Paint roller extension poles are a vital part of any DIYer’s toolbox. They allow you to reach areas otherwise unreachable and reduce the amount of ladder work needed on a job.
They also save your body, especially your back, from the harsh work of reaching high and reaching low while painting.
A paint roller extension pole is worth the investment for anyone looking to do some home improvement.
Why Use A Painter’s Pole
A paint extension pole serves multiple purposes.
Paint roller extension poles help you reach areas more easily and without a ladder.
You can get extension poles from 1 foot all the way up to 24 feet (I’m sure even longer ones exist but I’ve never seen them.).
I was painting a church long ago and it had a huge chimney going up on top of the building roughly 25 feet. It was an unsafe area to put up a ladder, so a long extension pole is the only thing that made painting this chimney possible. It wasn’t easy, but I did it!
Even on interiors, without a painter’s pole, you would have to use a ladder when rolling out 10′ walls. With it, no ladder needed.
Still need a ladder? Check out our post on the Best Ladders for Painting.
Painter’s poles allow you to work faster.
With an extension, you are able to roll out walls significantly faster than without a pole. Since you can reach high an low without too much movement of your body or ladder work, you can work faster.
Check out our post How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room to know how long your project will take.
Extension poles save your body.
If you ever watch home improvement shows on TV you see people painting walls with just a roller frame (no pole). They roll in a bunch of directions and it looks silly.
If you were to paint a whole house this way, you would be bending over down to the ground to roll out all the low areas and overextending yourself to reach the high areas.
With a painter’s pole, you can keep your body in a stable position without bending over or reaching too high. Your arms end up doing the work, not your back.
How To Use A Paint Roller Extension Pole
Using a paint roller extension pole is quite simple.
On interiors, you want to get your pole out whenever your are rolling out a large section of walls. Simply attach your roller frame to the pole and place your paint tray at a comfortable distance from your body.
When rolling out the wall, roll in long even strokes from the top of the wall to the bottom. Don’t go in a zig-zag pattern as you see recommended on some websites or TV (it’s not efficient and doesn’t look good).
Exteriors can be a little trickier. If you have lap siding, you can sit on the ground and use a long extension pole to roll up on your siding. It just won’t work.
I use a shorter extension pole, a ladder and paint lap siding sideways with the siding. An extension pole allows me to reach rough 2 extra feet in either direction and saves me a lot of ladder movement.
The Best Paint Roller Extension Poles For Painting
The Wooster Sherlock Extension Pole is my personal favorite. This is the pole I use every day while painting.
Wooster does have an advantage over others since they make the world’s most popular roller frame, so their paint roller extension poles fit their roller frame flawlessly.
It’s a durable painter’s pole that doesn’t have any flex to it (this can be a problem in cheaper poles and makes it harder to press your roller against the wall), locks into place and perfectly fits Wooster’s popular roller frame.
The Wooster has a hexagonal inner pole that prevents bending and twisting and adjusts in 6″ increments.
Wooster Sherlock poles come in 1-2′, 2-4′, 6-12′, and 8-16′ sizes. I use the 2-4′ pole daily when painting interiors.
Easily my second favorite painter’s pole, the Shuline paint roller extension pole is the perfect companion to my Wooster 2-4′ pole.
The Shur-Line is another rugged extension pole that fills a gap for me that Wooster doesn’t. It comes in a 4-9′ pole, which makes it perfect for many areas on interior painting.
I like to use this pole in stairwells with high ceilings, 10’+ walls and large open areas where I really want to speed up my rolling.
The Shure-Line pole has a soft grip on the handle and is relatively lightweight, making it easy on your body while painting.
My one beef with the ShureLine extension pole is that they never seem to snugly fit roller frames. As you’re rolling with them, the frame can come loose from the pole. This is an annoyance but does not cause any problems.
Mr. Long Arm is another popular painter’s pole that I often see used by many DIYers.
Mr. Long Arm offers poles in the 2-4′, 3-6′, 4-8′, 6-12′, and 6-18′ range, thus covering nearly any paint roller extension pole needs.
The light-duty pole isn’t hexagonal like the Wooster or the ShurLine poles above. This makes the pole a bit more flimsy the longer you extend it out (or if you buy the longer poles). For most painting projects, I want the pole to have as little flex as possible.
The pole is however reasonably priced and allows you to adjust the length to any increment you desire with its chuch and collet locking mechanism.
While the chuck and collet allow you to make the pole any desired length, I prefer poles that lock into place. These tend to adjust quickly and don’t slide on you while using them.
What’s nice about paint extension poles is that they extremely versatile, you don’t have to use them for just painting. I use mine for many different purposes on the job site and around the house.
This attachment is incredibly handy for painters, but it takes a bit of practice to get used to and cut a straight line.
With a brush holder attachment, you can use your extension pole and paintbrush to cut in the high ceilings of a stairwell, then switch over to your roller and roll the rest of the walls. All without ever having to climb up on a ladder.
This is the most obvious. I don’t carry a separate push broom, but rather a push broom attachment and screw it onto my extension pole when needed.
We use a cobweb duster all the time when painting. Before I start cutting in ceilings with my brush or painting ceilings, I like to go around the corners of the walls next to the ceilings and remove the cobwebs. It keeps me clean, cobwebs out of the paint, and makes homeowners happy.
Another simple service to add to a painting project, or just to take care of at your own home, is to scrub and squeegee windows when painting your exterior. We like to squeegee off clients’ windows after we power wash an exterior.
As you can see paint roller extension poles are incredibly handy for DIY Painting. They save time, money, and your body.
Hopefully one of these painter’s pole will help you with your next painting project.
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I started painting in 2001 and have seen just about everything in my painting career. I started in production and commercial painting, then moved over to new construction and remodeling during the boom of the early 2000s. Post 2010, I niched down into residential painting where I have done everything from exteriors, decks, interiors, furniture and more. Over the last few years, I’ve had a focus on kitchen cabinets.
I started the DIY Painting Tips blog in 2015 to start sharing everything I’ve learned over the years and help all the people who’d rather tackle their painting projects themselves.
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