The 5 Best Types of Ladders for Painting Your House

ladder for painting

Painting your house can be daunting—but hiring someone else to do it can be quite expensive.

Still, that doesn’t mean painting your house becomes any easier just because you’re saving money—especially if you’re scared of heights!

But what if we told you that painting your house doesn’t have to be a chore? With the right equipment, you can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

What does this mean for you—it means that you don’t have to worry about all the hassle!

Sure, it will still be work, but you can actually have fun doing it when you cut out all the unnecessary steps!

And the first step to doing that is getting the right equipment.

And perhaps nothing is more important in this regard than getting the right painting ladder.

That’s right—the ladder you choose can make or break your job!

The good news is that finding the right ladder for your paint project doesn’t have to be difficult.

In fact, we’ve put together all the information you’ll need to buy the ladder that’s right for you.

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The 5 Best Ladders for Painting House


From repairing roofs to cleaning gutters, housework often requires ladders.

And if you’ve got the wrong one, you could find yourself on the wrong side of a dangerous fall.

Don’t end up flat on your back because you chose the wrong ladder for your job.

Remember, always put your safety first, and that means making sure that you have the right tools for the job!

Below, we’ll show you the five best ladders for your next paint job!

In addition to promoting certain products, we also found it useful to break down the different types of ladders that can be used for painting your house.

With these great ladders, you can make your next project the best one yet!

So without further ado, let’s look at the five best kinds of ladders for painting your house!

1- Louisville Step Ladder L-3016-06

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What makes step ladders so special is that they don’t really have a stand-out feature. Instead, they prove to be great for a variety of different purposes.

And while this means they don’t have any strong benefits in one certain area, it also means they don’t have significant drawbacks, either.

Even better, step ladders are fairly common and familiar to most, making them a safe and traditional option.

Because of their A-frame with a platform on top, they also provide a little room to work on. This also increases its stability.

This makes them perfect for those who are looking for a little more room to work with.

That being said, it’s important to remember that the platform found on a step ladder is nowhere near the size of that as those found on platform ladders.

If you’re looking to maximize platform space, consider going with a platform ladder instead.

Another great benefit of step ladders is that they can be folded up for easier carrying and storage.

This makes them a great choice for those who are looking to save space while also using a dependable ladder.

That being said, not all step ladders are created equal. One of the most popular quality brands of step ladders is the Louisville Ladder. 

This incredible brand offers the stability and strength you need to get the job done!

The Louisville Ladder L-3016-06 model proves to be at the of the line for step ladders on the market. It boasts a strong, sturdy frame that never shakes bends.

Additionally, it comes with beautiful fiberglass rails that add to its strength and durability.

What’s more, its slip-resistant surface helps ensure that you don’t fall while working, and its pinch-resistant spreader helps keep your fingers out of harm.

Just be mindful, however, that this package does come in at about twenty pounds—a weight we think is well worth it.

ProsCons
• 6 Feet
• 300 lbs capacity
• Nonconductive rails
• Slip-resistant rubber feet
• Molded top with handyman slots
• Sturdy, safe and heavy-duty construction
• Bit heavy

2- Flip-N-Lite Platform Ladder 15270-001

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Platform painting ladders are among the most common ladders used for painting. This is because they’re some of the most useful.

Platform painting ladders come complete with an A-configuration with a large platform on top—giving you room to stand and put your tools.

This makes them incredibly useful and comfortable for painting projects.

Even better, because of their A-configuration, they have great stability, making them one of the safest options on the market.

And because you have enough room to maneuver and use your tools, they give you the space you need to stay safe.

Platform ladders are most commonly used when the painting project requires that one stands in the same spot for an extended length of time.

If you’re looking for a platform ladder, you can’t go wrong with the Flip-N-Lite 15270-001 model.

This ladder is incredibly easy to use, making it one of the most customer-friendly on the market.

Its setup and use are so quick and simple that you’ll save minutes of unnecessary hassle while working on your project.

What’s more, with this ladder, you can get up to six feet of additional height, giving you the reach you need to work even the most complicated of projects.

In addition, because of its ingenious construction, the entire ladder weighs less than fifteen pounds.

