Painting - 2/18 - Bob Vila

Category: Painting

How To: Crackle Paint

Transform drab wood furniture with this authentic-looking “antique” finish.

How to Crackle Paint


A coat of latex paint will add color to plain wood furniture—but not much else. To really beat the blahs, consider treating tables, chairs, picture frames, or other decorative items to a crackle finish, a mottled veneer that gives off a vintage vibe. Produced by manipulating two different shades of paint, it’s an easy and elegant effect to achieve with the right tools and techniques. And though the process of crackling paint can be relatively quick, its artful results will leave people thinking that the aged patina took decades to develop!

– Sandpaper (various grits from 80 to 150)
– Orbital sander (optional)
– Clean cloth
– Paintbrushes
– Primer
– Latex paint (two shades: one gloss, one flat)
– Paint roller (optional)
– Painter’s tape
– Sponge
– Crackle medium or school glue
– Hair dryer (optional)
– Clear, water-based polyurethane sealant

In order to remove aberrations and prep the surface for paint, it’s crucial to sand wood that you intend to crackle. Starting with unfinished furniture? A light sanding with 150-grit or finer sandpaper is all it takes to smooth it. If there’s already stain or lacquer on the piece, remove the color and sheen with an orbital sander and 80- to 100-grit sandpaper. Wipe away the sanding dust with a damp cloth.

How to Crackle Paint


Apply a thin, even coat of primer to the dry piece; use a paintbrush for smaller pieces and spray primer for larger surface areas. Let dry according to manufacturer’s instructions.

You can use latex paint of any level of gloss for the base coat color, but a semi-gloss or satin is ideal so that the cracks of color shimmer in the light. Moving in the direction of the grain, brush paint over the surfaces and joints of the piece and then allow the base coat to dry overnight.

The crackle medium can take one of two forms, each with a different application technique:

• For a goof-proof finish, choose commercial crackle medium sold at craft stores. Tape off any surface areas you don’t want to crackle paint. Then, apply a thick layer of the milk-white substance over the painted piece, using a sponge to create small cracks, or a clean paintbrush or roller for larger cracks. The crackle medium rolls on clear, so work from the top down or bottom up so you’ll know which surfaces you have yet to cover. Let dry for at least one but no more than four hours.

• For a less expensive—but equally effective—old finish, enlist the aid of a school glue like Elmer’s when practicing how to crackle paint. Keeping the piece level with the floor, brush a thin layer of glue over it to create hairline cracks, or a thicker layer for larger cracks. Proceed to Step 5 while the glue is still tacky. If you’re crackle-painting a small project, you can coat the entire piece in glue before applying the top coat; larger pieces will require you apply glue to one surface at a time so the glue doesn’t cure before it is crackled.

Using a clean paintbrush, apply a top coat of flat latex paint in a different color over the dried crackle medium or tacky glue until the piece is fully coated. Choose a shade of paint that contrasts with the base coat color.

• The top coat will shrink, crack, and reveal slivers of the base coat almost instantly after the paint is exposed to the crackle medium. Avoid retouching painted areas so as not to wipe out the cracks. Let the crackle finish air-dry overnight.

• If you’re using school glue, cure the top coat and glue with a hairdryer on the hot setting. Hold the dryer two to three inches from the surface and blast in one area until the degree of “crackliness” suits your style, then move on to another spot. Continue until the entire piece is crackled and the glue is fully cured.

Apply a clear coat to furniture pieces that will get a lot of use to protect the finish and make it last, or let the crackle finish go without sealant to play up its distressed glamour.

After practicing on a single decor accent, you might find you’re ready to put those newfound skills to use giving a new-old finish to more forgotten furniture throughout the house!

How to Crackle Paint



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Of all the options available to remodelers, paint provides the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to achieve a transformation, inside or out. Ready to look at your home in a new way? Click now for the color ideas to make your project beautiful.

