Dollar Store Tool Review
Is producing a high quality paint job possible with Dollar Store supplies possible?
Recently, I went out to my local Dollar Store to see what paint supplies they had to offer. Interestingly enough, the Dollar Store raised their prices to $1.25, so I ended spending a little extra. Below I will provide my review of the supplies I was able to find and let you know if they are worth the bargain!
The Dollar Store was able to provide me with the most needed tool for painting, a paint brush!Right off the bat, I put the brush to the test and attempted to cut-in a line. It was more challenging than I expected. The biggest issue with this brush was the stiffness. Even paired with a one-coat paint, the brush was so stiff that it left white streaks on the wall. I went back over it with my roller to fix this issue.
The brush did not hold nearly enough paint, so I was unable to drag my line far - about a third of the distance a higher-quality brush would go with the same amount of paint. The filaments in the brush weren’t tapered and did not come to a point. Early on they began to separate and made it nearly impossible to continue using it. The edges were jagged and rough, making it a much more difficult progress.
I went back in with a Paint Life Brooke Paint Brush to fix the issues the Dollar Store brush caused. This brush comes to a nice point and allowed for a quick clean up and a nice line on my ceiling. Buying a $20 brush is going to be worth it in the long run - this brush can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. The Dollar Store brush created problems shortly after being opened, which resulted in having to buy a higher- quality brush in order to fix the mistakes. So save yourself the $1.25 and just go straight for the $20 brush!
The second item I bought was a Tool Bench 9” roller frame to compare to a professional Blue Tiger 9” roller frame. When I inspected the bottom of this roller frame, it was clear that there was an attempt at creating threading for a roller extender. But, this frame was unable to attach to an extender because the threading was unable to attach to anything. This means that we were using a short handle with not much to grip.
Another thing I noticed was the diameter of the metal framework on it. The diameter determines how much flex you will get when you apply pressure to the wall you are rolling. A professional roller does not have much flex to it, but this one did. Roller frames that have more flexibility will likely have an edge that the roller cover will come off of or have a heavy edge, which will leave lap marks all over your wall.
Lower-quality roller frames also have a tendency for the roller to slip off. If you’re not paying attention while you’re rolling, the roller can slip off the end. Higher-quality roller frames have a locking mechanism that takes a lot of effort to take the roller off - it’s definitely secure on there.
They don’t have roller covers at the Dollar Store so I put a Woven-Pro 9” Roller on it to put the frame to the test. Immediately, the roller was struggling to turn when loading the paint on. I quickly noticed a gap on the end of the roller that allowed paint to get inside, fill it up, and drip as I started to roll.
The roller began dragging instead of rolling smoothly, leaving drag marks and allowing paint to drip down the wall. Within a minute or two, the roller began to slip off the frame, and the roller became so heavy that it was refusing to roll at all and I was unable to load up the roller with paint after a certain point.
I quickly determined the roller frame from the Dollar Store was not worth the dollar spent and I switched to my Blue Tiger 9” roller and was able to finish up the job quickly and with better results.
The last tool I picked up was a roll of 1 ½-inch Tool Bench Painter’s Tape to compare to 1 ½-inch orange Frog Tape. I started off by comparing the packaging and the Dollar Store tape didn’t list any additional information about the tape besides its size. Frog Tape’s packaging specifies a 3-day release time for the tape. Without any additional information, you really have no way to tell what you’re buying and how to use it.
One roll of Dollar Store tape was 15 meters, while one roll of Frog Tape is 55 meters. Looking at the math, you would have to buy 3 ½ rolls to get the same amount as one roll of Frog Tape. The price would be $4.29 for an equal amount of the Dollar Store tape, compared to $2.79 for a single roll of orange Frog Tape. So, it would be much cheaper to buy one roll from Frog Tape than going to the Dollar Store and buying tape to paint.
When I tested this product out, it went similar to how you’d imagine - very badly. It truly is “Dollar Store” quality, and I quickly switched back to the tried-and-true Frog Tape to finish the job.
At the end of the day, having tools that function, work efficiently, and allow you to be successful is going to make the painting process a more efficient and enjoyable experience.