That’s right—this strong, sturdy ladder can be easily carried around so that you can get the most out of your project.

Of course, it comes with some other benefits common to platform ladders.

It’s easy to open and fold, allowing you to quickly set it up when it’s time to work—and to fold it up and save space when the job is done.

ProsCons
• Lightweight
• Tall handrail
• Handy tool tray
• Easy to open, close and store
• Huge, secure standing platform
• Heavy duty with ANSI duty rating
• Wobbly

3- Louisville Extension Ladder FE3216

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Extension ladders are your average, stereotypical ladders that can be extended for greater reach.

However, unlike the other options on this list, they’re a bit limited in what they can do.

The main drawback to an extension ladder is that they don’t have an A-frame. This means that they must be leaning against a wall or other surface in order to be useful.

This can make it difficult to stand on them and get the job done—but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective.

With the right attention to detail, you can use an extension ladder to safely paint your house.

However, do keep in mind that because of its design, you may not always have the best angle to use them.

Because of that, you may want to consider getting one of the great kinds of ladders below!

If you do want to get an extension ladder, however, the Louisville Ladder FE3216 is about as good as they come.

This incredible extension ladder is particularly useful if you’re looking to paint a 2 story house.

What really sets it apart from other extension ladders is its emphasis on safety.

As mentioned, these ladders must lean against something else for support. However, the Louisville Ladder FE3216 goes the extra mile by having swiveling safety shoes attached to the bottom.

This gives it a firmer grip on the ground, making it safer for you as you use it.

But that’s not all. Because the rails are made from fiberglass, you won’t have to worry about it conducting any electricity and knocking you off.

What’s more, its latch rungs are safe and secure—and don’t take long to latch. This helps you stay safe as you are working.

Its main drawback is that it doesn’t have a very high maximum weight capacity.

The Louisville Ladder FE3216 can only support up to 300 pounds, so be careful not to exceed this limit when working.

Despite this, it still proves to be more than strong enough for most people who are going to use it.

ProsCons
• Durable
• Nonconductive rails
• Steel swivel safety shoe
• Lock with quick latch system
• Comfortable D-shaped rungs
• Available in varied heights to choose
• Comparatively heavy
• Shipping damage issues

4- Little Giant Multi-Use Articulating Ladder 15422-001

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Articulating ladders are truly the ladders of the twenty-first century.

These incredible ladders pack a punch by combining the best of all other worlds.

Want a step ladder you can step on? Simply unfold your ladder and put it into an A-configuration.

Need a little extra height? Extend it so that you can start reaching higher places.

Whether you choose to fold out your ladder or extend it, you’ll be able to get an incredible number of uses out of it.

This makes the articulating ladder one of the most popular for those painting their houses.

Because of their ability to perform a variety of different functions, they’re perfect for getting the job done.

Whether you’re painting outside and need a little more reach, or on the inside and want a more stable way to paint up the staircase, articulating ladders can fold out to suit your needs.

Keep in mind, however, that some articulating ladders are better than others.

Little Giant is a famed ladder-making company that has one of the best articulating ladders on the market.

Their Multi-Use 15422-001 model proves to be one of the best on the market—reaching up to 19 feet.

What’s more, it allows you to get extremely close to the walls you’re working on because of its 90-degree design.

This makes your job easier while giving you the added support you need to stay safe.

Even better, because you can adjust the height, it can actually be used as a staircase of sorts to bring you higher and higher up as you work.

Because locking the ladder into place when you extend it is very easy and simple to do, you won’t have to worry about it collapsing under you.

This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re working safely—improving your accuracy and efficiency as you work.

Its main drawback is one that you’ll find with other articulating ladders.

Because of its height and the number of different functions it can perform, it does carry a bit extra weight—twenty-one whole pounds of it.

This can make them a bit difficult to use when going around the house, but when one considers the vast number of different functions they can perform, this doesn’t seem to be unreasonable.

ProsCons
• Wide-flared legs
• Easy on stairs as well
• Can be extended up to 19-foot
• Unmatched stability and durability
• Palm & hinge system-triple-locking hinge
• Heavy
• Difficult to use

5- Ohuhu 12.5 FT Telescopic Lightweight Ladder

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Lightweight telescopic ladders can be unfolded to extend their length, giving you access to higher reaches in no time.