How To: Remove Paint from Clothes

Found a splotch on a favorite garment? Never fear! Here are the right removal methods, no matter whether the accident was oil-, acrylic- or water-based.

How to Get Paint Off Clothes


It’s bound to happen. You’re just going to do a bit of touch-up or you accidentally brush up against a still-wet project. Next thing you know, there’s paint on your clothes. Don’t panic! First, find out if the offender is latex, acrylic, or oil. To test, apply rubbing alcohol to a clean white rag and dab the stain: If paint appears on the rag, it’s latex; if not, you’ll need help from paint removal agents. While delicate fabrics like silk don’t always fare well in the paint removal process, denim and other cottons often turn out as good as new. So try these treatments, and you might be able to wear that paint-besmirched shirt on your next night out of the house!

– Clean rags
– Spoon
– Butter knife
– Paper towels
– Liquid dish detergent
– Liquid laundry detergent
– Clean sponge or white cloth rags
– Packing or duct tape
– Rubbing alcohol
– Nail polish remover
– Toothbrush
– Turpentine or paint thinner
– Disposable plastic container
– Cotton balls

Removing Latex Paint from Clothes

Follow these tips for water based-paint, whether wet or dried.

How to Get Paint Off Clothes


Step 1: Act fast if paint is still wet! Place a pad of clean rags or paper towels directly under the paint to keep it from transferring to another area of the garment. Then, scoop off wet paint with a spoon or butter knife, rinse under warm running water, and blot carefully with a clean, dry rag or paper towels. (If you can’t peel your clothes off just then, get rid of the excess as best as you can and wet the area with water until you can take off the garment.) Turn inside out and run warm water through from the back.

Step 2: Liquid dish detergent is great against paint, as long as the garment is color-safe. (Test an inconspicuous area like an inseam by rubbing in detergent and rinsing it. If the item isn’t color safe, use liquid laundry detergent.) Apply detergent directly to the stain and work up a lather with a clean sponge or cloth. Work on the area with clean sections of cloth, and move the padding underneath occasionally as well.

Blot to check your progress, and repeat as needed. Then launder as usual. If the paint had dried and remains steadfast despite your efforts with detergent, allow the fabric to dry and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Again, gently scrape off the now-dried excess with a butter knife. Or firmly press a piece of packing or duct tape onto the paint, then lift it off, repeating until no more comes off.

If the paint residue remains on color-fast fabric (see Step 2), you have one more option: Apply a small amount of rubbing or denatured alcohol (or as a last resort, nail polish remover) to the stain, and work at it with an old toothbrush. Blot with water and repeat as required, then launder as usual.


How to Wash Paint Off Clothes



Removing Oil and Acrylic Paint

You’ll be working with chemicals, so be sure to do so in a well-ventilated spot.

Step 1: Scoop off excess wet paint with a spoon or butter knife. If the paint has dried, use the butter knife to scrape off as much as you can. Turn the garment inside out and place a pad of cloth or paper towels under the stained area to aid in blotting.

Step 2: Pour a paint removal agent such as a paint thinner or turpentine into a small plastic container—ideally something disposable, like a yogurt tub, for easy cleanup. Soak cotton balls or a clean rag in the paint remover and dab at the stain. Switch out for fresh cotton balls or an unused section of the rag as they pick up paint, moving the pad underneath occasionally, too, for a clean blotting surface.

For a truly stubborn stain, pour a bit of removal agent directly on it and scrub gently with a toothbrush, front and back, to free the fibers of paint.

Step 3: By now, the garment should be practically stain-free. Place a fresh dry cloth or paper towel pad behind the area and blot to absorb the removal agent.

Step 4: Heeding the label’s recommended laundry detergent, apply a bit of detergent directly to the area and lightly rub it in as a final spot treatment. Wash and dry as usual, and wear the garment proudly. Whether or not you chose to disclose its former paint stain is up to you!


Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Home

All of the Essential Cleaning Advice from
There’s no way around it: Keeping the house clean demands your time, your energy, and even some of your money. Fortunately, this arsenal of cleaning tips can help you finish the housekeeping more quickly—and with fewer commercially sold products.

The Dos and Don’ts of Spray Painting

Grab a can and shake up your decor with these practical tips.

Spray Painting Tips


When you need a quick, cool upgrade that doesn’t cost a bundle, spray paint is hard to beat. A host of exciting new hues and finishes have taken spray paint to the next level, and you can use it on all sorts of surfaces, from concrete blocks and stepping stones to wood, plastic, or metal furniture. But getting pro-quality results does take a bit of skill, so read on before you spray away!

DO Choose the Right Location

As with any painting project, you’ll need to work in a well-ventilated spot. If the weather is pleasant, you can take it outside, but beware of breezes. Wind can mess with your ability to get good coverage, and it can blow dirt onto your piece, which will be difficult to remove and will mar the finish. If working indoors, open all windows for cross ventilation, or consider painting in the garage, near the open door.


Spray Painting - 7 Do's and Dont's - Bob Vila


DON’T Slack on Prep Work

Prep is key to any successful paint job. So, depending on the material you’re painting, do what’s necessary to mend any scratches or holes, then sand to smooth out rough spots. Wash your piece with mild detergent solution, rinse with water, and allow it to dry thoroughly.


DO Practice Protection

There will be overspray, so cover the surrounding area with drop cloths or newspaper. If you’re working on something small, contain overspray by setting the piece inside a cardboard box. Perhaps more crucial is protecting yourself. Aerosol paint can get into eyes and lungs, so wear goggles and a dust mask or respirator. Gloves are a good idea, too, and remember that overspray on the floor can stick to the bottom of your shoes—remove footwear and check your soles before leaving the area to avoid tracking paint.


DON’T Rush It

For optimal, even coverage, apply spray paint in several thin coats. Don’t worry if you can see through the first or even the second coat. Patience is a virtue here.


DO Use a Sweeping Motion

Waving the can randomly will result in uneven results. Instead, hold the can six to eight inches from the surface and use even, horizontal strokes, sweeping from left to right, then right to left. Be careful not to hesitate in any one spot or you’ll get drips.


DON’T Have a Heavy Trigger Finger

To avoid glops and spots—and to conserve paint—spray in short spurts rather than a constant stream. Listen for brief bursts of air coming from the can, as opposed to a long, steady hiss.


DO Allow the Paint to Cure Completely

Spray paint does dry quickly, but it usually requires at least 24 hours to cure completely. Resist the urge to move your piece or replace any hardware you’ve removed until you’ve reached the curing time indicated on the can. A scratch or fingerprint late in the game will be difficult to fix.


All of the Expert Painting Advice from
Of all the options available to remodelers, paint provides the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to achieve a transformation, inside or out. Ready to look at your home in a new way? Click now for the color ideas to make your project beautiful.

How To: Paint Stucco

When your rough-textured walls fade or get dirty, treat them to a DIY redo.

How to Paint Stucco - On a House Exterior


Stucco is a particularly popular exterior finish for homes in the Southwest, but it can also be found texturing interior walls all over the country. Created by layering a cement-and-plaster compound with a variety of plastering tools, its rough appearance is both visually appealing and rather low-maintenance—a favorable combination for homeowners. When stucco appears dingy, it needs little more than a hosing off with warm, soapy water. A new coat of paint can offer an even greater refresh, though, and it’s one project most homeowners can tackle with confidence, provided that the surface is in otherwise good condition (no chips or cracks). To achieve a finished job that looks like it was done by a pro, follow these guidelines for how to paint stucco.

