the solution.

Rubber rollers

These rollers are used when pasting rooms with wallpaper. An analogue of a plastic spatula-trowel, often used with it in a single set.

The standard roller size of 15–25 cm is used to smooth the wallpaper over the freshly applied adhesive layer. Gently expels bubbles and relieves the material of excess wrinkling.

Rubber rollers of small size (about 5 cm) are used for rolling wallpaper joints and processing corners of rooms.

foam rollers

The type is considered disposable. Used for solutions that are difficult to wash off: epoxy and acrylic primers, oil paints, penetrex. The roller quickly fails, it is not advisable to use it for more than one day. Foam rubber is intolerant of aggressive liquids and may begin to fall apart, leaving pieces on a freshly painted surface.

Usually such rollers come with several spare fur coats, which are easy to change as soon as the previous one becomes unusable.

A separate type of foam rubber rollers is made of a material of increased rigidity and is used to work with textured plaster.

Needle rollers

Rigid plastic rollers with characteristic protruding needles. Are applied to leveling of bulk solutions. Such a roller is able to expel excess air bubbles from a fresh mixture. This is an analogue of a toothed comb, but designed for less dense materials than tile adhesive. When processing self-leveling floors, the roller is put on a telescopic stick. Using it, one worker processes 100 or more square meters per shift. floor meters.

Plastic rollers

This type of roll is in most cases covered with a texture in the form of ribs or patterns. It is applied to a task of a relief to structural plasters. Rollers are often seamless so that there are no transitions between layers.

What are paint brushes?

Flat brushes

Marking KP or flange type KF. Can be used with any paints, glue, enamels. Suitable for working in hard-to-reach places, corners of rooms, when processing curly plasterboard frames. The brush is universal. It can apply both a wide strip of paint and a narrow beating – just turn the handle perpendicularly.

Round brushes (hand brushes)

Marking KR, sometimes with the addition of “C” or “O”. There are thin and thick types. Thin is used for spot painting surfaces, compatible with any type of enamel. The thick type is used for priming, blurring whitewash and wallpaper joints.

Radiator brushes

Brushes resembling flute brushes, but with a characteristic curved base and a long handle. They are used for painting radiators. They also apply wallpaper paste to hard-to-reach places. Such a brush will not replace the flute in normal repair work. The fold is inconvenient for permanent use.


Marking KMA, wide thick brushes, more like flat brushes with long bristles. It is used for painting with aqueous solutions, applying whitewash, thick layers of glue or varnish, it is convenient for priming, including applying betocontact. Due to the density and length of the pile, it carefully works out depressions and difficult places.


KFK marking, brushes with a working part up to 22 mm. Used for finishing work, drawing thin lines, processing narrow joints and ends.

Other painting tools

Lace with dye

Marking thread, a tool for beating straight lines on surfaces. It is most often used when pasting walls with wallpaper. In this case, the line is reflected along the vertical level. It is also applicable in painting works, it sets even joints of paint transitions.

The principle of operation is simple – there is a dry dye in a container with a cord. When shaken, it settles on the roughness of the thread. To work, the cord is gently pulled out by the metal tip to the desired length. The tip can be attached to a self-tapping screw or handed over to an assistant.

The thread is carefully pulled, it is important not to knock the paint off it. When the maximum tension is reached, the cord is grasped with two fingers and sharply retracted from the surface. The paint from it shoots onto the wall in a neat, even line.

Paint baths

Designed for easy handling of liquids. In most cases, they are a trough the size of a roller and a sloping platform with ribs that allows you to remove excess paint or primer from the tool. There are also models without ribs, but they are not so convenient. Bathtubs are made under the small and big sizes of rollers.

Telescopic poles

Tool for lengthening the handles of the rollers. It is a retractable stick with a narrowed tip. Roller handles are usually hollow and recessed – especially for mounting. The tip matches the shape of the cavity. To lengthen the stick, it is enough to twist its central part – this will open the latch, after which the tool is pulled to the required distance. Repeated torsion clamps the ligament into place.

Graters and graters

Tool for rubbing the top layer of plaster. There are polyurethane and wooden variations. In polyurethane models, the lower part is covered with a fine plastic mesh for the correct capture of the rubbed solution.


The tool is a handle with clamping blades. It is used for processing difficult places – removing dried fugue and glue from tiles, stripping wallpaper, removing excess epoxy and plastic drips and bumps. The scraper blades come in the shape of a trapezoid with a notch. Despite the external similarity with stationery, variations for knives will not fit into the tool.

Mixers (paint mixers)

For mixing solutions. Used as a nozzle for electric or pneumatic tools. Its functionality depends on the shape of the mixer. Variations for paint and fine abrasive mixtures contain 2-3 rows of turns. More often this type has a painted surface. Mixers for solutions are produced without protective coatings, do not rust. The number of turns of the spiral is increased.

