Category Archives: paint tips

How to Open/Close a Paint Can…. without the mess

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And we’re back with another Tool Talk Tuesday. I’m not sure how perfectly today’s “tips” fit into the tool category, but let’s just pretend for a minute here. I mean, as far as I’m concerned paint is typically stored in the garage and to me, anything that is stored in the garage is automatically a tool. (My dad, a painter by trade, is undoubtedly cringing at the fact that I just said that). #sorryimnotsorry

Speaking of my dear ol’ dad, he is unknowingly the mastermind behind today’s tip. It took a professional painter to show me the most mindless, yet GENIUS, paint tricks I’m sharing today. To be honest, I never really put any extra thought into how I opened/closed a paint can without making a mess because that’s the only way I knew how from watching my dad. That’s until Casey saw me do what I did and said “OMG, that is simply genius!”. Immediately I realized this mindless strategy was not common knowledge and we needed to share my dad’s free wisdom with YOU.

How to open a paint can
What do you need? A paint can, obviously, and a straight edge screw driver… any size. Plus a hammer and a dirty old rag for later.
Paint Supplies

How do I open the paint can? Wedge the straight edge screw driver gently under the edge of the lid. Once the screwdriver is in place, gently push down on the screw driver’s handle- this will force the lid to release slightly and eliminate its air-tight seal. Move the screwdriver to another part of the lid and repeat this exact process. Continue to do this (about 3-4 times around the lid) until the lid is disconnected from the paint can and can be easily lifted off…no mess.

opening a paint can
lid and screwdriver
paint can tricks

Does the screwdriver get paint on it? The screwdriver should never come in contact with wet paint. If you’re working with a paint can that has been used in the past 24 hours, then be a little careful. There may be a chance that wet paint residue left on the can from prior work could be on the exterior of the can.

Can that work on both new or used paint cans? YES! I use this method over and over and over again until the can is empty. This process should not bend, damage or disfigure the lid/can in any way.

Okay, painting is all done. How do I close it without the mess? Simply place the lid on top of the can. Place the rag over the lid/can and hammer gently around the lid. This will ensure that the lid is SEALED and that no paint from the lid or drips from the can splatter on you, your clothes, your hammer, your pet, your father-in-law or most importantly, your project area.

how to close a paint can without the mess
paint can closing
sealing a paint can
paint can tricks and tips

What should I do with the rag? Remove it from the paint can so that it doesn’t dry there and get stuck to the top of the can. Personally, I would then name it my official paint can partner and continue to use that old rag to close future cans. Note: Make sure you use an old rag, because it will get paint on it…. remember it’s acting as a shield.

Why is it important to seal the lid? In order to eliminate the paint from drying out and ultimately ruining.

Is it really that easy? Seriously though… it is.

Does this work for any size paint can? YES!

What if I don’t have a hammer? I find myself in the same situation quite often… I mean who has a hammer around when they’re painting?! All you really need is a heavy object- so the handle of the screw driver, the handle of a CLEAN paint brush, a random brick from the garage… anything heavy will do the trick. Heck, I’ve even seen my dad stand on the rag/can combo to close it. Although that trick is highly discouraged and should be saved for trained professionals.

DIY painting tricks

So dad, I hope you are extra proud today because you are unknowingly preventing sprays, splatters, drips, stains, curse words, and marital spats for DIY rookies around the nation. On behalf of the entire Playbook team, we thank you.

Need a few other Tool Tips to help you tackle your next DIY?
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Frequently Asked Questions: PAINT

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Paint color can really make or break any space. Not to put any extra pressure on you or anything, but let’s be honest here, we just did. Unfortunately, choosing the perfect paint color is not always as easy as it seems (especially for indecisive rookies like us). We often get questions on painting, paint, picking the perfect paint color and what tips we would recommend for tackling this colorful DIY. To address all the wonderful readers who reach out and actually think we know what we’re talking about, we give you a big ol’ shout out and virtual hug… (jokes on you). 

Today’s post is all about YOU as we have decided to give you simple, to-the-point (not always easy for us), and accurate answers on some Frequently Asked Paint Questions (even if it meant we had to do some sweet talking to get the real scoop from a hall-of-fame/professional painter).

