woman painting
Photo: Kenneth Chen
You know those headaches you sometimes get after painting a room? They aren't necessarily the result of the fumes. Sometimes the painting process itself is one big pain. First, there's the inherent difficulty of distributing the right amount of paint on the roller cover.

Then there's the gooped-up hands from removing said cover and the annoyance of not having the right-size brush for the job (or a brush that fails to absorb or evenly distribute paint). When it's all said and done, we've still gotta deal with those wet balls of blue painter's tape that settle like sticky tumbleweed all over the floor—not to mention the carpal-tunnellike pain in our cramped, dead hands from holding a paintbrush for countless hours.

So it was with raised eyebrows that we read the Zibra company's catchy slogan: "Enjoy Painting." As if. But its painting tools quickly won us over. Here's why.

1: Zibra's roller frame has a quick-release button on its handle, so messy covers pop right off into your trash can; you never have to touch them. A natural cork grip provides comfort and absorbs nasty hand sweat. The recycled-plastic rolling tray has a spring-loaded grid inside that shaves off excess paint to prevent overloading. The Roll & Release roller frame (with cover) costs approx. $16, and the Even Load & Roll tray is approx. $9.

2: The Edge-n-Roll tool, which lets you cut in around windows and doors without taping the trim, eschews the sloppy sponge for a dual-roller cartridge, ensuring smooth and even coverage. A small pad in between the rollers absorbs excess paint, preventing those drippy lines you often get with edging tools. Its tray also has a spring-loaded grid, plus a tight-fitting lid to keep paint fresh overnight for touch-ups in the morning. Edge-n-Roll, approx. $18.

3 : The ergonomic, hourglass-shaped birch handles on Zibra brushes offer a more comfortable grip. Thumb-rest cutouts at the base make it all but impossible not to hold your brush right.

4 : Zibra brushes are available with standard straight, rounded, and angled heads, as well as two new shapes: a triangular head for getting into tight crown-molding crevices, and a square head for the flat tops of baseboards. All are made with strong and absorbent synthetic bristles for use with both oil and latex paint; approx. $8 to $13.

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