Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Painting Trick & Tip

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I've been doing some painting over the weekend and thought I'd show you a trick I use and a tip at the end.

The trick which you see above is  great if you have things that may stick to your work surface while it dries. In my case I was painting a folding chair frame and to prevent it from sticking to the paper I used to catch any drips I hammered in some small nails. I then proceeded to paint the part of the frame that was now facing up.



Turning the frame over I now had little feet that protected the bits I had just painted and I also didn't have to contort myself to paint the underside as it was already done and I could concentrate on the part that was now facing up.

After the (in this case second coat of) paint has dried I pull the nails out and if needed touch up the tiny holes. Doubt that that will be necessary though.

As you can see here I nailed into the sides of the frame because the frame wouldn't stay put otherwise being a folding one but normally you would nail into the underside of your chair legs or what ever it is you're painting. That way your holes won't be visible at all and you're not doing damage to the finish of your piece.

So, for those of you who have a peg board like we do or are able to hammer in a nail above you paint work top, such as in your garage, here's a tip.

Hang the brush you're using to paint solvent based paints on the nail or hook and let it hang into a jar of paint thinner. You don't want to rest the brush at the bottom of the jar because it will bend the bristles and also pick up paint residue from there. What you want is to have the brush hanging about an inch from the bottom with the bristles in the thinner but not the handle or the top of the bristles touching the solvent. This allows for the bristles to stay wet and the paint on them will drop to the bottom of the jar.

I use this method in between coats, wiping the brush on some kitchen towels to get most of the thinner out before the next coat.

I'm sure this is not kosher amongst pro painters but I also tend to leave the brush in there after finished projects and if I'm lucky (and not too many months have passed and have remembered to refill the jar a little) I can pick the brush up for a project down the line, simply wiping it well with kitchen towels before reuse. I have yet to manage to clean a brush that I've been using for solvent based paints well enough for reuse so this works for me. 

Do you have any painting tips or tricks you'd like to share? I'm all ears!


  • pat says:

    Great idea. We don’t have a peg board in the garage but it’s on the list now.
    I wrap the brush in aluminum foil, stick in a plastic bag and keep in the freezer. This works for dry-overnight-paint another coat jobs but I’m not sure it works indefinitely.

  • Leena says:

    The nail trick is great!! Usually when I paint the object stucks to the newpapers I use for covering the surface below. I will do this for the deck chairs I have to paint next weekend.
    Doesn’t the solvent smell really bad if you have an open jar full of it?

  • It doesn’t actually, I use one called Alinafta and you can’t tell the smell in the garage, only if your really stick your nose in it.

  • Another option for those that haven´t a pegboard could be to put two nails in either wooden side of the painting brush so it would retain it from resting in the bottom of the jar. The only problem is they have to be longer than half the diameter of the jar. Or if you prefer using shorter nails, just slide two rubber bands over the jar and the nails could lean on between the two of them.
    Excuse my English!!!!

  • Siv Aksdal says:

    I have a painting tip. Don’t believe your husband when he says he will “scrape away” the extra paint after finishing instead of using tape!!!!!!
    Thanks for another great post. Love the peg board idea.
    Gona go scrape the tile in the hallway now…..

  • I love that tip! Just wish I had a husband that painted.

  • Maggie says:

    I wrap my brushes and rollers in glad wrap (cling film) and they will last a long time like that. I also heard a painter (or read it on someones blog) that doesn’t wash out their rollers because the old paint has soaked down to the middle and that way the roller doesn’t have to loaded with fresh paint. I think they must just get rid of excess on some newspaper first before adding the new colour on top. I think there was also seperate rollers for light paints and for dark paihts.

  • Nancy says:

    I recycle a plastic bag to wrap paint brushes in between coats and I use a really big bag for a paint roller tray. Just make sure that the plastic is touching the surface of the paint so that it doesn’t dry out. This a timely post as I need to go and paint some window trim today.

