9 Smart Tricks to Make Your Next Paint Job Simple and Painless

published Nov 23, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Painting a room is often thought of as the easiest DIY upgrade, but it doesn’t come without its own stressors. If you’re taking on this project yourself—and we believe in you!!!—you don’t have to settle for the hard way when there are so many ways to make it easier. Here, nine problem-solving products that’ll make your next paint job easier, from the initial steps down to the last coat.

Instead of guessing how much paint you’ll need, try a paint calculator 

Gallons of paint might seem like a lot before you get started, but it’s always surprising to see how much is actually needed to cover a room—and finding out that you don’t have enough isn’t something you want to experience with two blank walls to go. (Even worse? Overbuying and being left with so much extra you don’t have any way to use it all.) Figure out how many gallons you’ll need with a paint calculator, which estimates your project’s probable number of cans when you supply the measurements of the room. 

Instead of imagining what a room will look like, try a color visualizing app

Paint samples and a little imagination can help you visualize what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room, but why not use technology to make that image clearer? Color visualizers allow you to browse shades and place them digitally into an image of the room in your home you’re looking to paint. There are plenty to choose from, depending on what paint you plan on using, including Home Depot’s ProjectColor App (for iPhone and Android), Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer (for desktop), and Glidden’s color visualizer (for desktop), among others.

Credit: BEHR

Instead of fumbling to open a paint can, try a simple-pour lid

Opening a traditional paint can usually takes some finesse with a screwdriver or paint key, and then likely leads to drips and spills once you get it open. That’s not the case with BEHR’s Simple Pour Lid—new this fall—which has a washable spout that can twist open or close. The spout also makes it easier to pour paint directly into a tray or bucket, keeping the surrounding area clean. Green bonus: The whole can is recyclable.

Credit: CoverGrip

Instead of sliding on a slick drop cloth, try a grippy drop cloth

Canvas drop cloth has long been used to protect flooring during paint jobs, but it has one annoying flaw: It doesn’t stay still. To keep from sliding on the cloth as you paint, or to save yourself the extra work of taping it down, grab CoverGrip Safety Drop Cloth. This washable canvas has a tacky material that sticks to flooring, making for a safer surface as you work. 

Credit: Home Depot

Instead of applying painter’s tape by hand, try a painter’s tape applicator

Even the most inexperienced home improver knows that painter’s tape is essential, but this added applicator simplifies this step by gliding the tape along in one motion. You’ll start by sticking a few inches of tape onto the edge of a surface, and then use the applicator to pull it down or across the wall. It has wheels that will stick the tape to the area, and a cutter that will slice off the bottom when you’re finished. 

Credit: Wooster

Instead of refilling a tray, try a giant roller-sized bucket

If you have a big painting project underway, sometimes the constricting size of a typical paint tray won’t cut it. This Wooster bucket can be filled with up to four gallons of your desired shade, and it has a 10-inch wide roll-off side to encourage even coverage. Its material resists buildup, and its handle makes it easy to move the bucket around the room.

Credit: Wooster

Instead of dealing with an uneven paint application, try an extra-wide roller

Rollers are often the go-to choice for painting a room, but the right one should glide paint across a surface with ease. This 14-inch-wide roller frame is a popular solution for covering wide walls, and its structure allows for a comfortable grip and a streak-free application. 

Credit: Purdy

Instead of struggling to clean an angled brush, try a brush that’s made for easy washing

Can a brush have a cult following? That’s likely the case with this hard-working number from Purdy, which can effortlessly apply a full range of paint types without issue. But its biggest cheerleaders rave that this brush is super easy to clean—even with heavy-duty paints. That’s a relief, considering that tidying up is a job in itself. 

Credit: Backdrop

Instead of painting over nail holes, try using a spackle-and-applicator-in-one

While you could remove nails from the wall and let a fresh coat of paint fill in their holes, that won’t give you the smooth finish you’re envisioning for when this project is through. Spend (just a little) extra time on those markings with this Backdrop kit, which essentially erases those holes with a built-in applicator. Once that dries, you’ll have smooth walls that are ready for paint.