Let’s be honest here: giving your house a fresh lick of paint can be extremely stressful. For most people, it’s the very opposite of fun! But did you know that there are a number of helpful tricks to make the job more enjoyable? Yep, we’ve taken a closer look at 40 ingenious hacks you’re gonna wish you knew a lot sooner. Trust.
40. Removing the paint lid
Struggling to open that pesky paint bucket? Well, fret no more. In a video shared by the Specific Love Creations YouTube channel, the host outlined a simple solution. He said, “These lids can be a real pain to get off. But if you take a nice roll of tape, carefully wedge it on top, squeeze really hard and give it a turn, there you go.” Job done.
39. Tape cardboard to drop cloths
When you’re doing major paint jobs around the house, drop cloths are a must. They serve as the perfect shield for your carpets and furnishings, after all. But folding them back up can be really annoying! Thankfully, sticking some cardboard to the edges with tape can make that task a lot easier. Plus, dragging the cloth between rooms becomes much less stressful, too.
38. Ice cube wall pattern
If you’re feeling creative but don’t want to fork out loads of money on fancy wallpaper, this tip is for you. First things first, pour your paint into a tray as you would do normally. Then, grab an ice cube container from the kitchen, dip the squares into the mixture and press them against the wall. Repeat as much as you like, and you’ll be left with a funky design. Cool, huh?
37. Making your arm a tape dispenser
Masking tape is a must when you’re painting at home. And to avoid constantly forgetting where you last put it down, why not turn your arm into a makeshift dispenser? All you need to do is trim an unneeded sock and pull it over your forearm. Then, stick your hand through the roll and tear bits off when required. Why not become a real pro and fold over the end while you’re at it, too?
36. Prepping the walls
Before you can even think about giving your home a makeover, you have to prep the walls, of course. The surfaces you’re looking to paint must be as clean as possible, and there’s a simple way to make that happen. How? Well, all you have to do is run a Swiffer mop under a little water and get scrubbing. That should do the trick.
35. Painting hard-to-reach spaces
When you’re painting, space is everything. The more room you have to work with, the easier the job should be. But that’s a luxury you don’t have with the more compact areas – like say, behind a toilet, for example. So, to help get every in every hard-to-reach place, just attach a paint pad to a handle. Now no gap will seem too small. Voilà!
34. Removing paint drips and lines
After coating your walls with paint, you might notice some drips or lines sitting on the upper layer. Don’t despair, though – it’s easily fixable. Your first option is to carefully sand the area. And if that fails to work, grab a razor blade from the cabinet and gently slice the marks. Yes, it’s unorthodox, but it should rectify the issue in no time.
33. Painting furniture
If you want to bring an old piece of furniture back to life with a lick of paint, this tip will make life a lot easier. Let’s take a chair, for instance. Without proper precautions, the legs will cling to the surface below after they’ve been coated. And so to avoid that, just place some nails into the base beforehand to raise it above the floor. This should hopefully mean you don’t neglect the bottom of the feet, too.
32. Brick wall pattern
Fancy injecting some cozy country chic into your interior decor? Well, how about creating your very own exposed brick wall pattern? Minus the construction work, of course. All you need is a sponge and a helping of orange paint. First, trim your sponge to the size you’re after. Then dip it into the mixture and aim for the walls. You’ll be astonished by the results!
31. The Vaseline trick
If you’re trying to avoid getting paint on certain parts of your wall, grab a tub of Vaseline from the cabinet. Applying the lubricant to a small space should stop the decorative coating from sticking to it, you see. Just remember to wipe the surface after you’re finished!
30. Use vinegar to wash brushes
Washing brushes after painting is, for many, the worst part of the job. It’s such a chore! But this clever hack means it doesn’t have to be. Yep, did you know that vinegar could make the task a whole lot easier? All you need to do is soak your tools in the substance, and the paint should come right off. It saves both time and money – result!
29. The milk jug trick
If lugging around a bulky painting tray really isn’t doing it for you, but you also don’t trust yourself to work straight from the tin, then this makeshift invention will be right up your street. As the host of the Specific Love Creations YouTube channel explains, “A milk jug can come in real handy. You can cut the front half off, and that allows you to have a nice little area for some paint. [Now] you can easily carry your paint around. You can stick your brush in [the hole at the top, too.”
28. Smoothing your paint job
Despite all of the decorating gadgets and gizmos we have on offer today, dry paint doesn’t always feel particularly smooth to the touch. But that issue can be rectified with a clever trick. Sandpaper? Nope! Instead, get hold of a brown paper bag and run it across the troublesome spot. Say goodbye to the roughness.
