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 shared 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, so what to do? Well, thankfully, sticking some cardboard to the edges with tape can make that task a lot easier. 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 pay out the wazoo for fancy wallpaper, this tip is for you. So, first things first, you need to pour your paint into a tray as you would do normally. Then grab an ice cube container from the kitchen, dip the cold 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 of the tape while you’re at it, too?
36. Prepping the walls
Before you can even think about giving your home a makeover, you naturally have to prep the walls. Yep, the surfaces you’re looking to paint must be as clean as possible. Luckily, there’s a simple way to make that happen. 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 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
See those pesky drips and streaks on your painted wall? What a pain after all that hard work. But don’t despair, as they’re easily fixable. Your first option is to carefully sand the affected area. Then, 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 any surface below them after they’ve been painted. To avoid this, just place some nails into the base of the chair 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 surface should stop any decorative coating from sticking to it, you see. Just remember to wipe the Vaseline away 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 acidic liquid, and the paint should come right off. Doing this saves both time and money, too!
29. The milk jug trick
Lugging around a bulky painting tray not really doing it for you? Well, if you don’t trust yourself to work straight from the tin, then this makeshift invention will be right up your street. As the host of YouTube channel Specific Love Creations YouTube channel has explained, “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
Even if you have all the decorating gadgets and gizmos on the market, your dry paint may not 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. After making an incision all the way along a noodle, you can clip it around the bottom of a paint tray. Then, with a few more slices, you’ll have created a makeshift brush holder – handy for stopping your tools from becoming submerged in paint 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. Before you load up your brush or roller, just smear a helping of lip balm on the areas most at risk of being stained. That should shield the surface, as you’ll be able to rub off any paint that sticks to the balm.
25. Striped wall pattern
Fancy adding a timeless stripe pattern to your walls without the ordeal 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 apply. Look at how your walls 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 stuff 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’s going to take more than a day, then this hack is for you. As the host of YouTube’s Specific Love Creations has pointed out, all you need to do to keep your roller moist is to securely wrap it in a plastic bag. If you’ve got a spare Pringles can lying around, why not put your tool in there, too? That’ll make sure it’s really airtight!
22. Removing masking tape
Although masking tape can help you achieve a nice, neat paint job, it’s not always the easiest to remove. Well, fret no more! Simply power up a hairdryer and wave it over the section of tape you want to rip off. This should prevent you from creating any unnecessary and annoying chips in your walls or baseboards.
21. The lace pattern
Creating a wallpaper-like look on your walls may seem impossible without having to hang the stuff, 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. And 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
One of the biggest drawbacks of painting – aside from being potentially very messy – 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 that vile scent. One tablespoon per pint is the measurement to go with. And don’t worry: it’s highly unlikely to change 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, just 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 that large rollers make painting walls easier. They’re not so good, though, when you’re trying to coat corners. But to save having to reach for a brush and 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 can 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. Then, once the tape is stuck down, run your roller over the top until the entire area is covered. And after the coat dries, all you need to do is 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 before dipping 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 [your brush] in a jar, there’s a good chance it will deform the bottom… especially if you have real soft bristles.” To solve this problem, then, simply attach a binder clip to the brush handle. Your tool should now dangle in the cleaning solution without pressing against the base of the container.
14. Painting concrete
Do you know the best way to prep the surface you want to paint? Take concrete, for instance, which may not react too well to a fresh coat without at least a little groundwork. But don’t worry. Covering 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. And 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? Well, with some creative thinking, it’s possible. All you need is a roller, a plastic bag and an elastic band. Wrap your tool in the bag before securing with the band. Then pour your chosen shades next to one another in your tray, and you’ll be able to produce a very cool patterned effect.
11. Saving paint
After you’ve finished using your roller for the day, washing it under the tap seems a no-brainer. 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. Thank us later!
9. The W pattern
Use rollers when painting? Then we’ve got a question for you. Have you ever heard of the W pattern? No? Well, it may be an idea to jot this down. Basically, rolling the paint in the shape of that letter should ensure it’s applied more evenly. This technique may even save you from that tiresome third coat, which has to be a bonus.
8. Cleaning your brushes with fabric softener
Those brushes won’t clean themselves, but the chemicals you need? Stinky enough to give you a migraine! To make this chore less unpleasant, though, try using a fabric softener instead. Soaking your tools for a few hours in a solution of the stuff should help to soften the bristles, allowing for a nice smooth paint job.
7. Creating waves
If you want a cool pattern on your wall in only one 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. And all you have to do after that is to 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, we’re going to defer to professional contractor Joe Truini. In a piece for the Today’s Homeowner website, he advised, “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 your paint should be good as new when you come to dig it out again.
5. Prepping your rollers
Before you even think about painting over the walls in your house, there’s an important step you need to take. What’s that? Well, you’ve got to prepare your rollers, of course! Apparently, running the tools under heated water will help them soak up the paint. Doing this may well improve the quality of your finished look, too.
4. Eliminate roller fuzz
Ah, fuzz – the bane of any homeowner’s existence. The stuff can get everywhere if you’re not too careful, and rollers aren’t immune to collecting it, either. But whatever you do, don’t start painting with one that’s been fuzzed up. Instead, get hold of a roll of packaging tape and run the tool across a sticky strip or two. 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 paint off your brush before slapping it on the walls.
2. Corn roller
Corn on the cob is pretty much a lumpy roller, right? And that makes it an ideal stand-in for your usual painting tool. Just pierce the ends of the corn with a couple of screwdrivers before coating it in paint. That way, you can create a fabulously unique pattern on your wall. Go on! Stand out from the crowd!
1. The paint tray hack
As you’ll no doubt know, paint trays can become extremely messy after a while. But there’s a simple way to avoid that problem. Just wrap the receptacle in kitchen foil or a plastic bag, for example. The layer of protection stops paint from staining the surface of the tray, which also makes cleaning it a lot easier.