– Drop cloths
– Masking or painter’s tape
– Stiff brush
– Vacuum with dust attachment
– Degreaser or mildew cleaner (optional)
– Power washer (optional, for exteriors)
– Masonry caulk
– Caulk gun
– Putty knife
– Stucco patching compound
– Synthetic paintbrush
– Large napped paint roller
– Primer (exterior masonry or acrylic interior)
– Acrylic paint (exterior or interior, based on location)

How to Paint Stucco - Gray Stucco


Prepare the surrounding area. Put drop cloths on the floor and furniture that can’t be moved, and tape trim.

Clean stucco surfaces of dirt and dust. For most exterior stucco, this simply requires a thorough going over with a stiff brush or push broom. Interior walls may be more easily vacuumed using a dusting attachment. If your walls have grease or grime or mildew build-up, apply an appropriate cleaner, following manufacturer’s directions. Deeply grooved exteriors can be power washed, if necessary, to get dirt out of the crevices. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry completely for 24 hours before you begin to caulk and repair.

Fix any small cracks with masonry caulk. Cracks larger than 1/16-inch-wide will require a patch. Remove the loose stucco with a putty knife, and repair with stucco patching compound. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s suggested curing time on your patching compound. You may need to wait for up to 10 days before you can paint.

Prime with a high quality acrylic primer, using a synthetic brush to cut in, and a large napped roller to roll it on. Acrylic primers and paints are preferred because their binders mean better adherence to the uneven stucco finish. A large napped roller makes for easier application into all the nooks and crannies.

You’ll probably need more than one coat for complete coverage. It is better to apply two thinner coats than one thick coat, to avoid paint pooling in crevices and causing drips. Follow the manufacturer’s guidance on drying times between coats.

Due to its texture, a stucco finish has a much greater overall surface area than a flat wall, so you’ll need more paint than you think to achieve adequate coverage. If a gallon of paint says it gives you 400 square feet of coverage, assume you’ll cover 200 square feet of stucco. Apply paint as you did primer, with a synthetic brush for cutting in, and a large napped roller for rolling the walls. Roll on one to two coats, as necessary, and follow the manufacturer’s guidance with regard to drying time between coats.

How to Paint Stucco


It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to revitalize a tired, dirty stucco finish. A good quality exterior paint job should last 15 to 20 years; indoors, it should last as until styles change and you tire of the color. So, enjoy it while it lasts!

All of the Expert Painting Advice from
Of all the options available to remodelers, paint provides the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to achieve a transformation, inside or out. Ready to look at your home in a new way? Click now for the color ideas to make your project beautiful.

How To: Remove Paint from Plastic

These four paint easy removal methods prove successful in any DIY situation, leaving your plastic pristine.

How to Remove Paint from Plastic


Nothing spoils the satisfaction of a paint job like drips and splatters on plastic surfaces, such as light switch covers, handles on uncovered appliances, step stools, and outdoor furniture. Hey, accidents happen—even to the most conscientious DIYers—so don’t despair. While it may take a bit more effort than a simple swipe to remove paint from plastic, especially if the paint has dried, the techniques below have proven to banish evidence of this common home improvement slip-up.

– Mild dish soap
– Water
– Small bucket
– Clean rags or paper towels
– Paint scraper
– Razor blade
– Work gloves
– Vegetable oil
– Nail polish remover with acetone
– Facemask
– Rubbing alcohol

How to Remove Paint from Plastic - with Vegetable Oil


OPTION 1: Wash it off. It’s always best to address painting mishaps as soon as they occur. So if you spot a fresh spill, fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap, grab a clean rag or paper towels, and wash it off. Once the paint is gone, hose down the item or use a clean, damp rag to rinse.

OPTION 2: Rub it off. If soap and water are ineffective, chances are the paint has begun to dry. Now it’s time to hit the pantry for some vegetable oil, a benign, typically skin-safe substance that can help soften and lift paint. Put some oil on a clean rag and rub the spill, using a bit of elbow grease. Once the paint begins to “give,” employ a paint scraper and proceed to Option 3. If vegetable oil fails, don a pair of work gloves and try nail polish remover containing acetone. Pour on enough to cover the affected area, then rub and wipe with a clean rag or paper towels, repeating as necessary until paint is gone.

