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Plan to redecorate or remodel a room? You need all the painting tips and tricks you can get!!

You’ll likely be painting, and if you’re like most of us, that’s not exactly a chore that you love.  For me, the biggest painting problems are: how to clean up after painting, how to not be overwhelmed with the wet-paint odors, how to not have streaks when you are painting.

All of these solutions, painting tips and tricks will help you with the above and more!!

17 Painting Tricks to Make Painting Easier

Here are some painting tricks for everything from prep tips to cleanup to make that chore a little easier.

1. Prevent Your Paint Roller From Drying Out

Have a Pringles can handy? Store your wet roller in one, and put it in the fridge to prevent drying out.  Your roller will be ready to go next time you need to paint and you didn’t have to spend more time cleaning up between painting sessions than you do actually painting!!

You can also look at these Pringles can crafts, which makes painting easier!

2. Have Fewer Drip Marks as You Paint – Use a Rubber Band

This Painting Tips and Tricks is super simple and effective!!  Put a rubber band around your paint can before you start to scrape off the excess paint from your brush.  You will have fewer drips and even be able to paint FASTER with this hack!

3. Eliminate Wet Paint Odors

Hate the smell of wet paint? Smells REALLY bug me which is why I was THRILLED to find this painting tip – and it WORKS!!  Add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract to the can of paint.  Stir it in.  This will mask the odor. It won’t affect the paint.  You will be able to paint longer AND enjoy your room sooner with this painting tip.

4. Decrease Overspray Risk When Spray Painting

When spray painting, put the object in a cardboard box to contain the overspray. Smart!  You can rotate your item, and not worry about drips or it sticking to things. Next time you are repainting your doorknobs or ceiling fixtures, you will LOVE this painting hack.

5. Don’t Throw Away Dried Out Paint Brushes!

Wondering how to clean a paintbrush with dried-on paint??  Easy.  Get dried paint brushes clean again with some hot vinegar. Let them soak for 30 minutes to soften the paint.  Then rinse them out and wash them as normal!

You can even add a little vinegar into your water when you are rinsing wet brushes for a faster cleaning session.

6. Store Wet Paint Brushes So You Can Use Them Again.

How can you re-use your paintbrushes??  First, soak them in the paint, so they are good and wet, then wrap them tightly with Press ‘n seal wrap (plastic wrap is good too, but we found that the thicker Press and Seal brand does a better job, we usually aren’t brand snobs, this time we are) is fabulous for storing wet paint brushes in the fridge.

I’m a busy mom with six kids.  This hack lets me paint for an hour, go drop a kiddo off at dance class, come back paint another hour, pick up from dance class, make dinner and paint some more.  Without this hack, I would have either a stack of dried-out brushes or wouldn’t be able to paint at all!

painting tricks 1

7. Use Plastic Bags to Store Brushes if You Don’t Have Wrap Handy

While the painting tip and trick of using plastic wrap is best, bags are a close second.  You can put wet paint brushes and rollers in plastic bags, and put them in the refrigerator so you don’t have to wash them out after each use.

8. Protect Surfaces You Don’t Want To Get Paint On

Genius painting tips and tricks #8: Put Vaseline on any area that you want to resist paint. This even comes in handy when you’re painting your nails!  We used this hack when we were painting lines in our cabinetry.  We wanted more of a country look and didn’t want perfectly straight lines (or we would have used painters tape.  Instead, vaseline!

This only works on oil pain surfaces or with skin.  Don’t try it on your flat painted surfaces.

9. Painting Tips and Tricks – Make Clean-Up EASY

Using a paint tray??  Add aluminum foil to your paint tray before pouring the paint to make cleanup a breeze!  This painting tip is super helpful for when you are painting multiple colors and you don’t have time to let the paint dry in the tray between uses.  Just roll up the foil, discard and refill with your new paint!  Viola!  No clean up time!

Bonus Frugal tip: save paint by scraping it off your roller back into the can before you wash the roller.