And because of their aluminum frame, they don’t weigh much—making them easier to carry around.

The biggest benefit of using one of these ladders is that they can be unfolded for a much greater reach.

The biggest drawback is that their thin frame and design can often raise red flags in terms of safety.

What’s more, with these ladders, you’ll need to securely lock each rung into place in order to maintain any extension—this makes user ability a much greater factor in determining safety.

One small mistake can make your painting project much more dangerous than before.

That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t quality options on the market. Ladder-making company Ohuhu, for instance, is known for its safe and effective telescopic ladders.

The Ohuhu 12.5 FT Telescopic Lightweight Ladder is one such example.

Made from aluminum, this incredible ladder extends as high as 12.5 feet, making it one of the most useful ladders on our list.

Despite this, it proves to be especially portable and lightweight, making it incredibly easy to use.

And if the thought of climbing 12.5 feet in the air scares you—don’t worry.

Ohuhu has built-in a number of different safety features into the ladder so that you can enjoy a safe climb and a resounding peace of mind!

ProsCons
• Sturdy & light
• One button retraction
• Easy to open, close and use
• Made of premium aluminum alloy
• Non-slip end caps and extra-wide steps
• Not very durable

What to Look For When Buying?


The best ladders all share certain qualities—it’s just they specialize in different areas.

Finding the right one for your project will require considering each of these categories and seeing just how they relate to your project!

So what do you need to look at when choosing a ladder? Consider the following!

1- Stability

Picture it: it’s a clear day. The sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, and you’re painting your house.

Everything’s going perfectly—that is until a strong gust comes in and knocks your ladder over.

That’s a scenario that we hope you never have to experience. And we’re sure that you don’t want it to happen to you, either.

That’s why the stability of your ladder is so important. The more stable your ladder is, the more easily and safely you can navigate while painting.

This gives you the flexibility to give your house the perfect coating—and the confidence that you won’t fall while doing so.

2- Height

Next, you’ll need to make sure the ladder is high enough for your project.

It seems obvious enough, but you’d be surprised that many people find out a bit too late that their ladder isn’t quite up for the job.

You can avoid this by having a specific measurement for your ladder upfront.

This will ensure that no matter the brand you choose, you’ll be able to get the perfect fit for your house-painting project!

3- Weight

Painting your house won’t be easy. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.

To cut down on the hassle, consider getting a sturdy ladder that doesn’t weigh a whole lot.

Trust us—this will make it much easier as you take your ladder around the house to paint.

Not only will a heavy ladder be burdensome, but it can easily slow you down and sap the necessary energy.

This means that getting a light-weight ladder can be a great way to boost your work efficiency and help you get the job done faster!

Not only that, but you’ll have more fun doing it!

4- Strength

When painting your drywalls, ceilings, or even the exteriors of your home, you’ll want your ladder to be strong.

In other words, it’s going to need to be able to support your weight for extended periods of time.

Be careful not to avoid checking your ladder’s weight limit, as this can lead to unsafe situations.

By buying the ladder appropriate for your weight, you can paint more safely.

You’ll want to make sure, however, that you’re not letting the strength of the ladder conflict with its weight.

Try to find the best combination of strength and weight to maximize productivity.

5- Material

Another factor that affects the stability and the weight capacity of your ladder is the material it’s made of.

Obviously, the stronger the ladder, the more weight it can hold.

What’s more, the right materials will give your ladder greater strength and help ensure that it’s more stable.

Another, less commonly considered, effect of the construction materials is the weight of the ladder.

You don’t want a ladder that’s too heavy or cumbersome to move—and that may be just what you get if you grab one made of the wrong material.

For this reason, consider getting an aluminum ladder. Aluminum boasts high durability while being relatively low-weight.

This means that you can get the best of both worlds.

6- Portable

Many homeowners consider renting a ladder, rather than buying – even when it comes at a fraction of cost than what they will pay as a rent.

This is because they do not have extra space for storing it after finishing the paint job.

With a compact design and easy to carry handle, today’s ladders are highly adjustable, as well as convenient to store and transport.

If you choose to pick carefully from these varieties you can even store them under a bed, in a closet, or in the trunk of your car.

