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10 Painting hacks that will make your next project super simple

Painting is one of the easiest ways there is to update your house, but it can also be the most cumbersome with prep, technique and fixing any mistakes you make along the way. Follow these tips to keep it relatively painless.

1. Use a Swiffer on your walls to get off any dust, dirt or grime before you begin

Image: Driven by Decor

This will be especially useful if you’ve patched the wall with joint compound or the room has been sitting empty for a long time.

2. Lining your paint tray with plastic bags makes for easy cleanup

Image: 2 Little Superheroes

Not only does this make for extremely easy cleanup, it’s also very frugal. You can stop buying new paint trays and forego the whole paint liner sham for good.

3. Pull painter’s tape off in a smooth downward motion to keep lines clean

Image: PBJ Stories

Another key to clean, crisp lines when it comes to painter’s tape is when you remove it, not just how. It’s a common misconception that you should wait until the paint is dry to remove it, but really, you should pull it off as soon as you can so that it doesn’t peel or chip after it dries.

More: How to paint trims

4. If you’re painting a door, you can save time by keeping it on the hinges

Image: Ugly Duckling House

Doors are a huge hassle. But if you can get away with it, simply mask the hinges and use an Exact-o knife or razor to cut the shape out. Then you can keep the door up without having things look too sloppy.

5. Protect your carpet when you’re painting baseboards by wedging packing tape underneath them

Image: Like a Saturday

It can be tough to know how to prep baseboards and tape off the surrounding areas when you’re getting ready to paint them. Drop cloths can be too slippery, and you can’t just forego it or you could ruin your carpet or floors. Packing tape is thin enough to slide under the baseboard, and sticky enough to stay put.

6. You can save a lot of time by using an edge guard instead of tape

Image: The House of Smiths

The top of the baseboards are another story; if you’re just making touch-ups or aren’t doing anything too drastic, you can easily keep an edge guard in place, painting as you go.

More: 15 Instagram chalk paint projects to inspire you to upcycle

7. If you’re painting a striped wall, dab the edges with your base paint to keep lines crisp

Image: Creek Line House

Instead of going straight for your secondary color, seal the edges of your painter’s tape down with the original color. If any paint sneaks under the tape, it will match the original color.

8. When painting laminate furniture, don’t skimp on primer or patience

Image: 2 Little Superheroes

Painting laminate isn’t impossible, but you need to sand it first, then apply primer and wait. And wait. Seriously, keep waiting. It needs a long time to cure so don’t even touch it for a few days.

9. Prevent overspray when using spray paint by using a box

Image: In My Own Style

If you need to spray paint a fixture, stick it in a cardboard box to ensure that you get even coverage and don’t accidentally spray yourself in the face if the wind picks up.

10. Keep all of your paint colors handy with a paint chip key ring

Image: Live Love DIY

A handy little key ring like this will make it super easy to buy more paint if you need to do touch-ups later on down the line.

More: How to pick the perfect paint color every time

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