I consider a paint extension pole to be one of the critical interior painting tools! It will make the job simpler, easier on your body, and help you produce a more consistent result.
Unless you are only planning to paint a very small space, the minimal cost of a paint extension pole for your roller is worth its price many times over.
What are the benefits of using an extension roller?
I paint day after day. Painting requires repetitive motions, crouching, climbing, reaching, and lots of other physical activity.
Envision painting with just a handheld paint roller. You cut in along the bottom and climb your ladder to cut in along the top edge of the wall. Then you start rolling your paint onto the bulk of the wall. You climb back on your ladder to reach the top portion of the wall. You hunch over to get the lower half of the wall. You squat down to roll the bottom third.
If that sounds like a lot of climbing and hunching and squatting, it is. More than my joints want to handle.
With a paint extension pole, after cutting in the edges of the wall, I can step back away from the wall and paint the entire height of the wall without bending or reaching. It keeps my body upright, my posture good, and the weight and motion of the roller is maintained within the core strength of my body.
It’s the difference between carrying a heavy box firmly against your body or trying to carry it at arm’s length.
I can also maintain maximum control over the pressure I exert on the roller, minimizing paint drips and roller marks.
This allows me to finish each section of wall with a single top to bottom roll to even out the coverage and eliminate any roller marks. It’s faster, more energy efficient, and produces better results.
And I wouldn’t even consider painting a ceiling without a paint extension pole. My arms ache just thinking about it!
But which model or type to buy? There are multiple styles and sizes of extension poles, and like any paint tool the differences between them can be confusing to the inexperienced painter. Prices can range from <$10 to $50-60, depending on what features you want.
The cheaper extension poles are little more than broom handles of varying lengths that screw into the handle of your roller.
The more expensive models are lightweight, telescoping aluminum or fiberglass paint extension poles with heads that can be set at a variety of angles.
So what features are worth paying for?
It depends in part on the space you’ll be painting. For example, if you’re working in a narrow hallway, a short roller extension pole makes more sense than a long telescoping rod. There just won’t be the space to wield it without banging into adjacent walls.
In that case, a simple 2-3’ wooden extension pole for a few dollars makes perfect sense.
If you have a larger painting project in mind (or ceilings!), especially in a room where there is ample space, you may want to consider a slightly more advanced model. Decent starter telescoping paint extension poles can be purchased for $15-25.
These usually have locking rings that allow you to adjust the pole and lock it into place at your desired length. These models won’t stand up to extensive use, but if you plan to paint just a few rooms they’re perfectly acceptable.
My favorite model runs in the $25-35 range, but I find those extra few dollars stepping up to a better model to be well worth the cost. I’ve owned a Shur-Line 43 to 78” Extension Pole for several years now and it’s the best model I’ve owned.
The differences are: A simple push-button extend/retract; soft ergonomic handles; and solid aluminum frame that is lightweight and durable. I’ve used mine regularly for years without issues.
Some other styles and models of paint extension poles are nice too. Some have similar aluminum or fiberglass construction with an adjustable angled head. Some models even extend out as far as 24’!
These are nice since they can be used for things other than painting: such as dusting high shelves or light fixtures or even cleaning gutters.
Whichever model or style you choose, I think you’ll find a paint extension pole to be an invaluable tool for your interior painting project!
Have a look through our Interior Painting Guide for step-by-step instructions and tips for making your project smoother and simpler!