7- Price

You don’t want to go over-budget choosing a ladder.

The good news is that you shouldn’t have to. With several quality ladders on the market for a great price, you can have your pick!

Ultimately, your price range will depend on your budget. If you’re looking for a quality ladder that won’t break the bank, however, you’re in luck!

One of our options above (Flip-N-Lite) is a solid choice for those who are looking to get the job done efficiently and cheaply!


What Are Ladders Made Of?


Several materials can be used in the design of the ladder, depending on its purpose and the area in which it will be used.

One of the most common materials used for construction and painting ladders is aluminum.

Its advantages are numerous, as it is a lightweight, versatile, and corrosion-resistant compound.

Still, the main downside of having an aluminum ladder is the fact that aluminum is an electricity conductor. This means you can’t use such ladders in all types of spaces.

An aluminum ladder should never be installed on electrical projects or areas nearby electrical lines or voltage sources.

Another material used in ladders is fiberglass. This is recommended especially for electrical projects, as fiberglass can’t conduct electricity when dry.

Besides, such ladders stand out due to their durability and ability to withstand a lot of damage.

Keep in mind that plenty of fiberglass ladder manufacturers include metal fasteners in their designs, which makes those ladders unsuitable for electrical projects or areas nearby voltage sources.

Besides aluminum and fiberglass, other materials used in the design of a ladder might be steel or plastic. These are common in step stools.


Parts of a Ladder


A step ladder may seem like a simple device, but it does consist of several parts.

Understanding the different parts and roles they play will not only help you appreciate your step ladder even more.

It will also inform you of identifying parts that may need to be replaced.

1. Cap

The top of the ladder, it is generally not designed to be stood upon. Instead, it is a good place to put tools and other items that are needed.

You may find that some caps have recesses that allow you to place paint buckets, brushes, or other tools for better security.

2. Rear Side Rails

This is the opposite side of the ladder that does not have steps despite its appearance.

It basically allows the ladder to stand on its own without having to lean against a wall.

Straight ladders are meant to lean against walls, but a stand-alone ladder will have the rear side rails present.

3. Shoes

This is the part of the ladder which sits on the ground. The shoes protect the bottom of the ladder while helping to provide a stable platform.

This is because most shoes are made from slip-resistant plastic or rubber to grip the ground firmly.

Before stepping on your ladder, be sure that the shoes are in place and not damaged.

4. Spreaders

These are the brackets in the middle of the ladder that connect both sides.

As the name implies, you can use the brackets to spread apart the ladder so it will stand on its own.

You’ll need to keep the brackets clean so they can operate properly.

5. Steps

This is what you use to get up the ladder. The steps themselves will be well-marked and often feature slip-proof pads to ensure good footing.

You’ll want some type of pad or grade on the steps as maintaining proper balance is important.

Watch for any cracks or bending in the steps as this may weaken the steps to a dangerous degree.

Understanding the different parts of a ladder will help you better understand how it works, what to inspect, and when to replace when needed.


Characteristics of A Good Ladder?


When buying, it is often advised that not all ladders are the same, which means the features and accessories might differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Still, a couple of the characteristics mentioned below might aid you in deciding which ladder is the best solution for you.

1- Folding work shelf:

Various step ladders come with this characteristic in their design.

It is meant to allow you to access tools or materials while working on it.

2- Notches/ holes:

Depending on the ladder’s design, it might come with this characteristic.

Such features are useful for those that want to `hold` compatible accessories on the ladder.

Mainly, notches or holes are meant to accommodate platforms, buckets, trays, or paint cups.

As an example, you can look at the Werner D6228-2 ladder, which has a design that encompasses pierced holes and nooks.

This permit you attach various accessories on it, like ole lashes, v-rung assembly, or a cable hook.

3- Leveling system:

If you’re planning to purchase an extension ladder, you should know that one of its features include the ability to adjust and use the ladder on uneven surfaces.

Moreover, some manufacturers include a built-in bubble level to aid you to verify if the ladder is adjusted correctly.

Keep in mind that most of the distributors sell levelers meant to match their ladder models.

