5 Painting Hacks
Jordan Paul , null
May 31st, 2022
As with most home improvement projects, someone has figured out an easy way to do it. With painting, simple tricks and hacks can save you time and effort, while producing great results. Do-it-yourselfers produce some of the best tips because they often lack a tool or specific knowledge. These ingenious DIYers just make it work, so today we will share a few hacks to save yourself some effort the next time you paint.
Avoiding a Mess
Probably the best way to save yourself time and effort is to make as small a mess as possible when painting. Often DIYers underestimate the time they have to complete a project and may find themselves scrambling to clean up. The professionals use everything at their disposal to keep paint off of as many unintended surfaces as possible.
Even professionals have the occasional splatter or drip that must be dealt with. Most professional painters will use consumable tools like drop cloths, painter’s tape, and paint guards to keep any errant paint to a minimum. In most cases, they will use disposable plastic drop cloths to insure even a small accident does not result in a disaster.
Cleaning Brushes and Rollers
As mentioned previously, as homeowners we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish over a day or weekend. One common issue is the hassle of cleaning up every day after painting. Some homeowners may realize too late that they lack the time to clean their brushes and rollers before the paint dries, ruining them.
If you are using acrylics or latex paints, you can freeze your paints and rollers to protect them. These paints dry as the water in them evaporates, so if you freeze your brushes and rollers with plenty of paint on them, you can thaw them out later without damage. Simply soak the brush or roller in paint, wrap it tightly in a plastic grocery store bag and put it in the freezer. Just run warm water over them when you are ready to paint.
Removing Dried Paint From Glass
Many DIYers dread painting windows because of the time and effort required to apply painter’s tape to the grids between the panes. This is a time consuming project, so many professionals don’t bother. Many will paint the grids completely, and if some gets on the paint they just let it dry. After drying, the pros just use a paint scraper with a razor blade to easily remove the paint.
Removing Dried Paint From Fabric
Removing dried paint from your clothes or carpet should be done with caution. Many solvents are acetone based, which will likely discolor the fabric. Removing paint from fabric is difficult at best, which is why painters wear clothes they can afford to lose. However, if you are using latex paint, usually the best time to remove it is before it dries.
Latex paints are water soluble as long as they are wet, so if you get it on your clothes, dab it with a dry paper towel to prevent making it larger. Then soak the fabric in water (and soap, ideally) and keep it wet until it can be washed. If you don’t have any clothes you are willing to sacrifice, you can purchase disposable coveralls at your home improvement store.
Removing Dried Paint From the Floor
Removing dried paint from the floor can be quite easy, depending on the material. Removing dried paint from solid surfaces like sheet flooring, laminates, finished hardwoods, and sealed tile is usually just a matter of letting it dry. These materials are not porous, so the paint simply sits on the surface. Usually a quick flip with a putty knife pops of drips and overspray.
Carpet however, is a different problem, so in most cases you’ll want to treat it like fabric and dab it up as much as possible. You want to keep the drip moist until you can remove it with a carpet chemical cleaner. These are safe to use and will not damage the carpet. Just wet a paper towel or sponge and lay it on the drip to keep it moist.
If you must let the paint dry on carpet, you can often use acetone based paint remover to loosen it. Once latex paint has dried, it is no longer water soluble, so a chemical solvent called acetone is often used to dissolve the dried paint. Be careful though and test it in a closet or other inconspicuous location in case it discolors the carpet.