I am all into anything that will make the painting prep and job easier! I have found several hacks to save time, to protect and save our tools, and to prevent mess.
If you are a practiced painter and able to “cut-in” along the ceiling and trim etc. without tape, then you are already a step ahead, but for most people that is too scary even if they have a steady hand. So there are some wonderful tools – like this painters guide – a straight, stainless steel edge and good plastic handle.
If you are investing in a big project then its worth the $$ at $12.00 or so. However, if you just want to save yourself some time and tape, try using a laminated file folder or even a large trowel if you have one handy!
Let’s talk about how to get a crisp edge when using painter’s tape
Get a crisp line with painter’s tape, paint the base coat over the tape first – to seal – then paint intended colour, or try silicone strip.
Next hack is the dreaded brush cleaning
Often, we have to wait a day or at least a few hours between coats. So instead of cleaning your brushes and rollers in the middle or breaking open a new one, you can safely store them if you wrap them tight and remove the air that will dry out the paint. The key is to keep the tool wet with paint.
- Wrap tight with old plastic bags = great way to re-use
OR if you use gloves while painting, try this one: roll the glove off and over the brush so the outside of the glove is touching the wet paint. Tie it up tight with an elastic band and then when you are ready to get back to it just roll it back onto your hand!
Let’s talk about storing your brushes
When you are finished and it is time to clean the brush with water be sure to store them properly so they keep their shape! If you buy a high quality brush it will generally have a waxy package and these are the easiest way to store the brush. If you don’t have the packaging you can try wrapping with some sort of stiff paper – parchment paper (if you do more cooking than painting ) or even painters tape.
What about preventing a mess in the paint can?
One of the biggest mistakes amateurs painters make is putting too much paint on the brush. This can cause drips and more splatters plus it makes it harder to clean the brush after!
A few things I have learned from professionals:
The pros almost always have an empty can handy. This is great if they are using a 5 gallon pail since
its not that easy to walk around with but for most of us who arent using 5 gallon pails, it is still great to
put a smaller amount of paint in a can for brushing. Then you can dip the brush in – not coating it completely but half or 2/3rds – like this.
It’s best not to wipe the excess off the edge of the can bit best practice to shake the excess off.
One more way to help prevent getting too much paint onto your brush is to tape the metal part of the brush and up a ¼” or so. This helps prevent the paint from getting into the bristle base where its difficult to clean out and causes you brushes to become stiff.