How to Paint: 10 No-Mess Painting Tips for Your Next DIY Project

Family Handyman

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All these great Before & Afters we've been featuring have me itching to tackle some new projects around the house. I've come a long way since I posted about not wanting to paint another inch of my bathroom, in part because of helpful reader comments. That's why I couldn't wait to pass along these fantastic tips for no-mess painting. I had several A-ha moments just reading them!

Click through to the Family Handyman to see photos and get more details — you'll also find tons of other useful info — but here's the quick 'n' dirty rundown:

1. Use pimple pads to clean up latex paint dribbles. The alcohol softens the paint right up! Be sure to test first to make sure it won't compromise the finish of your floors.

2. Painting spindles can be a drag, since you can only get to three sides at a time. Not anymore! Drive long drywall screws into each end, then rest the spindles between a pair of sawhorses. Now you can turn as you go!

3. The drywall screw tip works for chairs and stools too! Drive screws about a half an inch into the bottom of the legs for an instant lift (and no more sticking to the newspaper or drop cloth).

4. To get into tight spots like behind the back of a toilet, glue a paint-edging pad to a stir stick. Instant skinny paint tool!

5. Need to cover an awkward object, like, say, a toilet tank? Wrap Glad Press'n Seal plastic wrap over it — it's quick and stays put.

6. Ever tried to remove stubborn painter's masking tape only to have it tear or pull off flakes of your new finish? Use a hairdryer to soften it up first.

7. Speaking of painter's tape, if you have a roll that's been sitting around for a while and the tape won't pull off without tearing, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften up the adhesive.

8. For crisp tape application, use a putty knife to press the edge flat over trim or along wall seams.

9. Cut the bottom section from a coat wire hanger and bend and position so it straddles the rim of the paint can. Tape it in place, and you've got a nifty way to rub off excess paint from your brushes.

10. This last tip is for all you DIY-ers who've been stuck inside all winter. Create a "spray booth" from a cardboard box and you'll never accidentally paint your garage floor again! For small objects like hardware, use coat hanger wire to hang the items from the top of the spray booth, then rotate as you go.

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*Updated from a post originally published 2.24.12 - AB

(Image: Family Handyman)