This Painting Hack Will Cut Your Cleanup Time in Half (or More)

published Jun 12, 2021
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The Small/Cool Experience is a shoppable online home design showcase and social event full of decorating tips and tricks from your favorite designers. Check out the whole virtual experience online and at @apartmenttherapy on Instagram from June 11-13. Thank you to our sponsors BEHR® Paint, Genesis G70, LUMAS, Overstock, Tuft & Needle, Chasing Paper, and Interior Define for making this experience possible.

This year’s Small/Cool Experience is full of smart tips — everything from how to create a moody vibe in your living room to the two-second formula for choosing what colors to decorate with. But the end of day two featured a check-in with our Paint Cam pro, Ann Chen, who shared a tip that had Instagram Live viewers going wild in the comments.

Ann, a pro muralist, is taking the weekend to complete a stunning mural in her own home using a Behr paint palette. She showed off her work so far to Apartment Therapy’s editor-in-chief, Laura Schocker, and in the process revealed her tried-and-true paint cleanup hack. Since she’s mid-paint job, Ann didn’t want to have to clean up her brushes and rollers — but she didn’t want to leave them to dry (and get ruined in the process), either.

Ann’s genius trick? Use aluminum foil to wrap her rollers and paintbrushes so they don’t dry out between coats. She says she’s used this shortcut to skip the mid-process cleanup for as long as a full weekend with success — and it’s a cheap hack you can steal for your next project, too.

Here’s all you need to do: If you’re mid-painting, wrap your wet brush or roller tightly using aluminum foil (or plastic wrap, if that’s what you have handy). The wrapping will keep air out and prevent paint from drying while you’re away.

Ann’s showing off her progress on her mural all weekend long on Apartment Therapy’s Instagram; check in at 6:15 ET on Sunday, June 13 to see the final reveal. And of course, check out our whole Small/Cool Experience schedule here.