When deciding to paint a room in your home, it might be tempting to just layer a drop cloth over every piece of furniture in the space and just get to it. But with a bit more prep work, your newly painted room will look a lot better.
If you can get everything out, that’s ideal, but large and heavy furniture can stay — just try to move it away from the walls as much as possible. Then, cover everything left with a drop cloth. This way, you’ll have an easy space to maneuver in that’s free from any potential accidents.
No More Roller Fuzz
So, you prepared everything, you got all new rollers, and you’re ready to get to painting, right? Wrong! New paint rollers might look great, but they also need some prepping before you use them. Otherwise, you risk all that fuzz mixing with your painting and getting all over the walls.
To fix this, just take some packing tape and use it like a lint roller. Basically, roll your new roller over the sticky side of the tape until there’s no more fuzz on the roller. Trust us, with this quick hack, you’ll save the time it would have taken to fix the fuzz-filled paint.
Keep it Clean
If you’ve ever used a paint tray while working on a space then you know the struggle of trying (and failing) to clean up all the paint that was left on the tray once you finished.
In this case, aluminum foil is your friend. Before pouring the paint in, just cover the entire top of the tray with aluminum. Then, once you’re done painting, simply take off the foil and throw it (and the mess) away.
Heating Things Up
Masking tape is one of the most important tools in a painter’s arsenal. However, while it’s great for ensuring that paint doesn’t go where you don’t want it, it can leave a sticky and messy residue behind once you peel it off.
This hack, thankfully, will make sure that your furniture remains stick-free. Simply use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the tape before you peel it. The heat will melt some of the glue, allowing the tape to become less adhesive.
The Rubber Band Hack
If you’re considering any home improvement project, you should have at least a few durable rubber bands around. Here’s how these versatile objects can help you when you’re painting: Take a large band and stretch it vertically on your paint can.
Make sure that your rubber band is stretched out right over the paint. This will allow you to get the excess paint off your brushes without having to get that paint on the edges of the can. Once you’re done, just throw the rubber band away and seal your clean can.
Paint Over for a Clean Finish
Ever wondered how professional painters get those perfectly crisp straight lines? They’ve got a trick! Paint a base layer and let it dry. Then, place your painter’s tape where you want your crisp line to be.
Paint the edges on top of the tape on the side you’re planning to paint with the base layer. Now, paint your chosen color on top (you can cover the same area of the tape that you already painted). Once dry, take the tape off and enjoy your perfect line.
This might seem pretty weird, but trust us, this little tip is going to save you a lot of scrubbing time in the shower after a painting project. Before you begin painting, put lotion on any exposed skin (ensure your arms and face are covered).
This will ensure that any paint splatter that has reached your skin will easily wash off afterward. We also suggest covering your hair with a rag or bandana to keep it safe from any splatter.
This one’s pretty simple — if you’re intent on painting an entire room, start with the ceiling, then move on to the walls. Keep in mind that no matter how much you try, painting the ceiling can and will be messy.
So, instead of having those paint specks mess up your newly painted walls, just paint the ceiling first. This way, all the mess you made will be covered when you paint the walls.
Ditch the Drop Cloth
Yes, drop cloths are a staple of painting, and they certainly have their uses, but there’s a cheap, easy, and useful alternative that might actually be better. Basically, when it comes to covering your floors when you paint, choose cardboard.
Grab some cardboard boxes, open them up, and lay them out on your floor (for better coverage, do two layers). Make sure your entire floor is covered. They actually work better because they’re heavier, making them sturdy and less prone to slipping.
The Slap and Smooth
Now that you’ve decided to paint your walls, don’t forget to give your baseboard a new coat. Painting woodwork, however, is slightly different. According to a certified handyman, when painting your baseboard, you want to slap on the paint, then smooth it out.
Basically, take a brush, load it with paint, and slap it on the desired area. Then, with short strokes, spread the paint. Finally, blend the area you’re currently working on with the previous section with long strokes in one direction. Work in small sections.
Those fancy adjustable roller extensions might look mighty enticing at the hardware store. But, if you’re not a pro, take our word for it, you don’t really need them. In fact, you probably have the perfect DIY solution right at home.
