What is in a Kitchen Painting Toolbox?
Matthew Evans is one of the original members of Traditional Painter and covers South Wales. He gives us an insight into the tools of his trade in his kitchen painting toolbox.
Ok, this might not be a specific kitchen painting toolbox but I do take it on every kitchen painting and decorating job I do in South Wales. The tools are also not permanent, some fall out of favour, some become much loved and refuse to leave, some look like bits of rubbish, but I swear they all have a use.
For a more audio-visual experience you can watch the video, or continue reading. The article includes some links to products. Some links are affiliate, some, but not all. I purchased every tool myself and there is no sponsorship or marketing deal.
The toolbox is a Festool Systainer
Starting from the top, the toolbox is a Festool Systainer SYS-StorageBox SYS-SB (catchy I know). The Festool Systainers are expensive for what they are and I don’t know if starting again I would go with them. They are lightweight, click together really securely and with a little thought and effort can be customised for whatever you need. But they are expensive for a plastic box and at times feel a little flimsy. That said, in the past 12 years I have not had one break on me.
Cleaning the systainers
This blog-run through my kitchen painting toolbox was prompted by a Spring clean. Now and again I empty the contents of my toolbox and give it a quick hoover, before wiping and spraying it with ViroSol solution. It comes up great, almost like new, and is minty fresh.
I use a dilute mix of Virosol concentrate on kitchens. I have used it neat on stubbon grease around ovens and extractors but would normally dilute it around 50-75ml per 1L of water.
Top compartments for your most used tools
- Putty knife from Hamilton is still going strong. I will be adding another as I don’t always get on with the shape. The curved Bohle looks interesting. If anyone has used it, let me know.
- Linbide Scraper is great for removing flaking paint, runs and levelling 2-pack filler/resin.
- Various wrenches, pliers, nail punch and pincers
- A mouse! The string has a weight at the end and I use it to re-cord sash windows.
- Finally, a tool for opening tubes of silicone/caulk and snipping the nozzle. It’s ok to use but no better than a utility knife.
Tools to the right
- Plastic scrapers which I sometimes use for filling
- I tend to carry a few different kinds of roller sleeve: foam, flocked, medium pile and short, so I have the right sleeve for the surface I am painting. Looks like I need to get a few more in stock!
- Ear pods. I like to listen to podcasts rather than the radio. I take them out when sanding, as I wear ear protectors.
- Tape measure, and disposable gloves for cleaning down/protection.
Here’s a toy for the decorators – Color Reader
I love a gadget and something extra I have picked up is a ColorReader from Tikkurila. It is handy to match colours while on a job and it can assess the accuracy of a colour from a sample or between surfaces. I think it is going to come in handy. There is also a ColorReader Pro version available for around £250 which can be used without a smartphone. Benjamin Moore also have a branded one which will be useful.
Continuing along the top
- I carry mostly brushes in the deep compartment. I use the Royal Langnickel for laying off topcoats, and have various pencil brushes. For general work I tend to go between Purdy and Picasso brushes.
- In the other compartment I have door buffers which I use on kitchen doors after painting.
- Cling film is used to wrap up brushes or rollers if they cannot be cleaned.
- The folding rule is in addition to the tape measure. You know what they say about measure twice cut once!
- I now use prescription safety glasses. I got tired of scratching up cheap glasses so decided to get a proper pair for work. They wrap around and have a detachable foam seal and strap.
Top Drawer of a Festool Sortainer
The next toolbox is a Festool Sortainer SYS 4 TL-SORT/3 (bet you didn’t guess that). Going through the top drawer from left to right…
- Lecia Disto D2 is a laser rule. I was surprised at how accurate it was. It stores, calculates and can connect to your phone.
- Infrared temp sensor helps to assess surfaces and work out any problems.
- A moisture meter is essential to verify that what you are painting is around the 14% level. If the substrate is too wet or too dry, the paintwork could be compromised.
- Assorted tapes: electrical, double sided and duct tape. A drop of super glue to get out of trouble.
- Syringe and needle for wallpaper or adding colour/water to paint.
- Olfa knives including the shark fin is invaluable.
- Finishing off with some pens, pencils and markers.
- I like to use an apron rather than overalls. This was made by my wife (thank you @zolly ).
- Assorted blades and snap box for knives. I carry Olfa and NT Cutter blades.
- Axus Tack Cloth is great for removing those final specks of sanding dust from surfaces.
- Wera Kraftform Kompakt screwdriver is a top quality tool, and holds 6 bits in the handle.
- Charger cables for phone and EarPods. I also have wired earphones for when the battery runs out.
- Glass cleaner and razor blades. The Mirka Shark blade is made of carbide steel and will remove nibs and runs. I use it sometimes, but not often.
- Finally, ear plugs, because after a couple of hours of using a RO90 sander with extractor your ears will thank you for the protection.
This is used mainly for storing abrasives and some filler. Left to right…
- Granat blocks and fine hand sanding paper.
- Hamilton 3-knot dust brush and a sanding tool I made up to reach into tight spaces.
- Mirka Goldflex 150 and 240 grit with some Hamilton Perfection Filling Knives. I have had these for over 10 years and still think they are the best knives around.
- Finally Helmi fine finish filler.
Like I said at the beginning, all these tools get moved around. I add some things and take others away but generally this is everything I will need for most days.
These 2 boxes stay with me all day, but I will bring in a specific masking toolbox, filling toolbox, drill driver or sander from the van and take them back to the van when finished.
If you have any questions, you can contact me various ways. Easiest is at email@example.com
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