OPTION 3: Scrape it off. Your weapon of choice for unwanted dried paint on a flat plastic surface is a paint scraper. Starting at any corner or edge of the spill, apply the scraper as if sliding it underneath to gently “lift” off the splotch. Be patient and maintain constant, steady pressure; attack it too vigorously and you could mar the plastic. On a contoured plastic surface like a chair, use a razor blade in the manner described above. Just keep the blade at an angle to avoid damaging the piece, and remember safety at all times.

OPTION 4: Scrub it off. For truly stubborn paint spills on plastic, turn to isopropyl alcohol. It will remove without melting plastic the way harsh paint thinners can, but you should nonetheless wear a face mask to guard against inhaling fumes, as well as work gloves to protect your skin. Pour alcohol over the unwanted paint and scrub firmly with a rag. You may need to be persistent until paint begins to disappear. Just keep at it and your patience will be rewarded with a clean, paint-free surface. No one will ever know you had a painting casualty!

All of the Expert Painting Advice from

Of all the options available to remodelers, paint provides the quickest, easiest, and most affordable way to achieve a transformation, inside or out. Ready to look at your home in a new way? Click now for the color ideas to make your project beautiful.

How To: Paint Laminate Countertops

Restore your work surface and give your kitchen or bathroom a whole new look with this simple paint project.

Painting Laminate Countertops - Outdated Kitchen


Let’s face it: Laminate isn’t the most high-end countertop material out there, and when it starts showing signs of wear it can really make your kitchen look shabby. But if new countertops aren’t in your budget right now, show your current ones some love with a paint job to extend their life for a few more years. There are several kits on the market—including those that replicate stone or granite—or you can simply use acrylic interior paint in the color(s) of your choice. The two keys to professional, lasting results are careful preparation and proper sealing. Here’s a plan for your counter attack!

– Drop cloths or plastic sheeting
– Painter’s tape
– Rags
– Degreasing cleaner
– Gloves
– Protective goggles
– Dust mask or respirator
– 150-grit sandpaper
– Palm sander
– Primer
– Paint rollers
– Laminate paint kit or interior acrylic paint
– Countertop resin
– Blowtorch (optional, but recommended)

Painting Laminate Countertops - Dark Colored Countertops


Whether you’re redoing the cabinets in the bathroom or the kitchen, start the job by prepping your space correctly. Protect all cabinets and floors with drop cloths or plastic sheeting held with painter’s tape. Then open all windows and operate fans to ensure you’ve got adequate ventilation. Some of these materials are extremely stinky!

Scrub the surfaces you’ll be painting thoroughly with a degreasing cleaner to ensure all dirt and grease is removed. Let dry.

Put on protective gear (goggles, gloves, and a dust mask or respirator) and go over the entire surface lightly with 150-grit sandpaper to help paint adhere. Thoroughly wipe your counters clean of dust and debris with a slightly damp rag. Let dry.

Prime patiently. Apply a thin, even coat of primer with a paint roller, following manufacturer’s directions. Allow adequate drying time and then apply a second coat. Let dry.

Now, break out the paint. If using a paint kit that emulates stone or granite, follow the directions for blending the paints and apply, allowing adequate drying time between layers. If simply using acrylic paint, roll on a first coat, let dry and then give it a second coat.

Seal to finish. Countertop resin will ensure lasting results. Stir and mix the product according to manufacturer’s directions. Carefully pour the resin over the painted surface and use a fresh foam roller to distribute it evenly. Watch for drips along the edges and wipe off any that occur immediately with a damp rag. Also keep an eye out for any bubbles that may appear as the resin levels out: Pop them as soon as they appear by aiming a blowtorch at them, holding it a few inches away. If you have no torch, try banishing bubbles by blowing at them through a drinking straw. Allow the resin to thoroughly cure according to manufacturer’s specs.