  • Carolyn Style says:

    Love the nail idea. I wish I’d read this last week when I was painting several things and had to do them half at a time. But next time I will definitely use nails.
    I’ve tried plastic wrap and plastic bags for brushes between coats and they work well, but now I do this: When I paint, I wear disposable surgical gloves, which I buy in big boxes. When I’ve finished a coat, I grasp the bristles of the brush in my gloved hand, then pull the glove off my hand and up around the brush. This fully covers the brush and keeps it very well until I”m ready for the second coat.To reverse the process I slip the tips of my fingers into the tips in the inside-out glove, which is still around the brush. Then I unroll the glove around my hand.
    If it’s water soluble paint, I rinse and wipe my gloved hand, if it’s not I use a fresh glove on that hand.

  • Gosia says:

    Thanks for these outstanding tips. I especially appreciate the hanging brush tip. I’ve bought a great tapered-bristle brush for my bedroom reno back in March, but by standing it up in a jar with the solvent, I ruined it to the point of no return. Not any more!!!!

  • jorid says:

    You’d probably want to cover that jar of paint thinner with something, though. Those evaporating gases are not the best for you in small spaces.
    Tanks for some great tips! 😀

  • Messy says:

    What you can do after painting, is fill an old nail polish container with the paint you used. The little brush is used to touch up anything that gets damaged over time, and you can close it airtight. Sounds perfect, I never tried it.
    But… this tip (I’ve read it somewhere) has inspired me to use a bigger version for paint brushes. I use an old jam jar, make a hole in the lid big enough for the brush, fill the bottle with thinner and put the lid, with brush, back on. That way, the brush touches the thinner (not the bottom), the whole thing is airtight, and I can go back to work whenever I want. I have used this with weeks in between paint jobs. For water based paint, I just use water.
    It helps sometimes to make a hole a bit bigger than needed and put something between the lid and the brush to keep it stuck.
    If there are only a few days between paint jobs, I do what people here have mentioned before: cover in cling foil.
    By the way, professional painters may not approve, but if you look at their brushes it’s pretty clear that theirs never get cleaned at all! Probably because they use them every day.

  • jja says:

    Great advice 🙂

  • Dorothy says:

    Cool advice thank you so much. I stick a pencil through the hole and suspend the brush in the liquid. It works with water based paint too, the paint falls off slowly and if you don’t disturb the liquid the paint settles in the bottom of the jar.

  • Christine says:

    All you have to do to clean a paint brush is use soap on it. I use liquid hand soap or dish washing liquid to clean it. It does not have the smell of paint thinner. I only use the plastic bag method if I am painting the next day again. But honestly, I’d rather wash out my brushes between paintings on different days. It keeps the brushes in good condition. Lather up the brush with your hand and soap working it in. Then rinse in sink or tub of water working the brush. Repeat until paint is out. Then clean the brush of all soap until water runs clear. If soap gets left in the brush it will bubble next time you use paint (bubble on wall with paint.) So do a good job. Then reshape bristles and hang to dry.

  • That’s what I do for water based paints 🙂

  • m.winter says:

    This is an excellent tip which I will definitely be using when I stain the rest of the bottle racks.
    P.S I will be sending before & after pics of my kitchen clutter soon. I had to put off the project for a bit because my prolapse in my back acted up again. 🙁

  • Gül says:

    Both are very helpful, thanks for sharing.
    I’ve read about The Painter’s Pyramid® sometime ago,I wonder if you have heard or used it?

  • I haven’t heard of them before but googled and they seem like a great thing!

  • Andrew says:

    A tad easier for keeping the brush fresh: drill a hole through the base of the handle, then poke some coathanger wire/whatever through it long enough to straddle the mouth of a jar of brush cleaner. Either make sure the hole is drilled at the right point to keep the brush off the bottom of the jar, or simply bend the wire.
    I worked as a painter for fifteen years. This was what we did. Works.