Luckily, the vast majority of roller handles fit perfectly on a broomstick (with some, you can even screw them on). So, if you need to reach high places while painting a room, just switch out your broom for a roller and enjoy the added length.
Dry No More
Working on a painting project and want to take a break but are worried that your brushes are going to dry out by the time you come back? That’s no problem at all! This works especially well if you prefer working with gloves.
When you wish to take that break, just hold your brush with a gloved hand and flip the glove over the wet bristles. Just make sure to tie the glove to the handle so it’s air-tight.
Keep the Handle Clean
Look, no matter how much you try to be tidy, you’re going to get paint on the handle of your brush. How frustrating is it to try to clean all that paint up? Let’s face it, it’s never fully going away.
Thankfully, there’s a really simple hack to keep your brush handles clean. Before painting, just cover the entire handle (up to the bristles) with painter’s tape. Then, once you’re done, you can just throw the mess away, and the brush is ready for next time.
Fabric Softener for Clean Bristles
Want to start your day off painting but your brushes are crusty because you didn’t spend enough time cleaning them from paint last time? There’s no need to throw them away and rush to the store to get new ones.
Get out your fabric softener and pour some into a deep cup and mix with some water. Then, place your crusty brushes in the softener solution for about an hour. After an hour, wash them and enjoy your soft bristles.
Crayon Picasso No More
Have kids who absolutely love to draw with crayons on the walls (driving you up those same walls)? Well, don’t go running to get new paint just yet. Here’s a trick to get your walls back to their crayon-free state.
Take a rag and dab it in baking soda. Then, use it to lightly scrub where your children’s artwork is on the walls. In no time, your walls will be back to their pristine state, and you won’t have to spend time, effort, and money painting them just yet.
Bleach Stains Away
When it comes to your home, it’s just as important to know when you shouldn’t paint. For example, when it comes to hiding water stains on the ceiling, you can actually be rid of them without any paint involved. What you actually need is bleach!
In a spray bottle, mix water and bleach (10% bleach). Spray the water stain and wait a couple of days. For older stains, use mildew remover. Just don’t forget to use safety goggles and cover your walls and floors with plastic so you don’t get bleach on them.
Clean Your Canvas
This might seem a bit strange, but when it comes to painting, before you even touch your brush or roller, you should wash and clean your surface. Keep in mind that your walls actually accumulate dust and dirt over time.
Therefore, to get the perfect finish on your new wall color, make sure to dust and wash your walls with a damp rag (you can even use soap if you feel like it needs a bit of extra cleaning).
Check the Weather
While it might seem fun to take up a painting project while it’s raining outside, you might want to wait for a sunny day. Trust us, this little tip will save you so much time! Basically, humidity and painting don’t go well together.
Beyond the fact that it’s best to paint in a well-ventilated area (meaning windows should stay open, which doesn’t really work when it’s raining), excess humidity can actually warp your paint, making it take longer to dry and possibly creating bubbles in it.
Keep the Box
Have you also been told that you hoard old boxes and containers of things for nothing and you should throw them away ASAP? Well, in this case, you should absolutely ignore all those people.
Once you got that brand-new brush out of its plastic container, keep it! Those containers are meant to stay as safe storage for your brushes. This way, your bristles won’t get crushed somewhere between projects, and the brush won’t lose its shape.
Stink Be Gone
Ah, that new paint smell! Oh, okay, that’s enough! Can we please smell something other than paint?! If that feeling is familiar to you, then this hack is perfect for you — add extracts to your paint.
Yes, you read that right. You can add a couple of drops of extract to a gallon of paint to get a nice and refreshing smell in the room (don’t forget to still ventilate). Use vanilla for darker colors and lemon extract for lighter ones.
Need to give your room a makeover but already dreading having to tape up every inch of baseboard? Have we got a clever hack for you! This one takes inspiration from your own roof.
So, instead of taping up the whole thing, just run a single strip of wide tape over the top of your baseboard with most of it hanging over the board. This way, all the paint splatters and dribbles from your wall will be caught by this overhang instead of your pristine baseboard.
Choosing what kind of paint your project requires is one of the most important first steps to any painting job. But, if you were leaning away from using latex paint for fear that it’ll never come off your hands, here’s a trick.
