Tools required for your own decorating project 


Some basic information about the tools required for anyone who is planning on completing their own project.

 Stripping Knife (Scraper)

A stripping knife (or scraper) is used to remove old wallpaper, flaking paint & other loose debris from surfaces to be decorated. They are available in a range of sizes.



Filling Knife

A Filling Knife looks very similar to a Stripping Knife. It is used to apply fillers, as part of the preparation process. The blade is made of thinner metal which makes it flexible, allowing manipulation of the filler.


Dusting Brush

Dusting Brushes have soft bristles which are ideal for removing dust, grit & other fine debris from surfaces before applying paint. You could use an old paintbrush for this purpose but because the bristles are firmer, it will not be as effective.

Abrasive Paper

Abrasive paper (or sandpaper) is used to abrade a surface to remove imperfections & leave a smooth finish to receive the paint. Available in different levels of grit, from 60 (very course) to 320 (very fine). The most common grades for general decorating work would be between 80 & 180 grit.


Ideally, you would need at least one crosshead (phillips) & one slotted screwdriver. They are used to remove fixtures & fittings such as switches, sockets & door handles etc. before starting your preparation work.

Paint Brushes

A 2 inch paint brush would be a good size for most tasks, but it would be better to have a selection of various sizes for different uses . When buying a paintbrush it is always better to spend a bit more money on a quality brush as it will show in the finished result. Please note that synthetic brushes are better for water-based finishes (emulsions etc.) & pure bristles are better for oil-based (glosses etc.)

Paint Rollers

A roller can quickly & effectivly coat large areas with paint. They are available in many shapes & sizes but a 9 inch roller with a medium pile sleeve would be a good place to start. Mini rollers are also available for hard to reach areas such as behind radiators.


Roller Tray/Scuttle

Roller trays/scuttles hold the paint when using a roller. They are usually made from plastic & are designed to ensure even coverage of the roller sleeve with paint.



Pliers are used to remove nails, wire clips & picture hooks before decorating.



Paste Brush

Also known as a 'Flat Wall' brush. They are primarily used to apply paste to wallpaper but can also be used for washing down & 'sizing' walls. Sizes range from around 4 inches to 7 inches. 


 Paper Hanging Brush

The paper hanging brush is used to smooth out & remove air bubbles between the wallcovering & the surface to which it is being applied


Spirit Level

A spirit level is used to draw a perfectly vertical line for the first length of wallpaper to be aligned to. This ensures the the following lengths will all remain straight.




Scissors/Shears are used for cutting & trimming wall coverings.They must be kept sharp or the result could be damage to the wall paper.


Trimming Knife

A trimming knife can be used as an alternative to scissors/shears. It is most effective when used with a caulking blade for trimming wallpaper. The blades are designed to be snapped off to ensure that you always have a sharp edge for cutting.

Pasting Table

A pasting table is a long, sturdy table made from wood, metal or plastic. It can be folded down for easier storage & transportation. It is used to support wallpaper during preparation, cutting & pasting.


Caulking Board

A caulking board can be used instead of a paper hanging brush when hanging fabrics or vinyl wallpapers. They can also be used as a straight edge when trimming wallpaper with a trimming knife.

Tape Measure

A retractable metal tape measure is an important part of any toolkit. They are available in a variety of sizes & are used to measure the lengths of wallpaper before cutting to size.