27. The pool noodle hack
Got any spare pool noodles hanging around? If that’s a yes, listen up: the Yahoo! YouTube channel shared a video highlighting an ingenious hack. By making an incision all the way along the noodle, you can clip it around the bottom of a paint tray. And with a few more slices, you’ll have created a makeshift brush holder – handy for stopping your tools from becoming submerged in the colored liquid when your back is turned.
26. Keeping paint off your windows
Painting can be a messy ol’ job – if you’re not careful, that is. And it’s particularly tricky when you’re working around windows. But there’s a handy tip that should help to keep those panes spotless. Just smear a helping of lip balm on the areas most at risk beforehand. That should shield the surface, as you’ll be able to rub off any paint that sticks to the substance.
25. Striped wall pattern
Fancy adding a timeless stripey pattern to your walls without the faff of hanging wallpaper? If so, we’ve got you covered. Simply wrap four pieces of equally-spaced insulating tape around your roller. This will become the template for your design. Now all you need to do is dip the tool into the paint and watch your newly-decorated space come to life.
24. Closing the paint lid
Yes, we know what you’re thinking – closing a paint lid is easy right? But it can get messy – if you’ll pardon the pun. One firm tap has the potential to spurt the colored liquid all over the place. To avoid that, then, you just need an old rag or a towel. Wrapping it over the top before you give the lid a bang should save a lot of hassle.
23. Keeping your roller moist
If your painting project is likely to last more than a day, this hack is for you. As the host of the Specific Love Creations pointed out, all you need to do to keep your roller moist is to securely wrap it in a plastic bag. And if you’ve got a spare Pringles can lying around, why not pop it in there, too? That’ll make sure it’s really airtight!
22. Removing masking tape
While masking tape can help you achieve a nice, neat paint job, it’s not always the easiest to remove. Well, fret no more! Simply wave a hairdryer over the section you want to rip up, and it should prevent you from creating any unnecessary and annoying chips in your walls or skirtings.
21. The lace pattern
Creating a wallpaper-like look on your walls may seem impossible, but this cool trick is sure to blow your mind. To begin with, pin a swatch of old lace to the area you want to cover. Next, run your loaded roller over the material. When you take down the lace, you should be left with a gorgeous pattern every one of your guests will admire.
20. Avoiding paint fumes
Aside from being potentially very messy, one of the biggest drawbacks of painting is the awful smell. It’s enough to give anyone a headache! Mind you, with a touch of vanilla extract, you should be able to counteract the vile scent. One tablespoon per pint is the measurement to go with. And don’t worry: it’s highly unlikely that it’ll affect the finish.
19. Use cling film for a chic look
Looking to make a bold change to your decor? This design idea could be right up your street. First things first, apply a coat of dark paint to the chosen wall and let it dry. From there, add a lighter color with your brush – just one or two strokes should do the trick. Then, stick some cling film on top and apply pressure all over. Peel that layer off to reveal the eye-catching result.
18. Use smaller rollers
There’s no denying the fact that large rollers make painting walls easier. But they’re not so good when you’re trying to coat the corners. To save having to reach for a brush, and to avoid any obvious changes in your wall’s finish, grab a smaller roller. The soft material is often wrapped around the end, you see, meaning you can tuck right in tight to the corners.
17. Use tape to create random designs
Masking tape isn’t just great for sectioning off your walls, you could get creative with it, too. That’s right: if you want to produce your own random yet perfectly precise pattern during a paint job, just draw it up using a few pieces of tape. Once it’s stuck down, run your roller over the top until the entire area is covered. Then, after the coat dries, simply peel off the sticky substance. The results will look great in any room!
16. The rag trick
Deciding on a new way to spruce up a wall can be a bit of a headache. But if sifting through endless wallpaper samples doesn’t sound like a way you want to spend your time, we’ve got you covered. All you need is an old rag and some paint. Twist the cloth into a sausage shape, and dip the material into your paint tray. Now, roll it down your chosen area for an expensive-looking design all your visitors will notice.
15. Keeping your brushes in good condition
As if cleaning brushes isn’t dreary enough, there’s a chance your current method could actually be damaging your tools. Yep, the YouTuber behind the Specific Love Creations channel says, “If you just put it in a jar, there’s a good chance it will deform the bottom of the brush.” To solve this problem, then, simply clasp a binder clip around the handles. The tools should now dangle in the cleaning solution without pressing against the bottom of the container.
