Category Archives: tool talk tuesday

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


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.OpenClose 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?


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.



Need a few other Tool Tips to help you tackle your next DIY? Check out this Palm Sander Tutorial and this Cordless Drill Tutorial. If you’re looking for more paint tips, check out this post on FAQs and Paint Tips from a Professional Painter!paint-color-swatches-diy-blogger

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Tool Tip: Cordless Power Drill

Another post about tools…we know what you’re thinking, “C’mon ladies, where are the pretty pictures and styled vignettes?” Yeah, yeah, yeah…we get it! But we think it’s so important for our fellow rookies to not be intimidated by the word “power tool.” Instead, we want you to be confident the next time you have a DIY project that involves those 2 scary words. So we’re back at it with “Tool Talk Tuesday.”

Last week, we chatted about the palm sander and 2 lucky readers (Kim & Ericka) even received their own sanders courtesy of RYOBI. Today we want to dive into one of the most popular tools out there…the cordless power drill.

the cordless drill for rookies

What does it do? A drill is a tool fitted with a drill bit to bore holes into various materials or fasten materials together. A cordless drill is operated by a rechargeable battery. The attachment is gripped by a chuck and is rotated when gripped.

What projects would I use this for? Ummmm…pretty much anything and everything! A drill can come in handy if you’re putting a piece of furniture together and you need to fasten parts together with screws. It also comes in handy if you want to hang something on a wall and need to create holes for anchors. It is one of the most convenient tools and will help make any DIY project go that much faster.

How much does it cost? The price varies depending on the model and power in the drill. This 12 volt Skil drill cost about $45 from Home Depot. But if you’re looking for lots of power (18-20 Volt) then they can cost around $150. For the general home improvement projects we do, we’ve only ever needed a 12 volt drill.

What projects have you used it for? Wow, many projects on DIY Playbook have involved drills including our Ikea shelves, Ikea dresser hack, B’s DIY desk, hanging curtains, C’s white TV stand, and many more!

drill case
How do I store it? Ours came with a nice little zippered bag to hold all of the accessories…because there is a lot that comes with a drill! This little bag holds the drill, the drill charger, and all of our drill bits. It’s like a handy dandy little purse full of DIY goodness.  I’ve often just grabbed this little bag and headed to Bridget’s house for a day full of DIY.
drill charger
How often do I have to charge it? Because we’re not using our drill all day, every day, I feel like we don’t really need to charge it that often. I can install some shelves, put a piece of furniture together, and hang a gallery wall…and my lil’ drill will still be alive and kicking! But it does give you more power and “juice” if it is fully charged. So after a big project, remember to charge that baby up. You’ll thank yourself when you go to start that next project and it’s all ready for some DIY action.
electric drill

What’s with all of the “bits”? This totally confused us at first too. We thought once you had a drill, you simply put one attachment on and you were ready to go. Nope…not the case at all. A drill comes with many accessories and sometimes those bits can be a well a bit confusing (pardon the tool talk humor). Let’s break it down for ya…

screw driver bits

Screwdriver Bits: Some bits are inserted directly into the chuck. But most need to be put into the “bit holder.” The Black & Decker piece in the above picture is the bit holder. I have a large case of various bits (like the 3 small ones in the above picture) and these are inserted into the holder. The screwdriver bits are used just like a screwdriver. There are flat heads and Phillips heads…just like with normal handheld screwdrivers.

black and decker drill
driver bits

The bits in the above picture do not need to be inserted into a holder. Instead they’re put directly into the chuck. I have about a dozen different sizes and kinds that I pick and choose from depending on my project’s needs.

metal drill bits
Metal Drill Bits:  These are used to drill small and long holes into different types of materials. I mainly use them when drilling into walls. I’ll create a deep hole with a drill bit, and then insert an anchor if I’m trying to hang a heavy item. I have a wide variety of metal drill bits with varying widths.
paddle bits

Paddle Bits: Out of all of the bits, I probably use paddle bits the least, simply because I don’t do many projects that require them. A paddle bit is used to bore large, wide holes. They come in various sizes and will create a hole based on the size of the paddle bit. You simple put the tip on the center of your hole, and then use force to drill all the way through until you have a large circle. I used this to create holes on the back of our TV stand, so we could then pull our cords and wires through to the other side.

1 inch paddle bit
forward and reverse switch

How do I use the drill? A drill is operated by a trigger located on the handle of the base. You simple press this and the chuck will rotate. You can change the direction of the rotation by flipping the forward/reverse switch on the back of the drill. For example, if you’re trying to take a screw out of a piece of furniture then you would want the drill to go in reverse/counter-clockwise.

Most drills will also have a button on the top that regulates the torque and the speed. Higher torque is better for driving screws. While higher speed is better for drilling holes. You can easily move back and forth between the two options.

high torque button

Any rookie tips I should know? First and foremost, do not be scared of a cordless power drill! Using a new tool can be intimidating at first, but there is no reason to be scared of this one. The likelihood that you’ll hurt yourself or damage your home is slim to none. Just go slow, practice, and enjoy it! Power tools are meant to assist your project, and a drill will do just that. Once you start using one, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

cordless drill tutorial

So there’s the breakdown of this not-so-scary power tool. We hope that you’ll now feel like you can pick this baby up and do projects all by yourself. No reason to call your boyfriend/dad/husband over the next time you have to put something together. Grab that drill of yours (fully charged of course!) and get to work. We promise you’ll do great and maybe even get a little arm workout in using your very own cordless power drill.

Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook
Congrats to our RYOBI Palm Sanding Winners Kim & Ericka! We hope you heart your new sander… check your email for more details. And a huge thank you to everyone who entered; stay tuned for some more free giveaways coming your way soon.
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