I recently had the pleasure of painting my home. We didn’t do anything fancy, but did change the colors in a few rooms. That being said, I had no idea what an undertaking it was just to paint a room a new color! Aside from the obvious choosing colors and purchasing supplies, there are so many things to consider when you decide to paint. What do you do when you spill paint on your furniture? How in the world do professional painters get such perfect lines? I wish I had thought of all these questions sooner but you know what they say…hindsight is 20/20.
So to that end, I started thinking of ways to make painting easier. I did learn a few new tricks as we went along, and I wanted to share those tricks plus a few more that I found since then to help you with your next painting job. Whether you’re changing the color in a single room or you’re remodeling or building a new house and need to paint all of your rooms, there are tips that you can follow that will make it a bit easier on you. I’ve actually found 30 great tips for helping you to make painting your home a breeze. I love hacks and these are some of the best I’ve seen. And, speaking of hacks, be sure to check out these 50 genius life hacks that will solve so many common problems.
From prepping the wall – in the easiest way imaginable – to keeping paint from dripping down the sides of your paint can, I’ve found some wonderful painting hacks that will make painting seem more like a fun task and less like a job. Just like these 30 life hacks to make life easier, these painting tips and hacks will definitely save you some time and many of them will save you money as well. If you’ve ever painted, you know how expensive it can be, so ever little penny that you can save will help.
So, if you’re ready, let’s talk painting hacks. I’ve found some wonderful tips that will help you to make your next painting job so much easier and some great ways to remove paint spills and other accidents that happen all too often when we take on interior painting. I hope these little tricks help you as much as they have helped me.
1. Create Solid Drop Cloth Corners
Drop cloths are great for keeping paint off your floors and furniture and they’re completely reusable…if you can get them folded, that is. A great trick is to tape cardboard to the corners of the plastic. The cardboard makes the plastic a big more foldable and makes it really easy to put the drop cloth away until next time. It’s also great for moving it from room to room when you’re painting multiple rooms.
2. Get Brushes Deep Clean
If you’ve ever painted with a paintbrush, you know how frustrating it can be to get all of that paint off the brush when you’re finished. Paintbrushes are tools that you can definitely use for more than one job, if you can remove all the paint, right? Vinegar does a wonderful job of breaking down that paint and stripping it from your brushes. They’ll look brand new when you’re finished cleaning them – ready for the next job!
3. Use Fabric Softener For Cleaning Brushes
You can also clean your paintbrushes with fabric softener. This is a great idea for those of you who don’t really like the smell of vinegar or paint thinner. Plus, fabric softener is a bit cheaper than paint thinner and you can use the cheap stuff from the Dollar Store. Just soak your brushes for a bit and then rinse them clean with warm water. Not only will they sparkle like new, they’ll smell amazing.
4. Remove Paint Roller Fuzz
Paint rollers are great for covering large areas but the cheaper ones often have fuzz that can really mess up your paint job. Before you begin painting, take some packaging tape – that you can get at the Dollar Store for just a couple dollars – and use it like a lint roller on your paint roller. It will remove all that fuzz and ensure that your walls look perfect when finished.
5. Fix Uneven Baseboards With Caulk
Uneven baseboards can be difficult to paint. Not only that, but they look much less attractive than they should. Before you begin painting, check your baseboards. If you have spots of unevenness, take some caulk and fill them in before you begin. Then, when you paint, the caulk will be covered and no one will be the wiser.
6. Paint Corners With Ease
Corners are the hardest to paint. You just can’t get the roller in there to cover them and brushes leave unsightly lines most of the time. A great way to cover those corners with ease is to hot glue a paint edger refill pad to a paint stir stick. You can use the pad to cover even the sharpest corners and leave them looking just as good as the rest of your walls.
7. Avoid The Fumes
I love painting but the fumes are another story. Did you know that you can skip the fumes? Just mix in a tablespoon of vanilla extract for each pint of paint that you’re using. Stir it in really well and paint away without those annoying paint fumes. The vanilla won’t affect your paint at all – provided you mix it well – and you’ll get to smell wonderful vanilla instead of paint fumes while you work.
8. Cover Paint Trays For Faster Cleanup
One of the worst things about painting is the cleanup. Those pans take forever to clean. Paint can be difficult to remove – even water based paint. So, the next time you’re filling up that paint tray, take a moment to cover it with aluminum foil before you add the paint. The foil will keep the tray clean. When you’re finished with your paint job, just remove the foil and throw it out – your tray will still look like new!
9. Prep Walls With A Swiffer
You can easily remove drywall dust, cobwebs and other debris from walls with a Swiffer. Cleaning the walls is a must before you paint to ensure that your paint goes on smoothly and you don’t have any unsightly spots. Just dampen a dry cloth that’s attached to your Swiffer and swipe your walls to remove that debris before you paint. Once the wall is dry – which will only take a few minutes- you’re ready to go.
10. Prep Rollers Before You Begin
There’s a tip called prepping your roller that will help you to paint those walls flawlessly. Prepping the roller with warm water sets it which helps it to absorb the paint better, resulting in a much more smooth and beautiful finish. You just let warm water run over your hand and then brush the roller with it before you begin painting.
11. Store Rollers In Pringles Cans
Pringles cans are perfect for storing your paint rollers. If you plan to reuse your rollers after you’ve finished painting, just clean them, place them in a plastic bag and put them inside a Pringles can. This keeps them from getting dirty or smashed by other objects, so they’re as good as new when you need them again.
12. Keep Paint Cans Clean With Rubber Bands
If you place a rubber band around your paint can before you begin painting, you can use the can as a paint tray and still avoid messy spills and drips. When you dip your brush into the paint can, simply wipe off the excess paint with the rubber band. This keeps the paint from dripping down the can and making a mess and it keeps those can edges clean so the can is much easier to reseal when you’re finished.
13. Mark Off Unpainted Areas With Vaseline
While you’re certainly going to want to use masking tape to keep large areas unpainted, if you have smaller sections that you don’t want to paint, you can cover them with Vaseline. This is a great trick for spray painting. You just cover the area with Vaseline and then paint. The Vaseline keeps those smaller areas from getting paint on them without worries of having to trim around them.
14. Remove Masking Tape With Heat
One of the hardest things to do after painting is getting off all that masking tape without pulling on walls or furnishings. You want to use the tape to avoid painting areas that don’t need painted but sometimes the tapes sticks too well and you end up damaging the surface of those covered areas. You can easily remove that masking tape by heating it first with a small heat gun or blow dryer. Once it’s warm, it peels right off.
15. Remove Paint Lines And Drips
You can use a sander or a single side razor blade to remove those unsightly drips and lines after you’ve painted. This is a trick that works well for cabinets or other furnishings. When your paint has dried, try lightly sanding the surface to see if it removes those blemishes. If not, you can go to the razor blade and just lightly scrape them off, leaving your finish professionally perfect.