Instead of regular soap (which would easily get water-based paint off your hands), use baby oil. The baby oil will get all that latex paint off your hands in no time!
The Secret Is in the Putty Knife
So, you decided to go ahead and put painter’s tape everywhere before starting to paint but forgot to double-check that it was firmly placed, and once you took off the tape you found tons of paint behind it? You’re not alone!
To make sure this doesn’t happen, the pros recommend using a putty knife to ensure that every single edge of your tape is fully pressed into the surface and won’t allow any paint to bleed through.
”Box” Your Paint
This hack depends on whether or not you require more than a single can of paint for your project. If you need more than one can of the same color, you might want to think about “boxing” your paint. It turns out that every can comes out a slightly different shade (yes, even if it says they’re the same color).
So, instead of painting half your wall a different shade, do what the pros do — open several cans and mix them in a single bucket. This is what professional painters call boxing paint, and it ensures that everything comes out looking exactly the same.
Cotton Swabs Anyone?
Brushes, painter’s tape, and a ventilation mask might already be in your painting toolbox, but you might want to consider adding something else — the humble cotton swab. Those little Q-tips are going to save you a whole lot of trouble in the long run.
A cotton swab comes in handy basically every time you make a small painting mistake. A little paint managed to get behind your tape? A few drops fell on the trim? Just clean it up with your pocket cotton swab!
We bet that you had no idea that this beloved salty chips container could actually come in handy when dealing with painting your home. It turns out, though, that Pringles containers are the perfect size and length for your rollers.
So, instead of just throwing your paint rollers in the garage until the next time you need them (only for them to get smashed between everything else there), place them with a plastic covering in the Pringles can for safekeeping.
No More Paint on Glass
Everyone who’s tried to paint a window trim has struggled with getting the excess paint off the actual glass with a toxic and gross paint stripper. We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to use a paint stripper anymore!
In this case, warm vinegar is your friend. Just heat up white vinegar in your microwave. Then, with a bit of cloth (you can use an old T-shirt), wipe away the excess paint. It’ll be gone in no time!
Shave the Paint Away
No matter how much we might try to keep our nice clothes paint-free, if we’re mid-painting project, some of our favorite outfits are going to get paint on them. Luckily, you can easily salvage them if it’s a few drops.
Just like those internet hacks for getting rid of lint, get a sharp razor and shave your fabric with short motions. Make sure not to apply too much pressure, but go over the stained spot until all the color is gone. This hack isn’t recommended for cotton clothes.
Have a cement floor that you want to bring back to life with a little paint but are worried the color won’t last long? There’s a well-known issue with paint on cement peeling or cracking after just a few years.
Thankfully, in this, too, you can use vinegar. Just give the cement area you wish to paint a base coat of white vinegar. Just make sure that it fully dries before you start painting the color you actually want.
No Stained Carpets
So, you spilled some paint. If it’s on the floor — no worries! You’ll just get a rag and wipe it away with ease. But, what are you supposed to do when your paint spills on your carpet?
Don’t wipe! That will just get the color deeper into the fabric. Instead, scoop as much as you can with a putty knife. Then, dab and blot the rest with a wet rag. Just make sure to do this as soon as you notice the stain.
While fabric softener will unstiffen your brush bristles, it’s not going to fully help in cleaning old paint from your brush. So, if you ever forgot to clean your brushes for a while and wanted to start another painting project, this one’s for you.
In a pan, bring white vinegar to a boil. Once it reaches the right temperature, place all your old dirty brushes inside. Let them simmer in the pan for about five minutes. Then, remove and clean with hot water and soap.
If you’re working on a small paint project, there’s really no need for you to haul an entire bucket and paint tray with you everywhere. Instead, try this hack to create a portable and manageable paint holder.
All you need is an empty and clean milk jug and scissors or a box knife. Then simply cut out the two sides of the jug that are opposite the handle, leaving the bottom deep enough to hold the paint. You can even use the top as a brush holder!
Spray in a Box
While painting a room, you’ll find many odds and ends that require an extra touch of paint, like door knobs, outlet covers, or light fixtures. Now, the best way to do that is to take them out of the room and spray paint them. But here’s a great tip if you don’t want paint everywhere on your lawn.
