Friday, March 15, 2024

Make painting and cleaning up afterwards suck a little less


For those that enjoy painting and cleaning up after painting as much as I do, here are a couple of tips to make painting and cleaning up afterwards suck a little less.

For years, I used paint trays with liners to draw paint from until I met a professional painter one day at a Sherwin Williams store who was kind enough to share some tricks of the trade with me after he noticed the products I was selecting for a home painting project I was getting ready to tackle. He was a friendly, energetic young man who had started painting at an early age working with his father and had wisdom in this space beyond his years.

Time is money, he said, and the key is to knock a job out in the least amount of time possible with minimal waste and deliver a professional finish. As he shared tips with me, he walked around the store, picking out each item he was recommending and explaining the benefits of each item. What he shared made sense, so I purchased everything he picked out for me.

The game-changing tip he shared was drawing paint from a bucket using a bucket grid instead of a paint tray. I had always used paint trays; it was all I knew, but I never enjoyed using them. Cleaning a paint tray after each painting session was time-consuming and messy. Paint tray liners made this process a little better, and although they are relatively cheap, it seemed silly to continually be buying new paint trays to add to our landfills. Additionally, paint trays are awkward to move around, and there never seems to be a good place to set them to avoid bumping or stepping on them. And what I especially did not like about paint trays was how they did not accommodate taking breaks between painting sessions.

The concept of using a bucket with a bucket grid to draw paint from is quite simple, and you can find all the items you need at your local Sherwin Williams store.

The first choice to make is what size bucket you are going to use. For most projects, I prefer to use a five-gallon bucket. If the project requires more time on a ladder than on the ground, I use a two-gallon bucket because it is easier to maneuver while standing on a ladder. I like to use a large carabiner to attach the bucket handle to a rung on the latter, so both my hands are free and I do not have to go up and down the latter to draw more paint.

Once you decide on your bucket size, select a bucket lid and bucket grid that are sized for the bucket size you selected, along with the rollers and paint brushes you plan to use. Fill the bucket with paint so there is enough space for your roller to hang inside the bucket on the grid without the roller touching the paint at the bottom of the bucket. This is where you will rest your roller when it is not in use.

Now here comes the cool part: if you need to take a break from painting for a few hours or a few days, you simply lift the bucket grid up so it is not attached to the edge of the bucket and let it rest inside the bucket. If you are painting with a roller, remove the roller from the handle, drop the roller in the bucket with the bucket grid, and seal the bucket with the bucket lid. That’s it; in less than 30 seconds, you are done cleaning up for the day.

When you are ready to get back to painting, open the bucket, attach the bucket grid back to the side of the bucket, and slide the roller back on the handle. And once again, in less than 30 seconds, you are locked, loaded, and ready to get back to painting.

The quickest and most convenient way I have found to deal with a brush if you want to use it again is to remove the excess paint by dragging the brush against the bucket grid, then place the brush inside a zip-lock freezer bag and place it in a refrigerator. When you pull the brush back out to use it again, it will be a little stiff for a few brush strokes but will return to normal. I have stored brushes like this for months and used them again without any issue.

I have tried many types of paint over the years, but I have not found anything better, in my opinion, than the Sherwin Williams Emerald paint line. It rolls on in a smooth and consistent manner and provides a professional finish. My favorite feature of Emerald paint is how clean it is to work with; it does not drip or splatter as it is applied, which means the paint ends up only where you want it, not on your clothes, the floor, or your dog.

I hope others find these tips as helpful as I have.

Happy Painting!