To maintain your “new” countertops, skip abrasive cleaners and scrubber sponges and clean daily instead with a rag or soft sponge and mild dish detergent. Once a week (or at least monthly), wipe down with a small amount of mineral oil and a clean, soft cloth. Your surfaces will look super for several years to come—you can count on it!

Cool Tools: Simplify Your Painting Process with an Airless Spray System

Take a down-to-earth approach to staging, completing, and cleaning up after your next paint job with the Airless Spray System from HYDE!

HYDE Airless Spray System with RVT Technology - Painting Brick


Have you ever turned a blind eye to the chipping paint on a wall or ceiling to avoid the ordeal of redoing those hard-to-reach areas? You’re not alone. DIYers and professional painters who tackle these jobs end up breaking a sweat (and sometimes even a limb) climbing ladders and scaffolding to get at these high-level interior and exterior surfaces. Airless sprayers can reduce the manual effort of painting by brush, but only one special design can transition from ground level to upper-story paint jobs without interruption: the HYDE Airless Spray System with Rapid Valve Transfer (RVT) Technology. This superhero paint sprayer saves hours of staging and painting by eliminating the need to haul in, position, and reposition a ladder as you cover sprawling surface areas top-to-bottom with paint. And when the job’s done, just think of the time you’ll save during cleanup, when you have to deal with just one hardworking tool!

Rapid Valve Transfer
Fully assembled, the HYDE system features a powerful spray gun, a spray tip with a shield and filter, and a five- or eight-foot extensible spray pole. True to its name, though, the heart and soul of the spray system lies in its unique, transferable spray valve. Not only can the valve withstand up to 3600 PSI to help you speed through jobs involving a variety of paints and coatings, but RVT enables the valve itself to be transferred live from the spray gun to the spray pole and back again. So, you not only get two painting essentials for the price of one, but you can also transition seamlessly from one to the other as needed.

HYDE Airless Spray System with RVT Technology - Painting Ceiling


Adjustable Height
For a silky-smooth paint finish on surfaces at chest level or below, such as door frames, wall patches, and woodwork, operate the spray gun by simply attaching its hose, tightening the fittings with a wrench, powering up the sprayer, and targeting the surface in need of a refresh. From here, it’s a cinch to switch gears and move on to new heights to tackle upper walls, ceilings, eaves, or exterior shutters. You don’t have to depressurize the gun or power down the spray system while you set up a ladder or scaffolding. Instead—keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground—lock off the gun, release the valve, and transfer it into the telescoping pole. This smooth maneuver instantly converts the gun into a spray pole that extends up to 12 feet in length, depending on which of the poles you purchase. Need to lower the height of the pole? Turn the wing nut and adjust the pole to the desired length as you travel down the surface, then continue spraying. When you’ve worked your way down to an area within arm’s reach, transfer the valve back to the gun to continuing painting or apply a few touch-ups.

Lightweight, Light Work
The smart design of the HYDE Airless Spray System with RVT Technology eliminates the need for a heavy spray gun at the top of the pole, leaving you with a lightweight, easy-to-maneuver spray pole that minimizes strain and fatigue and travels quickly across surfaces. In fact, the spray system is so fast that in the time it would take for one painter to build and stage scaffolding for a paint job, a painter using the HYDE Airless Spray System would have finished the job and moved on to the cleanup! And as with every other aspect of this innovative airless spray system, cleanup is supremely simple: Unlike the case with traditional spray tip extensions, no paint circulates through the HYDE spray pole, so cleanup becomes an easy, one-person job.

Purchase HYDE Airless Spray System with RVT, $440.81.

Watch the video below to see the HYDE Airless Spray System in action!


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Bob Vila Radio: Reviving Old Metal Furniture

Furniture made of metal can last a lifetime at least, so long as it's properly maintained. If you're the owner of an older piece that needs a pick-me-up, read on to learn what's involved in applying a brand-new paint finish.

