A Practical Tool Guide for First-Time Homeowners: Part 2



Continuing on the theme (see Part 1 here) of what every new homeowner should posses in terms of home improvement tools, equipment, and supplies, here’s Part 2 of “A Practical Tool Guide for First-Time Homeowners:”

Basic Painting Kit
Painting is a very easy home improvement task and after a few trials even you can be an expert.  Painting is all about surface prep, so make sure you have a quality scraper, sander (as mentioned in Part I) and sandpaper (Woodzone.com has a nice primer on sanding).  

You’ll also need good quality paint brushes and rollers; Purdy makes some of the best brushes on the market and I like the XL Brush Series (in 1 inch, 2 1/2 inch, and 4 inch variants).  You can also wash and re-use Purdy paintbrushes provided you do so right after use (don’t let the brushes sit over night with paint). 

I’ve been using Benjamin Moore paint for years and I like the consistency and quality of their paint (remember to use eggshell for walls, semi gloss for trim, and flat for ceiling).  If you’re painting new wood, bare metal, or doing exterior painting, then you’ll need to apply a good primer and at least two coats of paint (I like Zinsser’s Bull’s Eye 1-2-3 Primer-Sealer). 

You’ll also need a paint tray if you’re using a roller (which I recommend for wall and ceilings).  Your basic hardware store tray is just fine (can be plastic and you don’t need to spend extra on metal but you’ll want to make sure the tray is stable).  Spare rags are also a necessity given the inevitable spill or errant paint stroke.

Oils, Cleaners, Caulk, and Tape
Let’s start with a good caulk gun (The NewBorn Brothers 250 is a solid choice) which is essential for running new silicone in the bathroom for tile or sealing the exterior of windows to prevent cold air from entering your home.  I like to have three basic tubes of caulks/glue on hand at all times, including tub/tile caulk, latex caulk (for painting jobs), and Acrylic (DAP) for weatherproofing. 

Liquid Nails is a nice overall bonding agent that you can use for tons of things around the house.  WD-40 is essential for lubricating metal, et. al. 

On the cleaning side, start with a couple of bars of Lava Soap for cleaning hands and some all purpose white vinegar (diluted with water) for general cleaning of walls, windows, etc.  Mineral spirits are good for cleaning metals, oils, and greases. 

In terms of good household tapes to have handy, I always try to keep multiple roles of duct tape, electrical tape, masking tape, clear plastic tape,and blue painter’s tape.

Wheelbarrow, Air Compressor, and Generator
You never know when you’ll have to transport something heavy or extra dirt around you backyard, so it’s nice to have a wheelbarrow handy if you have the space in your garage or basement, the Jackson WheelBarrow is a fine choice (opt for a metal bucket and a heavy-duty tire and handles). 

A generator can come in handy in case of a power outage, but it will most likely hang around collecting dust (get one if you have spare cash hanging around, but in my view it’s not a priority unless you live in a remote area, in a Hurricane zone, etc.). 

I don’t personally own an air compressor kit, but there have been plenty of times I wished I had an air compressor to inflate my car’s tire or use as a nailer during a carpentry project.  Lowes’ carries an extensive lineup of air compressors and tools.

Workbench and Vice
It’s nice to have a dedicated workshop if possible, including a large vice (TooledUp.com has many bench vices for sale) and workbench (CompMark makes a solid bench) for working with tools and storage purposes.

Note: The views expressed herein are solely my own and should not be attributed to my employer in any way. This site is not maintained utilizing my employer’s resources or on company time.


  1. shrink wrappers

    So nice to read a well written article

  2. my advice is do not skimp on the bathroom! it is the most intimate part of the house which gives a Luxury

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