Painter's Tricks And Tips

Tired of messy drips and spills? Here's a way to make them a thing of the past. Slip a rubber band over the open can and each time you dip your brush into the paint, give a gentle swipe across the band with the bottom of your brush. This should take care of removing excess paint from your brush while keeping the rim of your can clean as a whistle. That means it will also be easy for you to replace the lid when you're done painting.

Insert Nails

Are you ready to tackle a touch-up job on a chair or small table? Back up a minute and complete one more step toward preparation. Using a hammer and gentle tapping motions, insert nails into the bottom of each chair or table leg. This will encourage air circulation during the paint-drying period and also prevent the chair or table from sticking to the work surface.

Do you hate washing up? You won't have to if you line that paint pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil before use. This tip has even greater application (get it?) when you are using many colors for the same project. Before you switch to the next color, simply pour the excess paint straight back into its can, throw away the foil lining, and put in a fresh sheet of foil lining, pressing it gently to make it adhere to the contours of the pan.

How Much?

You've found the color you love, but have no idea how much to purchase to cover one room. Here's how: calculate the wall area for the room and figure one gallon per 450 feet.

To get the wall area, multiply each wall's height by its width, but don't subtract door and window dimensions unless they occupy a space that is greater than half of the wall. Add up your figures and then throw in another 10% for any touch-ups in the future. If you plan to apply a second coat, double your final total.


By the time you finish painting that room, future touch-ups are probably the last thing you'll want to consider. But you will be glad you took the time to do the following: mark the paint name and its product number on painter's tape and stick your homemade label to the inside of that room's light-switch plate. When your nice new coat of paint begins to show wear and tear, you'll know just what shade of paint to buy.