Did your most recent trip to the thrift store pay off in a big way? Vintage furniture adds character to any builder-grade home, but painting old metal can be tricky.

How to Paint Metal Furniture


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Listen to BOB VILA ON PAINTING METAL or read the text below:

Sand down the surface of your metal furniture find, applying added pressure when going over rust spots. Next, apply primer to the problem spots, but leave it off the rest of the piece. New paint actually adheres better to pre-existing, lightly sanded paint than it does to freshly added primer or bare metal.

After sanding, wipe down the furniture with a clean, dry cloth, then go over it again with a cloth dipped in paint thinner. Doing removes any oil or grease the furniture may have accumulated in its travels. Now, position the piece in a well-ventilated space, and coat the metal with rust-inhibiting spray paint.

Use multiple sweeping passes to gradually achieve coverage, remembering the essential dos and dont’s of pro-quality spray painting. Never start or stop spraying with the nozzle pointed directly at the surface you’re painting. Going back and forth, spray in light strokes for a glassy smooth, even finish.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!

Cool Tools: The Ultimate Accessory for Any Paint Job

This king among paint tools, from HYDE, is the only accessory you’ll need to complete your next DIY paint project with ease!

Hyde Painter's Assistant - Cleaning a Paintbrush


Whether you’re refreshing your living room wall color or priming the porch for perfection, when it comes to paint jobs, even DIYers with a can-do spirit can’t do it all on their own. After all, when you find yourself with your hands full, teetering on a ladder to reach that last unpainted square inch, who’s going to secure your paint can or hang onto the narrow paintbrush? The answer isn’t a pricey personal assistant, but instead the HYDE Painter’s Assistant. This multi-tool gives you the second set of hands you’ve always wanted—and the versatility of Picasso himself. Equipped with a magnetized surface, a clippable ladder and belt hook, and paint-removing tines, the Painter’s Assistant easily transforms from a carrying handle for paint containers to an on-demand brush holder and cleaner. Find out how the Painter’s Assistant can help you achieve a perfect—and fumble-proof—finish on your next paint job.

Hyde Painter's Assistant - Packaging


All-In-One Appeal
While you may be familiar with the paint-can openers, paint-bucket ladder hangers, and paintbrush combs that line the paint aisle of your hardware store, the multipurpose yet lightweight Painter’s Assistant outmatches these single-use tools in both value and versatility. By consolidating all their functions and offering even more conveniences, it provides DIYers of all skill levels with more bang for their buck.

Solves Painting Problems from Start to Finish
Whether you’re painting indoors or out, one room or everywhere in the house, the Painter’s Assistant stands by you from the first brushstroke to the finishing touch. Use the lip on the bottom of the tool to pop open a can of paint like a pro, no screwdriver required. Then, when you’re ready to start painting, flip the tool around. Snapped onto the edge of a one- or two-quart paint container, the Painter’s Assistant acts like a carrying handle, providing a sturdy grip and thereby thwarting paint splatters on the floor or furniture as you move down the wall. If your project has you up a ladder painting a ceiling, wall, or window trim, stay high and dry by hooking the bottom lip of the tool to the paint can’s handle and the other end over a ladder rung—you’ll prevent your paint and yourself from taking a messy spill. The Painter’s Assistant’s can even serve as a belt or garage hook, with its clip and magnetic strip that can keep painter’s tape and other tools of the trade ready for use whenever—and wherever—you are.

Should you need to take a breather from the paint fumes or simply want to stop and assess (or admire) your progress, your assistant is ready to hold down the fort. Snap the multi-tool onto the edge of your paint can or tray, and stick your paintbrush onto the tool’s magnetic surface to keep it from falling into the paint.