14. Painting concrete
Did you know that different rules apply depending on the material of the surface that you wish to paint? Take concrete, for instance, which may not react too well to a fresh coat without at least some form of preparation. But don’t worry. Slathering the area you wish to freshen up in white vinegar will help prevent the paint from splitting. Is there anything vinegar can’t do?
13. Using a straw broom
This simple design idea will help bring any room to life – and it’s fairly quick and simple, to boot. Use your roller to coat your chosen area in a base color. Then, squirt a different yet complementary shade in wavy lines across the surface. Once you’re done with that step, grab a broom and wipe the wall down. Your guests will be green with envy – even if that’s not your color of choice!
12. Multicolored pattern
Painting a wall with one color is hard enough, but three at the same time? It can’t be done…right? With some creative thinking, it’s actually possible. All you need is a roller, a plastic bag and an elastic band. By wrapping the tool in those items, you’ll be able to produce a very cool effect with your chosen shades that you’ll pour next to one another in your tray.
11. Saving paint
After you’ve finished using your roller for the day, washing it under the tap may seem like the next logical step. Before you do that, though, we’ve got a tip that will save both money and the planet. Yes, running a putty knife over the tool will allow you to scrape any excess paint back into its container. You never know when you’ll need the extra drops, after all. Plus, it means fewer chemicals make it down the drain. It’s a win-win!
10. The touch-ups trick
When the time comes to make touch-ups to your wall, you may well have forgotten the name of the shade you’ll need to track down. But this handy tip will save you from having to pore over dozens of color charts. Simply note down the name of the paint and stick it behind your faceplates. You can thank us later!
9. The W pattern
For those of you who use rollers when painting, we’ve got a question for you. Have you ever heard of the W pattern? No? Well, it might be an idea to jot this down. You see, rolling the paint in the shape of that letter should ensure that it is applied more evenly. And it’s a technique that may save you from having to do that tiresome third coat.
8. Cleaning your brushes with fabric softener
In most cases, the smell of cleaning solutions is as bad as the paint itself. Still, those brushes won’t clean themselves now, will they? To make the chore less unpleasant, try using a fabric softener. Soaking the tools in the laundry product and water for a few hours should help to soften the bristles, allowing for a nice smooth paint job.
7. Creating waves
If you want to achieve a cool pattern on your wall using just a single color, look no further. Aside from the usual paint and roller, you’ll just need to get your hands on a spare hair comb. Then, after coating the surface in paint, grab the detangler and push the tooth end into the wall that’s drying. Now, simply drag the teeth along in a swirling motion until you’re satisfied. See the waves? Cool, eh?
6. The plastic wrap hack
To explain this next hack, professional contractor Joe Truini from the Today’s Homeowner website went into more detail. He said, “You want to try and store your [paint can] safely, and seal out as much air as possible. All you need is some food wrap. You want to lay it right in the can, and set it on top of the paint.” This prevents the contents from hardening, so it should be good as new when you come to dig it out again.
5. Prepping your rollers
Before you even think about slathering paint all over the walls in your house, there’s an important step you mustn’t forget to take. You’ve got to prepare your rollers, of course. Apparently, running the tools under heated water will help them soak up the paint. And this may well improve the quality of your finished look, too.
4. Eliminate roller fuzz
Ah, fuzz – the bane of any homeowner’s existence. This stuff can get everywhere if you’re not too careful, and rollers aren’t immune. So whatever you do, don’t start painting with one that’s been affected. Instead, get hold of a sheet of packaging tape and run the tool across it. That should clean the fluff right off.
3. The rubber band trick
This rubber band trick is perhaps the most useful painting hack of them all. It has the potential to save you from making rather a lot of mess, you see – both on the floor and around the lid of the paint tin. All you have to do is stretch a rubber band around the container. That way, you can use it to wipe the excess off of your brush before slapping it on the walls.
2. Corn roller
A corn on the cob is pretty much a nobbly roller, right? And so it’s perhaps no surprise that it can serve the same purpose as the usual painting tool. Just pierce the ends with a couple of screwdrivers, and your new paint-spreading device will create a fabulously unique pattern on your wall. Go on! Stand out from the crowd!
1. The paint tray hack
Paint trays, as you will know, can become extremely messy after a while. But there’s a simple way to avoid that problem. You can wrap the receptacle in kitchen foil or a plastic bag, for example. The layer of protection stops the colorful liquid from staining the surface, which also makes cleaning it a lot easier.