4- Stabilizer:

Any professional worker should use this tool on a ladder. It represents a wide tubular accessory with non-skid rubber pads.

It can be joined to the top of an extension ladder so that it boosts stability. It is an excellent addition for those working next to windows, eaves, or high walls.

Properly stabilizing your ladder is also essential when you are painting your stairs and stairwell.


What Does Ladder Duty Rating Mean?


When it’s about deciding how much is the maximum weight that a specific ladder can handle, it’s defined in terms of duty rating or load capacity rating of a ladder.

Simply speaking, ladder duty ratings are the measure of the maximum amount of weight that a specific ladder can handle without getting it down.

This generally depends on the ladder-type, material it is made of, its size and various other factors.

When purchasing a painting ladder it’s good to use the weight of the heaviest individual that will be using the ladder.

Make sure you also count the weight of the construction or paint supplies that will need to be carried while using the ladder.

In general, the ladder duty ratings are categorized into five by the American Ladder Institute and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These are:

TypeMaximum LoadUsage
IAA – Extra Heavy Duty375 lbs.High-impact industrial use
IA – Extra Heavy Duty300 lbs.High-impact industrial use
I – Heavy Duty250 lbs.Industrial applications
II – Medium Duty225 lbs.Commercial painter, handyman, etc.
III – Light Duty200 lbs.General household

How to Choose A Good Ladder for Paint Project?


If you aim to select the perfect ladder for your situation, you should use the answers to the next set of questions:

  • Will you use the ladder indoors, outdoors, or both?
  • What type of work will you be doing while using the ladder?
  • Will you use your ladder next to electrical sources?
  • Will you require a lot of weight to be supported by the ladder?
  • What is the maximum height you aim to achieve?

Keep in mind that height is an important factor in selecting a ladder, especially when you are looking forward to painting your two-story house.

The highest standing level on a stepladder that assures you will work on it safely is two steps down from the top.

If you step higher than this limit, you are at risk of falling off it.

Moreover, the maximum safe reach height recommended for most ladders is four feet higher than the total length of the ladder.

This means that you need to calculate the distance you are planning to reach before purchasing the product.

As an example, if you aim to access a 10-foot high ceiling, you’ll have to purchase a ladder of at least 6-foot for safety purposes.

When it comes to extension ladders, you will have to select a ladder that is 7 to 10 feet longer than the expected contact point of the surface you’ll use it on.

Moreover, the recommended standing level of an extension ladder is four steps below the top.

Our advice is to always test a ladder before purchasing it. For step ladders, you should look at how it reacts when you change your weight from one leg to another.

For a multi-purpose ladder, you should carefully assess the locks and how they react to adjustments.

Besides, it is highly recommended to opt for products with slip-resistant rungs to diminish the chances of having an accident.

step stool vs step ladder

Step Ladder Vs Step Stool: What is the Difference?


While it may seem obvious to you, there is actually a strong difference of opinion when it comes to step stools and step ladders.

That is understandable because the basic function, size, and appearance are quite similar.

But there are differences that while seemingly subtle is important to know and fully understand before using either item when painting or working at home.

Step Ladder:

This is a ladder that is self-supporting and creates a V-shape when each half has been set and the ladder is ready for use.

There are no rungs on a step ladder, but there are steps or treads where you can stand.

Step Stool:

While similar in many ways to a step ladder, the main difference is that a step stool is really more of a stool than a ladder.

While it may not look quite like a typical stool, the basic concept is that a step stool sits low on the floor for maximum support.

Even if it does share some common traits with a step ladder, such as unfolding to a V-shape with steps instead of rungs.

The Differences

Despite the many similarities, there are some important differences between step ladders and step stools.

1- Indoors & Outdoors:

The general design of the step ladder makes it better suited for outdoor use.

This is because the design of the footing tends to be more versatile and suited to sidewalks and even bare ground that may have uneven surfaces.

Step stools are generally better indoors on flooring which allows the wide base to sit firmly.

So, you can use step ladders outdoors and step stools indoors for painting interior walls and ceilings.

2- Height:

This may be the most noticeable difference is that step ladders are generally taller than step stools.

A step ladder has the appearance of a smaller standard ladder while a step stool looks more like a somewhat taller stool with a couple of steps added.

