Paint Prep


The hardest part about painting is the setup and preparation. During my last few weeks of painting, I found that the actual painting took about 30-40 minutes, while the set up took an hour or more.

Each painting job requires different things and the more you paint the more you will realize what things you personally like to work with. For instance, I typically only use 2” paint brushes, anything bigger than that is too big for my hand and anything smaller is useless. I also recently discovered the smaller 4” rollers and fell in love with it. It works great for trim or small sections of the wall where the large roller doesn’t fit.

In our garage, we have a large bucket full of paint stuff.


Pretty much everything I need for painting is in the bucket. The first thing I do is select my tools.

Paint tray and disposable plastic tray insert, 2” paint brush, one for each color of paint, blue tape, plastic to throw over the floor, my two rollers, and my paint can opener.

041_QVga I got this at Home Depot with one of my paint kits, I love it. I makes opening paint cans and breeze and it doubles as a bottle opener for those who need beer while painting, I guess.

Next, I like to designate a section of the house I call “the painting room”. I know, not very original but everyone knows what I’m talking about when I use it as a direction..’near the painting room’ ‘it’s in the painting room’ ‘on the table next to the painting room’; you get the point.

Anyway, I set up the painting room for cabinets, doors, or anything that comes off the wall and needs to be painted. I start with a table, throw on an old comforter over that, and then gather cardboard boxes and set them out as well.


Then, I set all my supplies out on the table; easier for storage at the end of the night and easy to grab things while I’m working.

016_QVgaHere I have two paint trays because I was using two different colors; white and tan.

One great money saving tip, is to use old soup cans or old cups as small paint holders. When its time to do edging or corners or those areas that require a small paint brush, it helps to have a small container to hold the paint instead of carrying around the large can or painting tray. No need to buy small paint holders when you can just use a soup can. I clean mine out really good and then I can simply carry that around and get all the areas that require a paintbrush.


The next part of prepping involves taping and laying down the plastic. This is the part that takes forever, or so it seems. I have tried painting many times without the tape and have made a huge mess which requires more painting or replacing baseboards and trim. Of course, you could very easily remove the trim to start with, but that is a preference thing.


Once all the prep work is finally done the painting can start. Of course, by this time half the day is gone and its about time to start cleaning up. To avoid this, I typically try to prep the day before or set goals as to how much I want to get done.

If your project is not finished, plastic wrap is great for keeping your paint from drying out. Simply put the lids back on your cans of paint and then wrap your paint brushes in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out overnight. I also put plastic wrap on my small soup cans and over the paint trays. This way, I don’t have to rinse everything out just to dirty it the next day.

When, you are completely done with your project, then you will want to rinse out all your paint supplies. I throw away the plastic drop covers and the plastic paint liners and usually I throw out paint brushes too, but that is just because I’m too lazy to clean them.

Of course, the big question is what to do with all the left over paint or empty paint cans. I did a lot of research, in my area at least. Empty paint cans can be thrown in the garbage. They can only have 1/4 of paint in them and the paint must be dried out. Then, you can throw the cans in the trash with the lids off so the garbage collectors know they are empty cans. If you leave the lid on or put the lid back on, the cans will not get picked up. I take my cans outside with the lids off and let them dry out for a few days before throwing them in the trash.


Those are my tips and tricks for paint prepping. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I’m not an expert at all, I just enjoy making my house look and feel better.

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