The tool for rough plasters is equipped with blade-legs instead of spirals, usually 4-6 pieces.

Mounting guns

For sealants and adhesive mixtures in cylinders. Most manufacturers classify this tool as a painting tool, as it is used more often in conjunction with finishing processes. The device is a hollow frame with a pin, a spacer and a long handle reinforced with a spring.

A cylinder with a pre-cut hermetic surfacing is inserted into the cavity. The bottom of the package is pressed with a pin using a handle, and a uniform stream of material is squeezed out. To stop the process, the latch at the base of the handle is bent.


The advantages of a painting tool are to simplify and speed up routine processes.


  • Steel models are not afraid of rust, they can be used for years, regardless of whether it is a professional or household type of tool. As durable as metal ladders.
  • The elasticity of the blades allows you to choose the optimal pressure for work, taking into account the weight and plasticity of the putty material.
  • Spatulas with an extended blade length – more than 500 mm – are suitable for even and fast coating of large areas with mortar with minimal labor. The number of layer transitions and the need for frequent mixing of the material depend on the width of the tool. The longer the spatula, the less time it will take to work on fixing the mortar joints.
  • A tool with a handle made at an angle is considered ergonomic. The spatula confidently holds the weight of the solution. Hands get tired less than when using models without a bend.


The advantages of rollers should be considered in comparison with brushes:

  • uniformity of the layer and the absence of unnecessary transitions;
  • the ability to create a glossy or matte surface, depending on the type of coat and paint;
  • acceleration of processes, which allows to avoid drying of adjacent layers of paint and processing of the resulting transitions;
  • the possibility of using it in conjunction with an extension cord – a telescopic stick (standing on the floor in the middle of a small room, you can paint the entire ceiling).


The advantages of brushes are compared by analogy with rollers, although their joint use is more often practiced:

  • access to corners and places difficult to handle with a roller;
  • reduction of labor costs for bringing the tool in order after work;
  • the ability to beat thin straight and curved lines – this work cannot be done correctly with a roller;
  • controllable amount of paint and the number of streaks, quick fix without unnecessary consumption of material.

Other painting tools

Advantages are often self-sufficient and do not require comparisons:

    • Lace – saves hours of routine work on marking the premises. The lines drawn by the tool do not have kinks and are generally more accurate than pencil lines.
    • Trays – allow you to dose the consumption of paint, increase the convenience of working with rollers and brushes. You don’t have to rack your brains how to put a 25 cm roller into a small jar at an angle without spilling its contents. Ribs for squeezing excess paint eliminate streaks.
    • Telescopic poles – make it easier for the roller to reach high or distant points. Painting and wallpapering is possible without the use of a telescope, but working with self-leveling floors and liquid mastics in the absence of an extension becomes a problem.
    • Graters – not a single spatula can rub fresh plaster into a single plane, there will always be kinks and transitions. The trowel does not distort the leveled surfaces. It is impossible to spoil the plane with a tool – there is a point alignment along a single line.
    • scrapers — accelerate the cleaning of complex surfaces. More convenient than knives and spatulas due to trapezoidal blades. The tool quickly handles corners, seams and joints.
    • Mixers — provide uniform mixing of any types of solutions. When this tool is not available, the paint is often kneaded with a wooden stick, and dry mixes with a small spatula. The result is an uneven texture, lumps and transitions. The mixer neutralizes such problems by lifting the solution from the bottom. The purchase of this nozzle pays off on the very first day when working with quick-setting mixtures – alabaster or fugenfüller.

Due to the quick kneading, the solution has time to be produced for its intended purpose, and does not dry out in a bucket – savings on material can reach up to a quarter of the volume.

  • Mounting guns — provide uniform application of balloon sealants and adhesives. The dosing of the volume and the speed of the exit of the material from the tube contributes to the improvement of the quality of the finish.


Disadvantages and inconveniences should be considered in relation to the types of tools and materials of manufacture.


  • Models with pointed corners at the slightest bend of the blade can spoil the leveled plane for hours.
  • The tool in most cases has a “built-in” curvature – it gets bends during transportation, hanging on a showcase, during production. An uneven plane or gouges on the blade leave scratches and grout overlaps on the surface of the putty, which are difficult to repair.
  • Putty is applied to the walls with open fittings of sockets and switches. A wet mortar in combination with a plastic handle threatens the puttyer with constant electric shocks. Models with rubber grips do not have these problems, but they are in the category of professional tools, so they require unnecessary expenses.
  • Spatulas with low elasticity complicate the work. Applying solutions with such a tool is laborious, a lot of time is spent on correcting defects created by the spatula itself. The same set of problems is present with spatulas that are too flexible.


