Painting a room gives it an instant makeover but cleaning up during and after can feel like it takes forever. These easy tips will help you minimize the mess while you paint and cut your cleanup time in half.
The plastic-wrapped case that holds 24 bottles
of water is a perfectly sealed tray for your
paint cans, brushes and trays. Sloshed
or dripped paint won't spill onto a drop
cloth and be tracked all over the
house. When you’re opening the water
bottle package, cut the plastic about
5 in. higher than the top of the box and
then fold it in.
Facial cleansing wipes aren't
just for pimple prevention. The
alcohol in them softens latex
paint, but won't harm most surfaces
(test first to make sure).
They work best on paint that's
been dry just a few hours.
Finishing spindles is a pain because you have to finish
three sides, let them dry and then turn them over and do
the unfinished side. But not if you drive long drywall screws into the spindle ends and then rest the screws on two boards or sawhorses. An added bonus is that you can keep your fingers out of the wet finish by holding onto the screws as you paint and turn.
If you have a tight spot to paint, remove
the pad from a paint edging tool (about
$2 at home centers). Hot-glue the pad
to a stir stick, and you've got a painting
tool that will fit behind toilet tanks
Ever paint a chair and have it stick to your newspaper or
drop cloth? Paint hassle-free by driving drywall screws
about 1/2 in. into the bottom of the chair legs. The
extra elevation makes it easier to paint and even lets you
coat the bottom of the legs. This also works great with
If masking tape tears as you remove it or pulls off flakes of
finish, heat it with a hair dryer. Heat softens the adhesive.
Then pull the tape off at a 90-degree angle.
Cut the bottom section from a stiff wire coat hanger and bend it so each end straddles the rim to fit inside a paint can. Let the wire overlap the sides and tape it to the can to keep it steady when you rub off the excess paint. When the job's finished, remove the wire and wipe it clean to be ready for next time.
Tape all wall/woodwork seams with
painter's tape. Lay the tape onto
the woodwork and press it with the
corner of your putty knife to prevent
the wall paint from bleeding
behind the tape onto the woodwork.
Let the tape stick out perpendicular
to the trim to act as a little
protective roof to catch paint drips.
Glad Press'n Seal plastic wrap (available
at discount stores) goes on fast and stays
right where you put it. Paint can seep
under the edges, though, so it's no substitute
for masking tape in spots where you
need a sharp edge.
Prevent paint “overspray”with this clever spray booth made from a cardboard box. Cut a hole in the top of the box. Cover the opening with plastic wrap and position a shop light above to illuminate your project.
You can use coat hangers, poked through the
cardboard, to hold and rotate the objects as you’re
painting them. Not only will your shop be neater, but
your paint projects will now be thumbprint free.
Sometimes, masking tape that's been sitting on a shelf
for years won’t pull off the roll without tearing. Freshen
it by microwaving it for 10 seconds. Heat softens the
adhesive for easy release
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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