Nail Bed for Trim Painting
Need to spray-paint or varnish a raft of trim pieces for that bedroom remodeling job? Here’s a cushy way to finish pieces without rotating or repositioning them. Cover a sheet of extruded polystyrene ($10 at a home center) with 1-mil painter’s plastic. (Spray paint will eat away at unprotected foam.) Now stick crisscrossed nails into the foam to hold up the pieces, then line up the trim and start painting. Thanks to Tom Lant for this great tip.
We’ve got the answer to the age-old question: paint trim or walls first.
No-Clean Varnish Brushes
If you do a lot of polyurethane finish work, here’s how to avoid cleaning your brush after every application. Slice a 1-in. “X” into the plastic lid of a coffee can to hold the brush handle so the bristles are suspended in thinner.
When varnish residue builds up to an inch or so on the bottom, pour off the uncontaminated thinner into another can and start over. You’ll rarely have to clean the brush and will save lots of money on thinner. You can dispose of the residue by letting it dry, then throwing away the can. Thanks to Jim Pearson for this tip.
Save a bundle of money by learning how to make paint brushes last.
Paper Cups for the Workbench
Load a cup dispenser ($4 at a grocery store) with 3- and 5-oz. paper cups and keep it handy for all kinds of jobs. Mix epoxy, measure liquids for finishes, hold glue, keep track of parts from disassemblies and hold paint for touchup jobs.
You’ll get so used to grabbing a cup that you’ll wonder how you ever worked without them. Thanks to Dan Allmon for this tip.
Repurpose items in the garage like a shoe pocket, you’ll never believe how useful it can be.