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Banish messy spills and drips when using craft paint. Slide a rubber band over the open can, then gently wipe the bottom of the brush against the band each time you dip. This is perfect for small containers without handles. The brush will be less drippy, and the can's rim will stay clean, making it easier to put the lid on when you're finished.
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Before updating or touching up a chair or small, lightweight table, elevate it over the work surface by gently tapping a nail into the bottom of each leg. The legs will get better air circulation for drying and won't stick to the surface.
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Brushwork along edges and around cylindrical objects can be messy, but this stand with protruding screws holds items in place for painting.
To make this useful base, position a square foot of 3/4-inch-thick plywood on a piece of 1 1/2-inch-thick plastic foam of the same size. Drill holes all the way through the plywood at 1-inch intervals, then countersink 3-inch drywall screws (so the stand will sit flat against your work surface). When painting, set the object on top of the screws. Place foam over the screws' points to avoid injury when not in use.
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You won't have to bother washing your paint pan if you line it with heavy-duty aluminum foil before using it. This trick is especially helpful if you're painting with different colors -- for each new hue, throw away the old foil (after pouring excess paint back into the can) and put in a fresh sheet, molding it to the inside of the pan.
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You've picked your color, but how many gallons will you need for your room? Calculate the wall area of the room; you'll need one gallon for 450 square feet.
To determine the wall area, multiply the height of each wall by its width (don't subtract for doors and windows unless they take up more than half the wall); total the figures for the walls. Add 10 percent for future touch-ups. For two coats, double the number.
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When you finish painting a room, touch-ups are usually the last thing on your mind. But it's a good idea to write the paint name and product number on painters' tape and stick the label to the back of the room's light-switch plate. When the time comes to cover scuffs, you'll know exactly what shade to buy.
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Memory never seems to serve very well when it comes to color -- especially when you're trying to recall the exact shade of your living-room wall while shopping for fabric and furniture. Here's a way to eliminate the guesswork: After stirring paints, let stirrers dry, then write the color and room on each. Pierce ends with an awl, and string together with twine.
Photography: John Lawton8 of 9
Old Bottle Paint Cans
Inside every good container lies a household utensil waiting to be revealed. Before you toss out empty plastic jugs, think about giving them a new purpose. Large and small bleach bottles can be rinsed and cut to create stands and portable holders for paint -- especially useful for jobs that require working on a ladder.
Photography: Sang An9 of 9
Leftover Paint Storage
Transfer leftover paint from large cans to small airtight resealable tubs. Make sure to affix a label to the container; note the color and the room where the paint was used.