Painting – Handy Tips and Tricks

A DIY painting job doesn’t have to equal crooked lines, besmirched floors, and ceramic sinks speckled with robin’s egg blue. Use these handy tips and tricks , to make the process faster and less messy. Who doesn’t like a nifty hack! Below are some really useful ones you may not know about!

#1 Soak brushes in fabric softener to keep brushes soft

Every DIY painter has experienced the horror of a day-old brush with stiff bristles making the next coat nearly impossible, so here is a neat hack to try… Also, there’s no need to rinse before using as the softener actually helps distribute paint more smoothly. so to keep your brushes soft:-

  1. Rinse thoroughly (no soap).
  2. Mix half a cup of fabric softener with 4 liters of warm water (depending on how many and size of brushes used)
  3. Swish brushes in the mixture for 10 seconds or so.
  4. Lay them flat or hang them on a peg for overnight storage.

#2 Use plastic wrap to prevent mishaps

When painting around a large, awkward item you want to keep clean, like a toilet or sink, surround it with plastic wrap to keep drips from destroying its finish. Once you’ve finished the job, just unwrap for a paint-free finish.

#3 Naturally absorb paint fumes – address the fumes before you start

Vanilla, peppermint, baking soda, coffee grounds or lemon water

  1. Simply place a few drops of vanilla or peppermint extract on cotton balls and place them in small bowls or saucers scattered around the room. For darker paints, you can even add a drop of vanilla extract (artificial is fine) per litre to reduce the smell and keep your room smelling sweet for weeks to come.
  2. Baking soda will also absorb smells – place the powder in shallow bowls around the room – and you can even sprinkle it on your carpets and furniture overnight and vacuum up in the morning.
  3. Who doesn’t like the smell of coffee? Dry coffee grounds will also absorb the fumes…just make sure you throw them away afterwards!
  4. The trusty lemon … Water will absorb VOCs on its own, but adding some slices of cut lemon will give off a clean citrus scent that is even more refreshing. Water takes a bit longer to absorb odours, so leave the bowls of lemon water in the room overnight.

#4 Repurpose old T-shirts as rags to reduce waste

Let’s face it, painting can be a messy job, but using copious rolls of paper towels is neither efficient nor environmentally-friendly – why not use something you can find stuffed at the back of a drawer? Best to wear an old t-shirt too! Paint running down your roller or brush, gets messy really quickly – hang a rag from your pocket so you and your brush/roller stay clean.

#5 Keep cotton buds handy for mistakes

We’ve all been there – suddenly splashes of your trending colour splashes onto your pale door, window frame or skirting. You’ve only got a few seconds to clean up the mess before your mistake is sealed for eternity. That’s where cotton buds come in handy. Keep some within reach for these types of emergencies. Here’s another use for that pile of buds tucked in your pocket: Use them to touch up imperfections on newly-painted walls without dirtying your entire paintbrush.

#6 Put vaseline on small areas you don’t want painted

Cool tip! A little bit of Vaseline can go a long way toward keeping your paint job clean. Using vaseline and an earbud go over all the bits and pieces you don’t want painted, like screws and hinges, this way even an accidental slip won’t leave you pulling your hair out!.


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