  • The tool is inconvenient for narrow places, sides and corners. The application of paint on such surfaces is accompanied by its invariable hit on perpendicular planes in the form of thick strokes or streaks. If they are not immediately noticed, a correct correction is not always possible.
  • When working with acrylic paints, increased attention is paid to the quality of the fur coat and the pressure of the roller. Acrylic does not allow the right to make a mistake when applying, sometimes one fallen hair forces the entire glossy ceiling to be repainted.
  • Seamed rollers leave noticeable plane transitions that cannot be corrected without resurfacing the surface.
  • Rubber models often have an incorrect roller plane – bulging or sagging. It is difficult to expel air bubbles with such a tool; when rolling wallpaper joints, increased pressure on the roller is required, which often causes plastic handles to break.


  • The tool is not suitable for setting a glossy surface – there are traces and transitions from the bristles even with the proper quality of the tool.
  • If the room is painted with a roller, and the brush is used only for processing internal corners, a mandatory additional rolling of the transition between layers is required. The difference in the texture and density of the application of the material without this procedure is noticeable to the naked eye.
  • The bristles on a weak adhesive base or under the influence of solvents and aggressive paints begin to split and fall out, leaving marks on the work surface.

Other tool

Plastic parts of painting tools are their weak point. They break, melt, crumble from old age or contrasting temperature conditions. Requires frequent replacement. If the body of the tool is plastic, it cannot be repaired if it is worn out. In this design, most paint baths and chopping cords are produced.

  • Telescopic poles – the latch often fails, leaving only the base length of the tool working.
  • Mounting guns – a tool with a tight pin stroke is more powerful and more convenient for work, but fails faster. Often pierces the rear membrane of the cylinders.
  • Mixers – paint models are mostly prone to corrosion. With prolonged use, impacts and work with finely abrasive mixtures, the coating peels off during kneading, spoiling the material.
  • scrapers – the specific shape of blades for replacement requires a mandatory visit to a hardware store, unlike knives. Working with the device involves strong pressure and pressure when cleaning hardened materials from surfaces. The handle of the scraper often does not withstand pressure.

How to choose spatulas and painting tools

The choice of a painting tool is based on the tasks that are to be solved with its help.

How to choose spatulas

The principle of choosing even spatulas is the same. Several pieces are clamped in the hand, the blades are set according to the viewing angle. In this position, any irregularities in the metal are noticeable. They are not critical when it comes to small spatulas, but they are critical when choosing a tool larger than 500 mm.

Pay attention to these options:

  • The presence of a reinforced platform around the blade – it eliminates the deflection of the spatula during operation and reduces the load on the hands.
  • Rubberized handle – spraying on plastic will not replace it. It prevents electric shocks that occur when working with wet solutions near exposed wiring, and also prevents the tool from slipping out.
  • Collapsible design – some spatulas are made in the form of a blade embedded in plastic, but there are models with screw fastening, they are more convenient for long-term operation, they allow you to adjust and control the state of the working surface.
  • Corrosion Resistant – Some trowels are glossy coated against rust. When working with abrasive mixtures, it will evaporate in a few hours. The next day, the spatula will be covered with dark spots that can leave unnecessary marks on putty or wallpaper. Stainless steel models are preferred.

How to choose rollers

General points for all nap rollers:

  • the quality of the fur coat – the threads should not fall out freely, the adhesive base must be strong;
  • in models with a seam, it will be necessary to check its integrity, the strength of the sheathing threads;
  • a single plane of the roller without distortions and kinks is checked by analogy with spatula blades – the tool is set with the long side along the viewing angle, the parameter is important when painting smooth surfaces;
  • a knitted coat is used for rough or rough surfaces – plaster or textured walls and ceilings, it absorbs a lot of paint, does not drip;
  • Paint rollers with woven fabric coats are suitable for smooth surfaces: doors, walls and ceilings with finishing putty.

The greater the need for texture, the higher the skin should be – rollers with a length of villi from 1 cm are selected. To give smoothness, short-haired models are used.

textured roller

How to choose brushes for painting

Choosing a brush comes down to determining the quality of the bristle setting:

  • The reliability of the adhesive base of the villi is checked; in case of mass loss, the brush is rejected.
  • It is important that the rim of the pile is protected from corrosion.
  • The evenness of the bristles and the ability to line up in a string are tested dry. These parameters are critical for painting work with a large number of diverse joints and bottlenecks.

If the tool is selected for occasional domestic use, its quality should not be the determining parameter. The correctness of work is ensured even by a tool from China with disposable parts. For professional purposes, work acceleration, wear resistance and tool convenience are important.

Which is better

Sets of optimal characteristics by tool types.

Which spatulas are better

  • reinforced blade clamping platform – the so-called two-component spatula;
  • material – stainless steel;
  • a smooth blade of medium flexibility without potholes and curved parts;
  • rubber handle, located at a slight angle;
  • a straight blade is more convenient than a trapezoidal one.

