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Tools for decorating – how many?

Listed under Blog, Equipment Posted Aug 22 2011

We all need good tools for decorating, but sometimes we get a bit too specialised and end up with way too much in the tool box. It’s not our fault, it’s the rest of them.

I was struck by how many pockets certain painters pant manufacturers have crammed into their creations. If every pouch and loop in a pair of Armor or Blaklader trousers was actually occupied with tools for decorating, I doubt I could move. And if I could move, it would take me a lifetime to remember where every particular tool was located.

I try to keep re-decorating really simple. One task, one tool or one set of tools. When I have finished the task, put the tools away in the appropriate place (tool box or kitbox/bag) and go on to the next task with the appropriate tools.

So when I taped up the floor and trim, I had a bag of masking tapes, paper, tape and drape and tape dispensers. I took a pair of scissors from my toolbox. Also the only tool I always have with me in my trouser pocket, an * Olfa sharks fin knife – my utility tool of choice.

When the taping has been completed, I pack up all that kit in the bag and take it out the way. Scissors back in toolbox.

Next job was filling big dings.

So I get the appropriate filler, a filling knife and caulker blade from the toolbox – and I fill. When I am done, put that filler away, and then deal with cracks with a different filler. Out comes the utility knife to cut out loose plaster… When I am done, put filler and knives away and on this job, I picked up my taping bag again, and finished taping up the windows and doors while the fillers dried.

All this time, the work area is fairly empty, and I have had only one tool constantly in my pocket – the Olfa sharks fin knife.

Same with sanding. Clear everything out except sanding kit and abrasives.

I don’t own a dusting brush, vacuums work much much better. I don’t carry screws and drivers and tin tacks just in case… I’m not a cricket umpire! The paraphenalia stays in the tool box until needed, used and replaced.

It is a constant battle of self discipline to keep everything in its place, so you dont waste time looking for stuff. Depending on time of day, or mood or whats been going on, it isn’t always clinically clean, but you have to try. It is especially tough when you don’t work alone.

I can see the Blaklader pouch pockets being very good for paperhanging purposes, but for general painting and decorating, for me, painters pants are not so much about the number of pockets for holding endless amounts of decorating tools. I just want them to fit right.

Blaklader work kilt

I own and wear Blaklader painters trousers, as well as Snickers, but no, I am not confident enough to wear this work kilt on site, even if it does hold enough tools for a small army of decorators.

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