Post details: Decorative Painting Essentials


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Decorative Painting Essentials

Here are a few helpful hints and a handy list of the first supplies you'll need to get started in decorative painting.

Decorative PaintingPerhaps you've just completed your first painting class, which you thoroughly enjoyed, and you've set your sights on more. Before you make the next move, you'll need to gather a few basic supplies. Follow along as we share several alternatives for stocking up.


Start Simple

We came up with the Basic Supplies list here after conducting an unscientific poll of decorative painters who teach beginning classes. These are the supplies they say you're likely to find most useful. Most items are available at arts and crafts stores.

The first time you browse for brushes, you'll be overwhelmed by the huge variety of shapes and sizes. But before you dive into the brush display, keep in mind that you need only a handful to begin. Your best bet is to opt for high-quality brushes, despite their higher cost. They'll last longer and yield superior results. If you're just starting out, consider a sponge brush for sealing, base-coating, and finishing; a few flat brushes for base-coating, floating, and highlighting; and at least one round brush and one liner brush for applying details and lettering. When selecting brushes for a project, a basic rule is to use the sizes that best fit the design areas.

When choosing paint, start with primary or medium-value colors. Throw in a few bottles of basic black and white, and the possibilities for mixing colors are endless. Expand your collection further with an array of premixed colors.

For your convenience, we included a brush tub in our Basic Supplies. It does double duty by allowing you to store brushes at your painting station in addition to rinsing them. But you easily could get by with rinsing your brushes in cups or jars. For blotting brushes, cotton rags work as well as paper towels. They also can be moistened for wiping off sanding dust if you don't own a tack cloth. Freezer paper is a great alternative to a palette or Styrofoam plate for squeezing on paint.

Basic Supplies

1" sponge
#12 synthetic flat
#6 synthetic flat
#2 synthetic flat
#5 synthetic round
#1 synthetic liner

Acrylic Paint
- Black
- White
- Primary colors (yellow, red, blue)
- Medium-value colors

- Brush tub
- Stylus (double-ended is best)
- Sandpaper (100- and 150-grit)
- Tack cloth
- Paper towels
- Styrofoam plate or tray
- Wood sealer/finisher
- Pencil or chalk
- Tracing paper

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