Take a large cardboard box and turn it so that the opening is to the side. Place a small hook on the inner top. Then, just hang whatever you want to paint from the hook with wire and spray paint. No more paint splatter everywhere!
So, you’ve chosen a beautiful new accent color for your walls, and you want to get to painting. But wait! Don’t rush in before priming! The most important step before priming is to know what kind of paint you currently have. Just use some ethanol, if it mixes, you’ve got latex paint, if it really doesn’t, it’s oil-based.
Now, in both cases, you should prime before painting. But, if you do find that your current wall paint is oil-based and you want to paint with latex, you need to first sand the surface or use an oil-specific primer. The rule of thumb is — latex on latex and oil on oil.
Use a File Folder
You’ve covered all the frames and painted in the large areas. But now you’ve probably got to do some fine line work in areas where you didn’t, or couldn’t, tape and don’t want everything to be a mess. Instead of spending time taping once again, use a file folder.
Just place the file folder on the edge of where you want to paint. Then, gently and precisely move the folder along with you as you paint. This will give you a clean line and a straight finish to your painting.
In a Tight Spot
Having trouble with a tricky corner of the room, or painting behind a fixed piece of furniture? This hack is the perfect fix to this problem! With some hot glue, stick a paint edger pad to a stick.
This new tool will allow you to reach a narrow or complicated area of the room with ease and accuracy. This is especially useful when painting behind toilets, around the sink, and in areas with air conditioning units and radiators.
Using wallpaper instead of painting a room is certainly an option that exists. But, if you want to let your creative juices out with paint while still getting the wallpaper esthetic, try out his DIY method.
For the best result, choose a design with simple, abstract shapes. Then either find an object in that shape or cut it out from foam. Dip your shape in the fun color you chose, then go to town and enjoy pressing it onto the wall like a stamp.
Drop Cloth Corners
Anyone who’s ever tried to prep a room for painting with a drop cloth has been through the struggle of needing about 500 hands to manage to actually lay it flat through the entire space.
Luckily, this has a simple solution. All you need is cardboard squares, tape, and your drop cloth. Simply use the tape to stick the cardboard squares to the corners of the drop cloth. This will allow the corners to be heavy enough to be placed easily.
Vaseline to the Rescue
Believe it or not, vaseline can be used for more than just TikTok skin trends. While you might be accustomed to using petroleum jelly for your chapped lips, it can actually also be used while painting. This hack will save you the trouble of having to cover every little detail that you don’t wish to paint.
While you might use masking tape to hide large areas that are meant to stay paint-free, when it comes to small sections, just cover the little area with Vaseline and paint around it. The jelly will ensure that the paint doesn’t stick to the covered area.
The Lazy Tip
Not feeling like covering your paint tray with aluminum or plastic? No worries — just don’t! Seriously, you don’t actually have to get your paint tray cleaned between uses. For this tip, though, you have to have patience.
You just have to make sure that the paint that was already in the tray has completely dried before you use it again. So this only works if you’ve got time. Some handymen, though, prefer this method as the paint that accumulated makes the tray more sturdy and less prone to sliding.
Scratch Pad For The Door
As most dog owners know, dogs need to be trained in order to avoid many of the more common issues that we tend to experience with them. One of the most annoying happens to be scratching on the door! They are also instinctively trained to do so, every time they see one of us open a door. To them, scratching is like knocking on a door, so by putting up a scratch pad, you can prevent your door from being scratched incessantly.
Collars That Keep Your Dog From Escpaing
This one is particularly useful for owners of small dog breeds. It’s a pretty ingenious invention that acts as an extendable bar that essentially prevents your dog from escaping through any bars by blocking them if they try. This is ideal if you live in an apartment with a high balcony or simply worry about your dog running away. This way, you can rest assured that your pooch will be safe and at home – plus they barely notice it.
Double-sided Tape Prevents Cat Scratches
There’s nothing worse than coming home only to find your couch, chairs, loose clothes, and pillows have all been scratched by your cat! In most cases, getting a scratching pad for them to use will help to ease the need to scratch furniture, but if it doesn’t, try putting double-sided tape on things that they scratch most often. Cats tend to avoid things that are sticky, so when they feel the tape, they’ll likely avoid the surface altogether.