The additional height of a step ladder makes it better suited to being used outdoors.

3- Size:

In addition to being taller, a step ladder is generally larger overall and is primarily designed for more tasks compared to a step stool.

The additional size also means that step ladders tend to be heavier compared to step stools.

4- Versatile:

Here, the step stool is arguably more versatile compared to a step ladder.

This is because a step ladder has a single, primary task while a step stool may have several tasks inside the home.

From its basic function of allowing you to step a little higher to being used as shelves, a side stand, and more, step stools are quite versatile on their own.

Step ladders tend to be tougher, more durable, and less likely to be designed to be well-suited to match your kitchen or home décor.

You’ll find step ladders with generally a higher rating for construction use and have better impact resistance as well.

Add to that the weight limits which are more restrictive on step stools and the differences between the items become quite apparent.

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Important Safety Recommendations When Using A Ladder for Painting


Now when we have already discussed (nearly everything) about painting step ladders and stools, let’s not forget about the precautions and safety tips when using them for interior or exterior house painting.

Besides being a useful device, a construction ladder can lead to several risks associated with reaching too high.

So, the following ladder safety recommendations should always be followed:

If you’re using an extension ladder, it is best always to check the locking mechanism prior to climbing on it. A safe ladder should have no cracks, bends, or any loose bolts and rivets.

Also, check the steps of the ladder you are using is clean. Oil, dirt, debris, etc on the steps of the ladder can reduce friction and can be a reason for unfortunate accidents. Better clean the ladder before you use it.

Do not carry excess paint than needed, when you are climbing the ladder. When up on a ladder and want to hold a paint-can, use a “ladder hook for paint can” or a “holder hook hanger” that allows you to work freely.

Besides, also make sure:

  • You always check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to use the ladder safely and efficiently
  • You follow the 3-point rule, stating that your body, hand, and foot should always be positioned on the ladder at all times
  • You use a step stool for painting (instead of the ladder) wherever possible. These are good for painting the walls and surfaces that are not too tall
  • You always use safety gear if you’re planning to use the ladder to work at 10-feet off the ground
  • You check the non-skid caps at the bottom of your ladder are functional and don’t have any damage that might impact their functionality

Can you use a ladder for painting stairs?

Using a ladder for painting hall stairs and landing can be a bit tricky. It’s important that you follow all the safety measures and tips before you use them to paint the staircases. Do not ever wear the slippery shoes or sandals, place the ladder firmly on the stair, do not put the legs of a ladder at the step edge, etc.

What kind of ladder is best for painting over stairs?

To safely use the ladder on stairs, it’s important that the rear legs of the ladder are at a shorter angle than the front legs. A step ladder is, therefore, best to work on uneven structures like stairs. This will provide better support, sturdiness, and security to a painter painting the stairs.

Is it good to use ladder for painting high exterior walls?

For painting or repairing high exterior walls, you will most probably need to get a very tall A-frame ladder. If you want better support and stability you may consider investing in scaffolding that is specifically designed for exterior painting and construction.

The Bottom Line

Finding the right ladder for your paint project doesn’t have to be a headache!

By looking into the five kinds of ladders above, you can make your next house painting project easier than you thought possible!

The hardest part? Choosing which one of the great ladders above is best for you!

Keep in mind that the ladder that’s right for you might not be the same for everyone.

This means that it’s important that you keep I mind your project and your needs as you consider the following information.

Which is The Best Ladder for Painting, Plastering, and Construction?

Pick the One from Top Options Below…

*Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Kind of Face Mask Should You Use for Spray Painting?
mask for painting

More than ever, with the constant increase in the hazardous chemicals in the environment, the importance of the respirator mask Read more

What Kind of Paint to Use on Asphalt and Tarmac?
what paint for asphalt

Both asphalt and tarmac are used for pavement, driveways, and most commonly the surfaces of roads. The difference between asphalt Read more

How to DIY Test for Lead Paint in Your Home?
test lead paint

Before being banned in the late 1970s, lead was a common additive to paints. It helped make it more durable Read more

What Is Milk Paint – How and What Do You Use It For?
milk paint

Do you have a painting project coming up at your house? If so, then you need to prepare for your Read more

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