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Decorating Tools

These are the tools you’ll need for your decorating toolbox. All these tools are available at almost every home improvement center, paint store, and hardware store.


CARPENTER’S OR LASER LEVEL: A carpenter’s level contains two or more bubble gauges used to check the level of work surfaces. A laser level creates level, square lines on any surface.

HAMMER: Designed for driving, setting, and pulling nails, hammers are essential. A 16- ounce, curved claw hammer with a high-carbon steel head and a handle made of hickory fiberglass, or solid steel is a practical choice for typical home repairs.

DRILL: Variable-speed reversing drills are handy for driving and removing screws, nuts, and bolts, as well as for drilling holes and stirring paint. For most decorating projects, a medium- voltage cordless drill is a good choice. Look for features such as a keyless chuck, adjustable clutch, and electronic level.

CORDLESS SCREWDRIVER: For small projects, cordless power screwdrivers are a great alternative to standard screwdrivers. These tools come with a universal 1/4" drive as well as a slotted bit and a #2 Phillips bit. Other bits, such as Torx and square drive, are also available.

POWER SANDERS: Sanders smooth surfaces to be painted or decorated.

SCREWDRIVERS: Standard screwdrivers--both slotted and Phillips--are essential. Choose quality screwdrivers with hardened-steel blades and easy-to-grip handles. Insulated handles protect you from electric shock, and oxide-coated tips provide a strong hold on screw heads.

TAPE MEASURES: A high-quality retractable steel tape measure will last for decades. Choose a tape that has a locking mechanism and a belt clip. Make sure the tape you choose has a standout of at least 7 ft.

STUD FINDER: A stud finder has an indicator that lights up when it passes over a stud.

AWL: An awl is a tool that has a metal shaft with a sharpened end. It is used to poke holes in drywall and other surfaces when drilling a pilot hole isn’t necessary.

NAIL SET: This is a metal shaft with a rounded end that is used to drive finish nails below a work surface.

DRYWALL KNIVES (“PUTTY” KNIVES): These knives have thin, somewhat flexible blades attached to sturdy handles. They are used to spread sparkle and drywall compound and can also be used to scrape away debris before cleaning walls or filling holes.

RAZOR KNIFE: A razor knife is a sharp, retractable, disposable blade in a sturdy handle.

If you see a yellow toolbox in a materials list, it means that some or all of the above tools are needed to get that particular job done.




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