Painting Tips and Tricks: How to Paint Walls

10. Paint the Edges of Your Room/Wall First.

What is the correct order to painting a room??  Start with the edges. YUP! Do edge work first. Yes, it’s tedious, but you’ll thank yourself after a long day of painting when you don’t have to climb a ladder or get down on your hands and knees to finish the edges.

This DIY wall painting technique also protects ceilings and accent walls from accidental splatter as you are able to roll the rest of the room out.  We like to paint in 3-4′ blocks after we paint the edges to fill in the wall.  This allows us to save our shoulders and backs so we can paint longer, (really long strokes are hard to maintain physically) and also keeps us organized.

Use a specialized edging brush to get this task done faster.

11.  Find Out if You Already Have Oil or Latex Paint on your Walls or Cabinets BEFORE Painting

How do I know if my paint is oil or latex??  This is a VERY important thing you need to know before you start painting.  If your paint is wet (aka in an unlabeled can) use rubbing alcohol to find out if the existing paint is oil-based or latex. With Latex paint the paint will become thinner with the rubbing alcohol – with oil paint it won’t properly mix (you’ll know).  If you have paint on the wall and you are wondering (ex: cabinets) put rubbing alcohol on your rag, hold it onto a small spot.  If it is latex paint, the paint will “soften” or be easier to scrape off with a fingernail.  If it is oil-based, nothing will happen.

What will happen if I start painting latex paint over oil paint??  If you don’t prime it properly first, latex paint will peel and speckle when painted over oil paint.  There are steps you can do to paint over oil based paints (sand the oil-painted surface, then use primer and then paint – and even then results can be spotty), but for the most part, you will want to just paint oil on top of oil paint and latex on top of latex paint.

12. Clean Your Walls Before You Paint

It is a simple thing that we often don’t think is important but from experience, DON’T skip this step.  Do your kids leave greasy fingerprints all over your stairwell?  Just mine??  The first time I painted my house I just painted over the fingerprints.  BUT the paint in those areas didn’t stick as well, meaning that I needed to repaint sooner than I should have!!  Don’t make the same mistake I did!!  And then in the corners, we painted the cobwebs in!!  I didn’t even think about it!!  But that was gross.

Solution?  How do we clean our walls so we can paint?

1.  Go over your wall with a dry Swiffer to remove dust before you start painting.
2.  Get a magic eraser (barely damp) and buff out any areas where there are excessive fingerprints or where a kiddo doodled.
3.  Remove crayon, marker from the walls (so you don’t need to prime it first).  Rubbing alcohol will get rid of marker.  A steamer will help loosen crayon “additions”.

You will appreciate the results!  Promise!

13. Painting Tips and Tricks – Remember which can goes to which room!!

This is a duh.  Write which room your paint is for on the top of the can so you can grab it quickly for touch-ups.  You think you will remember later, but trust me you won’t.  And a year later the paint separates weirdly so you can’t always easily open the can and tell which room it would be.  Grey paint, white paint, and blue paint all look the same when you first open the can after its been sitting for a year.

Painting Tip: How to Paint Doorknobs

14. Say Goodbye to Paint Can Drips with this Painting Tips and Tricks

Take a hammer and a small nail.  Add holes to the rim of the paint can  – now when you have excess paint in the edge after you’ve poured it will drain back into the can.  Helping you keep paint from dripping over the sides. This also prevents the lid from getting stuck when you close the paint.  Win, win.

15. Make Paint Touchups a Breeze:  Use a Milk Jug as Your Paint Brush Holder.

Not only is it easy to transport, but it is also easy to hold your brush when you aren’t using it with this Milk Jug Paint Hack… and when you are done dump the excess paint back into the can!!  Simply, cut out a plastic milk jug to use as a paint and paintbrush holder. So handy!

16. Don’t Get Paint On Your Doorknobs.

How do we protect doorknobs and hinges when you are painting doors?  Have decorative hinges??  You can Protect your doorknobs with aluminum foil before you start painting a door.  If you don’t have foil, use painter’s tape or even press and seal wrap.  If it is hinges with decorative edges, use vaseline.  Coat the surfaces of the hinge with vaseline using a Q-tip.  This will make it so much easier to protect those surfaces.

17 Painting Tricks to Make that DIY Project Easier