Make Creative Dog Treats
This is a pretty ingenious way to keep your dog satisfied for hours on end. The trick is quite simple – all you need is a box cutter, a tennis ball, and some of your pets favorite treats. Simply cut a small hole in the tennis ball about an inch in size, then fill it with some of your pet’s favorite treats. Be sure not to put too many in, or they’ll fall out when your pet starts playing with it.
Icy Treats To Help Cool Off
Believe it or not, but dogs love frozen treats just as much as the rest of us do. This fun little hack will keep them cool and occupied for hours on end. To make these treats, all you need to do is put some water and their favorite toys into a cake mold and stick it in the freezer. Watch as your pets lick away to get to the treats inside! It’s a great way to help them cool off on a hot day.
Balls Help With Eating Problems
Believe it or not, but dogs can suffer from eating disorders. In most cases, it’s a variation of either eating too much, or too little. Either way, this trick helps to solve both problems. It’s also ridiculously simple. All you need to do is put a ball that your pet enjoys playing with into the food bowl. If they eat too little, they’ll be enticed to hang around the bowl more often (and eat more). If they eat too much, then this will slow them down a little.
Simple Laundry Basket Dog Bed
Many times, people tend to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a carefully created and well-decorated dog or cat bed. Ultimately though, the truth is that most pets, whether dogs or cats, don’t really mind sleeping anywhere – just so long as it’s comfortable and cozy. So, to save some cash, simply use a washing basket, put a blanket in it, and then a pillow. Your pet will be snoozing soundly in a matter of moments.
Grow Your Own Catnip
What is a cat without its catnip? This stuff will make any cat the happiest creature on earth for around 10 minutes, then they’ll likely go and pass out for a while. The secret is a chemical known as nepetalactone. This activates a part of the cat’s brain that is usually associated with everything from hunger to sexual responses. In short, it’s the easiest way to keep your cat calm and happy without much trouble – basically, a cat owner’s dream!
Carabiner To Hold Leashes Together Or In Place
If you’re out with your dog, or own many dogs, you should always have a steady supply of carabiners lying around. These things are a lot more useful than most people tend to imagine. This is a great hack for if you need to keep your dog tied up. Simply wrap their leash around a pole and use the carabiner to fasten both sides together. This also helps to keep many leashes together, if you have more than one dog.
Dog Food Drawer
This is an ingenious idea, but will certainly require a lot more creativity and energy than some of the simpler hacks on this list. In many homes, it’s commonplace to keep the dog’s food and water in the kitchen. However, this can also be messy and troublesome. So, to save space and create a neater kitchen, try installing a dog food drawer in the kitchen. That way, you can simply pull out the drawer when it’s feeding time, and close it afterward!
Create A DIY Cat Tent
Cats are really curious little creatures. They love finding tiny nooks and crannies to squeeze themselves into. However, a simple tent will likely work just as well. All you need is a 15″x15″ piece of cardboard, two metal coathangers, and a shirt. Cut the hooks off the coathangers and bend them to form a double arch. Then fix them to the cardboard and seal them down, pull the shirt over and voila – instant cat tent!
Ant-proof Outdoor Food
Having outdoor pets can be fun, but leaving food outdoors for your pet can be problematic. The reason for this is simple: ants! They will get into your pet’s food and either eat it up, or your pet won’t eat if it knows there are ants in the food. So, to prevent this, draw a line of chalk around your food and place it on a plate with a little water. This will keep the ants at bay!
Using Vaseline To Ease Discomfort
While a dog’s paws are designed to be tough and leathery for good reason, the truth is that they can still get sore under temperatures that are either too hot or too cold. While this doesn’t happen very often, taking your dog for long walks can cause discomfort or pain. So, in order to prevent this from happening (and the vet bills that may come with it), the best idea is to put a little Vaseline on the bottom of their feet before walking.
Play Fetch Uphill
If you own a small breed of dog, you’ll know how energetic they can be. There’s nothing worse for a pet than being left at home all day with nothing better to do than lie around. So, when you get home from work, if you don’t have the energy to take your dog out on a long walk, simply play fetch with him uphill. This will help to release all that pent up energy and help tire it out sooner.
