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17 Paint Hacks You Absolutely Need In Your Life

Sometimes painting is hard. Just like these paint hacks, Sherwin-Williams will make your next paint project a whole lot easier.

1. Use rubbing alcohol to determine if existing paint is oil or latex based.

After soaking a cotton ball in alcohol, rub it back and forth over a small area of the wall. If the paint comes off, the preexisting paint is latex based. If the paint remains, it's oil based, which calls for use of an oil-based primer before painting can continue.

2. Remove the fuzz off a paint roller with a lint roller.

If you want a perfectly smooth finish, fuzz on a brand-new roller isn't ideal. Before painting, use a lint roller to remove any stray fuzz from the paint roller.

3. Use petroleum jelly to cover areas you don't want painted.

Whether its a small detail like a screw or compensating for the lack of painters tape, petroleum jelly can be used to protect areas you don't want to get painted.

4. Use tin foil to cover the doorknob as you paint.

No need to tediously painters tape a doorknob. You can simply use a sheet of aluminum foil to cover it up.

5. Remove dried-up paint from paintbrushes with vinegar.

A little dried paint shouldn't stop you from using a perfectly fine paintbrush. To salvage your brush, just soak in a container full of vinegar.

6. Repurpose a plastic lid as a splatter shield.

Protect your hands from paint splatter. Cut a slit through a plastic lid like those you find on coffee cans and slide your brush through.

7. Prevent paint from drying and sealing a paint can lid by puncturing holes around the rim of the can.

Nothing more frustrating than trying to pry open a paint can that's sealed with dried paint. To prevent this, puncture holes along the inner rim to allow the paint to drip back into the can.

8. Cleanly remove excess paint with a rubber band wrapped around a paint can.

By wrapping a rubber band around the paint can, you've created a paint scraper that can be easily disposed afterwards.

9. Prevent lap marks by properly loading your roller.

Ridges of dried paint (known as lap marks) are a common painting problem. You should NEVER submerge a roller directly into the paint. The excess paint will find its way into the crevices of the roller and will squeeze out when rolling. Properly load the roller by using the roller tray screen to coat its entire surface.

10. Paint in a W or zig-zag pattern for a smooth finish.

The moment you first set the roller to the wall is when the most amount of paint is on the roller. Using the W pattern will allow you to spread out the paint. By going over the W in an up-and-down motion, you will achieve your desired smooth finish.

11. Cut a milk jug to act as a paint and paintbrush holder.

Create your own personal paint caddy with an old milk jug. Cut out the front of the milk jug, leaving the handle intact. The bottom of the jug can be used to hold the paint while the opening is used to house the paintbrush in between painting.

12. Fasten a pool noodle around the rim of a bucket to act as a paintbrush holder.

Not waiting to place the paintbrush just anywhere? You can use a pool noodle to hold it in place. Cut slits along the pool noodle with a utility knife and wrap it around the brim of the bucket.

13. Attach your paintbrush to the metal can with a magnet.

Keep your paintbrush held securely in place with some simple science!

14. Remind yourself what paint color you used by writing down the information behind a light switch.

Never forget a paint color again. Remind yourself of the exact color you previously used by writing all the information on the backside of a light switch located in the room.

15. Wrap tin foil around the paint roller tray for easy cleanup.

By wrapping a sheet of aluminum foil around the roller tray, you can save time on the messy cleanup. Just dispose the paint-filled aluminum foil upon completion of the project.

16. Use baby oil to help remove latex paint off your hands.

Painting with latex? Manage to get some on your hands while painting? Not to worry. Baby oil will easily remove the paint from your skin.

17. If your project moves into the next day, store used paintbrushes in the refrigerator to prevent drying.

No need to clean up if you're going to use the same brush the next day. Wrap the brush in plastic and store in the fridge. You should be good to go when you start back up.

For more ideas and inspiration – maybe for the very project you’re considering – Visit Tint and Bristles, the official Tumblr blog of Sherwin-Williams.

Photos by Sarah Stone, Spencer Bergen, and Aubree Lennon. Illustrations by Kristin Rossi.