Which rollers are better

  • smooth plane of the roller, no edge protrusions at the edges;
  • the ability to change coats;
  • a handle made of strong plastic of a standard size – you can check the connector by mounting it on a telescopic stick;
  • fur coat without traces of tears and protruding villi;
  • the pin of the handle, on which the roller is mounted, must be made of stainless steel, otherwise a brown liquid will flow from the skin when working with glue and paint;
  • the end of the roller – in some models it is provided for covering it with a fur coat, it is not suitable for accurate work with corners if the pile length exceeds 0.5 cm, but it is appropriate in velor types.

Which brushes are best

  • Natural bristle brushes are soft and porous. They do not collapse under the influence of oil paints.
  • Synthetic bristles are preferred for working with latex paints.
  • The length of the bristles and the width of the base of the brush is selected for a specific type of work.
  • Coated wooden handles are more comfortable than plastic ones.

Other instrument

  • clamps and clamps should require medium effort – movable or too tight options will complicate the work;
  • soft plastic will quickly fail, hard variations are preferred;
  • the quality of fasteners, welds and joints in mounting guns determines their service life;

In all cases, tool models that are protected against corrosion are preferred – even if use with liquid solutions is not planned. When repairing, the humidity in the premises increases, long-term storage of the tool without protection leads to rust.


Features of using a painting tool do not contribute to its long service life. Liquid solutions, abrasive mixtures and chemicals with constant contact quickly render all types of devices unusable.

Timely cleaning and drying helps to extend the life of the tool. It is important to use tools in accordance with the type of work for which they are intended.

  • If the facade spatula is used to clean floor coverings, the blade will be bent, the corners will be bent, the tool will be unsuitable for puttying work. An uncleaned tool with pieces of dried mortar is also subject to distortion when trying to remove excess. Models that are not resistant to corrosion lose their gloss and become covered with rust spots.
  • Rollers used for priming and working with enamels must be washed immediately after use. It is enough to forget about timely cleaning once to ruin the tool. Working with latex paints also involves constant rinsing so that the material does not settle on the pile in indelible rubberized pieces.
  • Brushes after any work should be washed with solvents or running water, depending on the type of material with which the tool was used.


The painting tool is covered by a standard warranty, which in most cases does not exceed 12 months. Only devices with factory defects can be replaced. Incorrect operation and mechanical damage, including work with coarse-grained abrasive mixtures, are reasons for refusing warranty service.

In most cases, tool owners do not contact service centers. The price category of painting tools implies replacement when the device loses performance, without attempting to repair under warranty.

Faults and repairs

In a painting tool, the most rapid wear occurs on plastic elements – handles, clamps, body. Repair comes down to temporarily fixing the part with masking tape, electrical tape, or a suitable type of glue. Full repair is unprofitable in most cases.

  • Two-component spatulas – the correctness of the blade bend is straightened manually. The quality of the line is determined as when buying. Editing is required if during operation the corners of the spatula are bent or the working plane of the blade is bent. In models with molded plastic handles, such repairs can lead to a complete breakage of the instrument.
  • Mounting guns – the retainer or clamping ring at the bottom of the device wears out. In the first case, the part is replaced with an analogue or a temporary lever is cut out of plastic. Working with the tool will lose speed and comfort. In the event of a broken ring, correct repair without welding is not possible. As a temporary measure, a thick wire is placed instead of the ring.

Other types of painting tools must be disposed of and replaced in case of breakage.

Manufacturers of spatulas and painting tools

List of manufacturers in the budget and average price category.

BIBER is a German instrument manufacturer. Budget series of average quality. Painting tools: spatulas, rollers, brushes. Large dealer network.

FIT is a budget producer. It positions itself as Russian, but the head office of the company is located in Canada. At the heart of the range of electric and pneumatic models. Painting tools are represented by brushes and rollers. Manual models are not guaranteed. Website:

KRAFTOOL is a German manufacturer of all types of professional hand equipment. In the painting series there are one-component spatulas, brushes and scrapers. Warranty terms not announced. Website:

Santool is a wholesale supplier of hand tools, a Moscow-based company. It acts as an aggregator representing models from different manufacturers, but also develops its own brands. Website:

STAYER is a manufacturer from Germany. Specializes in all types of repair equipment. Painting accessories in the middle price segment, reinforced variations with an ergonomic design and rubberized handles. Warranty terms are stated only for power tools – 2 years. Website:

Zubr is a Russian manufacturer of budget equipment for domestic and professional needs. Spatulas are presented in plastic and two-component variations. The standard warranty period is 5 years, but only electric and pneumatic models are mentioned, conditions for painting tools are not specified. Website:

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