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I have been asked a few times about all the tools and craft accessories I have and where people should spend their money if they were to purchase some of these items. Since the sunshine and family in town is luring me away from projects I thought I would use this time to do a short series on tools and accessories.

Today I am going to focus on remodeling and refab tools. These are the tools that I adore. The following list is in the order of importance to me as well.

1. Palm Sander – I have an obsession with sanding. I love distressing furniture and I even enjoy prepping a surface for paint or stain. I know this is people’s most dreaded part of a project but I think it is rather satisfying to see a piece of wood all sanded and ready to be beautified. If I were starting from scratch I would buy a palm sander like this…
I am not brand specific. However, I prefer the kind where you can use regular sheet sandpaper torn in fourths to secure onto the sander. Many other sanders require you to buy their sandpaper in order to fit it on the machine. That gets expensive in the long run. You can get something like this under $30. They are easy to use and as long as you go with the grain of the wood it is pretty difficult to screw up a project. Then go invest in 60, 100, 120-180, 220 and 400 grit sandpaper to have on hand. I use my sander more than any other power tool I own.

2. Air compressor – In and of itself it is pretty pointless. But with an air compressor there are so many options of power tools at your disposal. If I were going to buy a new one I would just get a small tank (under $100) that can handle up to about 120PSI’s. A small tank would work with the small nailing jobs I do, my paint sprayer (which I run at 40 PSI’s) and a staple gun (which is my next purchase). There are also some compressors on wheels which is a nice feature because mine is HEAVY!

3. Paint Sprayer – I don’t know a lot about all the different types of sprayers out there. But I love my Low Volume, Low Pressure sprayer from Harbor Freight that hooks up to my air compressor. It is perfect for small jobs like furniture and it is only $17. It makes painting SO MUCH quicker and the finish is so smooth.

4. Air Nail Gun -This also connects to an air compressor. It is great for hanging molding and other small wood projects and repairs. Many of them also have the ability to do staples. I wish mine did that. One second thought, maybe mine does do that. I need to check on that. I would just get one that does finishing nails unless you are planning on redoing your roof 😉


5. Cordless Drill – You can definitely purchase a corded drill but I ♥ my battery operated Ryobi one. I got it on clearance at Home Depot for $30. It is just so wonderful to not have a cord attached and to be able to bring it everywhere. I also recommend a decent drill bit set and a few screwdriver bits.

Those are my top 5 power tools. I couldn’t do my projects without them. I will post the other 5 tomorrow. What power tools can you not live without?

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17 Comments

  1. I just found you through Fat & Sassy's blog and realized that you live in Indiana! My mom and I work together and she is a licensed designer with Michael Miller Fabrics – her name is Paula Prass. Anyway, where in IN are you? We are hoping to put together a blogger meet up in August or September somewhere central. Good to meet you here!

  2. I definitely agree on the cordless drill! I love being able to roam free without having to be plugged in. There are a few others on your list that I definitely need to add to our garage. I need a palm sander and I'd love to have a paint sprayer!

  3. girl can never have too many power tools !!! lol Sorry: couldn't help it … I 'know I'm going to hide in the corner with shame … lol

  4. I started my first refinishing project last and might just be addicted to the sanding, too! I borrowed someone's Mouse sander and spent about 5 hours sanding benches of our German picnic table. They're about 3/4 sanded now, but my friend moved so it's definitely time for me to buy my own sander!

    Thanks for all the recommendations! A paint sprayer is on our wish list for sure.

  5. power tools?! oh my. I'm intimidated just reading about them. but wow. I bet projects would be faster and easier with them… I recognize most of these from my hubby's stash. oh I sound like such a GIRL! sheesh! I need to give 'em a try! thanks for the info on each of them. as always…I am inspired to give something new a try…

  6. I agree on the top 5. We just bought an air compressor and I think we are both excited about the tools we can get for it. : ) We are trying not to think about how much easier some things would've been had we had it earlier. : )

    The power sander is a must! Though we have a rotary (is that what you would say?), but you are right, the sand paper can be expensive for it if you don't stock up when it's on sale. : )

    Happy projects!

  7. I thought of you today as I was scouting for raspberries to make jam and syrup.

    There was an ole beat up rocker with a grungy, filthy pillow on the side of the road.

    If you would have lived here locally, I would have pulled over, threw it in my car and delivered it to you personally.

  8. I have 3 of those. The sprayer is on my wish list, but since I thought they were expensive and you got your's for $17, it may make an appearance sooner rather than later. I do have a small cordless drill that has served me well on many small projects and Hubs has a corded drill. He actually came in the other day and said, "The chuck is stuck on my drill, where's your cordless?" I said "Do you mean my tiny one?" "No, I thought you had a regular cordless" "Nope" "Wow, you have so many tools, I thought that was one" I thought it was funny!

  9. The air compressor is also super handy for cleaning things. I especially like it for cleaning off lampshades and the guck that collects in little portable fans on the blades and in the cover. Take the stuff outside, blow it off and done.

    (I agree completly with your list, but my #1 is the drill.)
    Happy 4th!

  10. Vivenne!! Totally great idea about the air compressor. I will so do that!! The dust on my lamp shades has been driving me INSANE!!!

  11. ps…yes my husband has all those tools and MORE. You'd probably drool if you saw his tool collection..I have no interest myself in tools. I like sewing machines and velcro and easy stuff like that! ha! You go girl!

  12. Beckie, I am going to attempt your painting cabinets project. I just realized that you said your painter hooks up to your air compressor. I have a compressor, but how will I know if it will hook up to that sprayer?? It looks like that big fat one you said you wanted…but I am just not 100% sure. Also, How long is it going to take me to sand all the cabinets? I took all the cabinets off tonight and I am going to prep them by filling the holes with wood filler. I know I am going to be in the dog house tomorrow though…because my husband doesn't like me to do projects like this. ALSO…could you email in more detail how you sprayed the cabinets and why you did not end up using primer? Anyway, give me shout when you get a chance!

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