The painting secret that will save you time, money and effort

Paint tips, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

Painting is one of the most cost-efficient and novice-friendly DIY projects. I have a laundry list of things I want to paint, and I’ve built up a good collection of supplies like dropcloths, paint tins, and scrapers. Unfortunately I seem to never have enough brushes. Mine tend to die a slow death wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. That’s how I store them, especially the ones with oil paint on them, thinking that I’ll pull them out the next day to get going soon enough for them to not dry out. Instead, I tend to get distracted by other projects and arrive back at the brushes when it’s too late. It’s an expensive bummer to go buy another one at Home Depot but I kept doing it.

But now I’ve discovered the lazy painter’s way to clean and restore brushes. Drill a hole at the base of the brush handle. Fill a glass jar partway with brush cleaner. Use a pencil or a bamboo skewer to suspend the bristles in the cleaner, making sure that only the bristles are submerged.

It seemed too simple to be true that this would work so well, but thus far it really has worked out nicely. Apparently it’s the pressure on the bristles and not the chemicals that make it so hard to get one back in shape.

I’d love to hear other painting shortcuts if you know them!

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