Finally, after completing a successful, no-spill paint job, the Painter’s Assistant instantly morphs into the perfect cleanup companion, thanks to its compact paintbrush cleaner and a paint roller squeegee. Glide your drenched paint roller through the ring of the Painter’s Assistant to quickly squeeze out excess paint. Or, run the tines of the tool over your paintbrush to clear off the bristles. As you field compliments about your freshly applied, professional-quality paint job, feel free to take all the credit for this team effort—your faithful Painter’s Assistant won’t mind.

Purchase HYDE Painter’s Assistant at The Home Depot, $4.97


Watch the video below to see the HYDE Painter’s Assistant in action!


This post has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of

How To: Cut In Paint

While a fresh coat of color can quickly update any room, the crisp lines where your walls meet trim or ceiling are really what set apart a stand-out paint job. Read on for how to achieve such a professional touch on your next project.

How to Cut in Paint


Any professional painter knows that a successful paint job is only as good as the preparation that comes before it. That’s why it’s so important to cut in around trim, ceilings, and baseboards before you start rolling paint on the walls. Lucky for us, even the average DIYer can do this well with the right equipment, a little instruction, and some careful application of paint.

– 2- or 2-1/2-inch high-quality angle sash brush
– Low-tack masking tape for tough-to-reach areas
– Paint
– Small bucket or pail
– Ladder
– Drop cloth
– 5-in-1 painter’s tool or spackling knife
– Damp rag

How to Cut in Paint - Cutting In Brush


  • STEP 1
    Even when you’re dealing with the small amount of paint required for cutting in, drips and spills can happen. So, begin by prepping the room, making sure that floors and other surfaces are protected. Always use a drop cloth, and move it as you work through the room. Use painter’s tape to mask only those awkward or tough-to-reach spots where you know you won’t be able to guarantee clean results without taping. Otherwise, avoid taping—it takes extra time, and unless the tape is properly applied, paint can seep underneath it or dry on top of it, creating a real mess upon removal.
  • STEP 2
    Get ready to paint by loading the brush. Pour about 2 inches of paint into the bucket. Hold your brush with a pencil grip, with the longer side of the brush bristles in line with your pointer finger. Dip the brush into the paint, but be careful not to load more than 2/3 the length of the bristles with paint. Gently tap the brush against the side of the bucket to remove any excess.
  • STEP 3
    Now it’s time to get some paint on that wall! Begin about an inch away from the area you’re cutting in, whether you’re working along the trim or down a corner. Holding the brush horizontal with respect to the floor and ceiling, paint a roughly 12-inch stripe on the wall, using a downward stroke if you’re painting at a corner, or a sideways stroke if you’re working along the ceiling, baseboard, or other trim. Now that you’ve used up some of the paint on your brush, turn your brush 90 degrees so that it angles into the wall, and go back to the beginning of your stroke. This time, using long, even strokes, cut in a thinner line of paint that gets right up to the trim or wall corner.
  • STEP 4
    Once you’re satisfied that you have a cleanly painted edge or corner, again turn your paintbrush horizontal to the floor and ceiling, and gently sweep back over the area to erase brush marks and feather the outer boundaries of the painted area. Doing so will ensure a smooth, seamless finish after you’ve rolled the walls.

Continue to work your way around the room, gently overlapping sections to keep a wet edge. If you have an accidental drip or get paint on the trim or baseboard, wrap a damp cloth around a spackling knife or the long edge of a 5-in-1 painter’s tool, then run it along your paint line to remove any excess.

Cutting in does take practice, but taking the time to cut in neatly will make a huge difference in the appearance of your newly painted room.

Use a light touch. Applying too much pressure on your strokes will cause the paint to ooze out of your brush and drip.

Don’t load the brush with too much paint. This will result in drips and heavy lines on the walls, and you’ll risk getting the bristles of your brush caked with dried, crusty paint.

Use a high-quality brush. It’s well worth investing in a high-quality cutting in paintbrush. The better the brush, the less taping you’ll need to do, making the job go more quickly and with less frustration.