Use Regular Shampoo Often
A lot of people tend to think that you need a specialized shampoo to treat your dogs. This may be true if they’re experiencing a flea infestation or some other kind of skin condition, but in most cases, regular shampoo will do just fine. All you need to do is mix the shampoo with water before use (usually one part shampoo to four parts water) and you’ll get great results from the first wash.
Put Dog’s Bed In A Drawer
As an addition to the dog food drawer, we listed earlier, this idea plays off the same motif – except for a dog bed. The dog drawer is not only a great way to save space around your home and keep it looking neat but will give your dog a neat and cozy bed at the same time. To do this, all you need to do is take out the drawers or shelves from a dresser and you can stick a dog bed inside discretely.
DIY Dog Toys From Socks & Water Bottles
This is a really clever and cost-effective dog toy that will keep him or her occupied for hours on end. All you need is an old sock and an empty water bottle. In order to make the toy, simply put the water bottle in the sock and then tie a knot at the top of it. That’s it – an almost free dog toy! However, we would recommend that you use this for smaller breeds, as larger breeds will likely break it quite soon.
Use A Squeegee For Pet Hair
While we all love having pets and letting them roam around our homes freely like they own the place, the truth is that shedding can be a real nightmare! There’s nothing worse than watching your favorite furniture get turned into a hairy, smelly pet bed over time. So, to prevent this, be sure to regularly use a squeegee to help pull loose pet hairs off your furniture. This is a lot cheaper than a lint roller and works like a charm!
Invest In A Spill-proof Bowl
This is another pretty ingenious invention that we highly recommend for dog owners. Anyone who has traveled long distances with the family pooch before will know how much of trouble feeding them and letting them drink can be while in transit. So, by using one of these cleverly designed spill-proof bowls, you can let your dog drink comfortably and not have to worry about the mess! Well, we’d still recommend that you put down some newspaper and plastic in case they have an accident.
Use A Dog Harness For Driving
This is another creative invention that is ideal for people who have energetic dogs. In most cases, we’d simply advise you to travel with them less if they’re clearly nervous about being in a car for too long. But when that isn’t an option, you can always try using a roof rack strap, a carabiner, and a dog harness to latch them safely in place. This way, they’re limited to the back seat only and won’t disturb the driver of the vehicle.
Make Pill Pockets For Medication
If you’ve ever tried to give your dog a pill, you’ll know how difficult it can be! Dogs tend to only eat things that they’re familiar with or that really intrigue their sense of smell. Unfortunately, pills and medication don’t fall into that category. So, instead of trying to force it down their throat, the easiest thing to do is buy or make your own pill pockets. These clever little treats help to hide the pill inside of them, and taste delicious!
Use Essential Oils Often
If you live in an area that is near large, grassy fields or close to sand, there’s a high chance that your dog will develop a flea, mite, or tick infection at some point. In order to prevent this from happening, be sure to apply a lot of essential oil to your dog’s coat on a regular basis. Use a combination of lavender, sage, and eucalyptus essential oils on your dog’s coat to keep the pesky pests at bay.
Feed Them Parsley For Bad Breath
If your dog suffers from particularly bad breath, you should always try breath mints or brushing his/her teeth first as a means of practicing good oral hygiene. However, there are also a ton of homeopathic treatments that you can try cheaply to ensure that their breath is fresher. Using parsley in their food is a good way to neutralize the odor in their mouths and helps to kill off bacteria at the same time. Just be sure to use a lot of it!
Green Tea Litter Eliminates Smells
This is actually a much older technique than many of us realize, but has come back into fashion. It used to be quite fashionable to use soybeans as a cat litter in the past, however, in more recent years, manufacturers have started blending green tea extracts with kitty litter to help create better-smelling litter boxes. While there are ways to create your own, this hack simply recommends switching to green tea litter for a better smelling home and pet!
Inflatable Pool For Summer
During the hot summer months, there’s nothing your pooch will love more than being able to have a nice, cool, and relaxing swim. However, if you’re not lucky enough to have a large pool in your backyard or don’t live close to the ocean, a lake, or a river, then a simple inflatable or portable play pool will do just fine! Let your pooch cool off in one of these and they’ll be happier than ever!