Whether inside or outside, a new coat of paint freshens up any surface it covers. Summer is a great time to paint. There’s a whole palette of colors blooming outside, so why not bring some of that color into your space?
But sometimes painting can be intimidating. There are a lot of things to prepare and buy, and every area you paint will have its own little quirks. Some standard things you'll need to get are a good brush, roller, painter’s tape and, of course, quality paint. But try some of these homemade items that will allow you to cut down on the time and cost of painting so you can enjoy your work sooner.
You’re just about to pour your paint and you realize there is nothing to pour into. Save yourself a trip and make your own paint tray with just a few materials. Look for something flat with ridges. A cardboard 24-can tray would work very well. The key is to cover whatever you’re using with something like aluminum foil or a plastic bag.
One benefit to this little hack is that you’ll be able to reuse your homemade tray multiple times. Just take off the foil or plastic, dispose of it and put a new piece on next time. The other benefit is the easy clean-up. Just check your local regulations regarding paint disposal, take off the cover, and clean-up is done!
Paint is pricey and the less you waste, the better. There are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re not using or wasting any more paint than you need to.
When you pour paint into a tray, some usually gets stuck in the little ridge around the edge of the can. To prevent this, use a drill or a hammer and punch to create three or four holes next to each other in one part of that ridge. Then, when you pour, pour over top of the holes. When you stop pouring, the paint will spill back through the holes into the can saving you the waste and mess of cleaning up dried paint afterwards.
If you’re dipping your brush directly into a can of paint, it can be difficult to ensure you get an even amount on your brush because of the curve of the can. This can be solved with a metal clothes hanger and some painter’s tape. Cut the hanger so that you have a long straight piece. Lay that piece flat over top of your paint can and shape it so that the ends fold over either side. Tape the ends to the sides with painter's tape. Now, when you dip your brush into the can, you can wipe it on the flat hanger piece and it’ll leave a consistent amount of paint on your brush.
You’ll inevitably touch a few spots with paint you didn’t intend to. And, after you’re done with your project, there will be cleanup to do. There are some things around the home you can use for these tasks that will help you get them done without any extra expenses.
Paper towels are not very environmentally friendly and it can be expensive to buy a bunch of cotton towels just to wipe up paint. So take a look through your closet and see if you have any old shirts that you can use instead. You can even cut them into the size and shape you want. For small spots, carry some Q-tips around. You can quickly grab one and wipe off a little bit of paint if you need to.
Paintbrushes and rollers hold a lot of paint, which is great for painting, but can make clean-up a pain. There are a few ways to make it easier.
You can use fabric softener to clean your brushes and rollers faster. Mix fabric softener at a rate of 1/8 cup to 4 cups of warm water. Swirl your brushes gently around the solution and the paint will start to come off. After you’ve gotten most of the paint off, you can rinse the brushes with water.
Vinegar is another great brush-cleaning option. Boil enough vinegar to cover the brushes you’re cleaning. Once the vinegar has boiled, take it off the heat and let it sit for a couple minutes and then place your brushes in. Once they are cool enough to touch, you can take them out and remove the paint by combing your fingers through the bristles. Rinse the brushes in cold water after the majority of the paint is gone.