Where do I get paint swatches? How much do they cost? Paint swatches. It’s a very preliminary step but it’s a great place to start in choosing the perfect paint color. Check your local paint store or hardware stores for FREE swatches of paint colors. Collecting these will be helpful to bring home and tape on the wall or to carry in your purse (or wallet) when shopping for new furniture, bedding, or decor accessories. Did we mention these were FREE?! Stock up on these bad boys to determine which paint color you’ll decide on.

Should I paint a few colors onto the wall? Do I have to buy a whole gallon of each paint to do this?
After you’ve narrowed down your search thanks to the swatches, you may want to buy a few color samples at the paint store or local hardware store. For about $3, you can buy mini sample bottles of any color. Take these home and paint a little bit of each color on the walls to get an idea of what each color looks like in your space. What the color looks like on the wall is not always what you envisioned, so seeing a few options on the wall next to each other will (hopefully) help you find a winner!
I saw this paint color that I LOVE but can’t seem to find the color’s name… any tips? 
There are actually cell phone apps available that help you match what you see in a picture/or in real life to an exact paint color & name. For example, you see a beautiful colored door on vacation and want to replicate that same exact color for your bedroom. Take a picture of the door (in the most non-creepy way possible), plug the pic into the app,  and ta-da…. you have the name of that paint color! 


When is the best time to look at paint colors in a room? Seeing the color(s) in your space is extremely important (hel-lo sample sizes). The room’s lighting, amount of sunlight, baseboard, flooring and furniture can all have an effect on how the color looks in that room. Make sure you peek at your samples at all times of the day too, seeing the colors in the afternoon may look completely different at night. You want to make sure you love the color at all times of the day.

How do I figure out how much paint I will need to paint my space? There are several conversion tools online that help you decide how much paint you should buy based on the size of the room. Plug your room measurements in to a conversion chart (like this one…) and you’ll know how much to buy. 
I have a comforter that I want to match to my paint color but I can’t seem to find the PERFECT match. What should I do?  Most paint stores and large retail hardware stores have computer technology that can take any color from an item you bring in (like a comforter) and replicate it into that exact paint color. I wish I knew paint shops were such perfect matchmakers when I was a single lady….
What if the color I love doesn’t come in the paint brand that I prefer? 
No problem! The computerized color matching technology can pretty much match any competitor’s paint colors within the brand of paint you love. Bring in the competition’s paint color and your favorite brand can match that! 
Do I need to prime? Now, THAT is a great question. Thanks to the two-in-one products you can prime and paint all at once. Buy the paint that has primer mixed right INTO it so you’re able to reap the benefits of priming the walls without actually priming the walls. I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me! #money saver
I started painting and I hate the paint color…. what should I do? Well, don’t jump to any conclusions! Always remember that the true color of the paint will NOT be accurate to the color you chose until AFTER it dries. I repeat, don’t judge the color until AFTER it dries. So don’t head up to the paint shop and accuse the poor clerk that he made a huge mistake until after the paint dries. Awkward….
What kind of brushes should I buy? It’s important to invest in a quality brush ($15-25) and a quality roller ($4) to get the best results. Although this may be an unwanted investment at the time, it will be worth the extra buck and both tools can be re-used if they’re cleaned and dried properly.
Semi gloss, Egg shell, flat finish…. what does this mean & why does it matter? In short…. These are “finishes” of paint and will dictate how shiny or not-so shiny your surface looks after it dries. These finishes effect all paint jobs (as it is the amount of shine the surface will have) but will never impact/change the color of paint. So if you have decided on shamrock green as the color for your hallway, you will have to decide on whether to buy shamrock green semi-gloss, shamrock green egg shell, or shamrock green flat finish before starting to paint. All will obviously be the SAME shamrock green in color but each will have a different amount of shine on the wall after it dries. To find out the differences of each and where each finish is recommended, check out this SIMPLE tutorial
If you are stilllllll tuning in – bless you! You must be tackling a paint job in your near future and looking to absorb as many tips as possible (good for you, you’re ready to get started as far as we are concerned). That, or you’re just putting off getting back to work & trying to look busy so your boss isn’t on to your blog readin’ ways (we promise we won’t tell). Either way, we love you for sticking it out and really hope at least ONE of these tips helped – – at least then cornering our darling painter was all worth it.  
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