Life Hacks I Love #15: DIY Paint Tray Liner

If you’ve been following me for any length of time you will already know that I do a ton of painting! I can’t say I love to paint, but I am a bit of BEFORE and AFTER addict and paint is often my weapon of choice when transforming an object or space. The actual transformation coat is quite fun to apply because it is when you really see your vision come to life, but the steps leading up to painting (patching, sanding, priming) and the clean-up that follows are tedious and void of any real emotional pay off. Prep and clean-up are just necessary jobs that need to get done as part of the process. Over the years, I have tried different paint tray liners (including plastic bags) to help save on the clean-up at the end of a project. Store bought liners work well if they fit properly into your tray, if they are not designed specifically for your tray, they are more of a pain than anything else. My friend uses plastic bags by slipping the entire tray into the bag and tying the ends to secure it. I find that bags slip around and they just don’t work for me.

This summer I finally came up with a DIY paint tray liner that works great! The answer: GLAD Press’n Seal. Depending on the size of your tray, you may need two pieces to cover the bottom and up the sides of your tray. I simply overlap the seam in the middle by a couple of inches to stop leaking. The sticky surface on the bottom of the Press’n Seal adheres to the surface of the paint tray to prevent slippage and works like a dream. I actually made a simple video (my first ever) to show you how great it works. You will see a bit of seepage in the bottom, but this was caused during clean-up when I was trying to scrape some of the excess paint out of the roller with the edge of the paint stick. It slipped and the seam split slightly (you can see the spot at the beginning of the video). Had I not done that there would have been zero seepage. As it was, I simply wiped the spot with a paper towel and it came right off. Now you must keep in mind that my tray is not completely spotless as this is the same tray I have been using for about 25 years of painting!

Voila! So simple and what a time saver! Try it out next time you paint and let me know how it works for you.

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Painting Stripes and/or Creating Clean Colour Transitions

I previously did a post on how to create clean crisp lines when painting stripes or transitioning from one colour to another. I came across this video tutorial that describes the technique that I use in video form. For anyone attempting to create stripes or lines, this procedure is a must. Here is a video that describes and demonstrates the steps.  
Happy painting!

Painting Perfect Stripes

Very few people have a steady enough hand to paint the perfect straight line.  If you are like me, I always use my trusty painter’s tape when trying to get that perfect straight edge. Despite my efforts to perfectly align my tape and rub my finger over the surface to be sure there would be no seepage, I would often feel frustrated and disappointed with the results when I peeled the tape back and found that there was still “bleeding” onto the base colour.

Please Stop the Bleeding!

Several years ago, I came across this great tutorial for making the perfect straight lines without bleeding. It works every time. Although there are a few more steps involved, it is completely worth the effort.  I couldn’t find the original, but this tutorial provides the same information and steps.  It is complete with pictures and more detailed than my description below.

In a nut shell:

  1. Measure very carefully and be sure to use a level to ensure that the finished line is perfectly straight.
  2. Tape off the line with blue or green painter’s tape (I have used both).  I always use a credit card or wooden wedge and slide it along the edge to ensure proper adhesion of the tape.
  3. THIS IS THE KEY:  Take the base colour of the wall above and below the stripe (navy in Shay’s room) and paint a thin coat of paint over the edge of the tape.  The paint will bleed under the tape, but the paint that bleeds through will be the same colour as the wall above and below the stripe.  For example, when painting Shay’s red stripe, I first painted a thin coat of navy blue over the edge of the tape, so that navy would bleed onto navy. This seals the edge and prevents the top coats of red from bleeding through.
  4. Let dry completely.
  5. Paint your coloured stripe and remove the tape.  You will get a perfect finished line every time.

You can see that Shay’s red stripe extends around his whole room.  Two of his walls are painted navy and two are taupe, but the red stripe circles the entire room, through both colours.  Obviously, when painting the red stripe on his taupe walls, I first painted a coat of taupe to extend over the edge of the tape and seal the edge from bleeding.

Another Technique for Getting the Perfect Edge

I have never used the technique below, but thought it looked like an excellent idea for when you have two different surfaces meeting.

Happy painting!

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