DIY Repair & Maintenance

10 Things You Didn’t Know a Paintbrush Can Do

Paintbrushes aren’t just for painting anymore! In fact, even if you don’t have a painting project in your future, you may want to stock up on paintbrushes the next time they're on sale. Did you know that you can use various types of paintbrushes in the kitchen and around the house as well as in the craft room? Here are just a few unusual uses for a new, clean paintbrush.
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Workshop Wonder

Even the tidiest home workshop is prone to spills and tumbles. If you happen to upset a box of tiny screws, nuts, washers, or bolts in your workspace, grab a paintbrush to save yourself the headache of painstakingly picking up the little pieces one by one. Use a clean medium- to wide-width paintbrush to gently sweep all the tiny bits back into their container.

Related: 8 “Must Have” Tools for Home Improvement

Computer Comrade

Removing crumbs and debris from your computer keyboard is essential for ensuring its long-term performance, but finding a way to clean all those cracks and crevices can be a challenge. Keep a small, unused fine-bristle paintbrush near your computer so you can dust the keyboard whenever the impulse strikes. It’s a great tool for getting rid of all the gunk that can collect between the keys.

Related: 9 Things You’re Doing to Make Your Home Dustier

A Shade Brighter

Use a narrow- to medium-width paintbrush to clean dirt and dust off fabric lampshades, window blinds, or pleated shades. For vinyl blinds, first dampen the paintbrush with water in order to remove stubborn grit. Alternatively, a paintbrush sprayed with wood polish is a great way to clean and protect wood blinds.

Related: 6 Ways You’re Accidentally Damaging Your Home

Plant Pal

When a houseplant gets dusty, it has a harder time absorbing the sunlight it needs to create its food. Over time, this can result in droopy, wilted greenery. Keep your indoor garden looking good by giving your plants an occasional cleaning with a damp soft-bristle paintbrush. They—and you—will breathe better for it!

Related: Allergy-Proof Your Home in 7 Steps

Toaster Tool

Toasters are notoriously unpleasant to clean, so much so that many forgo the task entirely. Armed with an unused narrow paintbrush, though, you can easily clean off your toaster’s crumb tray and dislodge any larger particles trapped in the slots. Always make sure the toaster is unplugged before attempting any cleaning. 

Related: 10 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Kitchen Ever

Taste and Baste

If you happen to be without a basting brush at your next cookout, remember that you can use a brand-new paintbrush to apply sauces to meats and vegetables. The soft bristles will ensure nice, even coverage.

Related: No Sweat—7 Best BBQ Shortcuts


In a pinch, you can even use a clean paintbrush as a baking tool. Many pie and bread recipes call for the application of an egg wash before baking. An unused paintbrush is perfect for spreading an even layer of egg wash over your baked goods. You can also use a paintbrush to give cake frosting an interesting textured appearance.

Related: 12 Household Items It’s Okay to Hoard

Spill Way

Keep a clean paintbrush handy in the kitchen to clear away spills of dry goods, such as rice, beans, sugar, or salt. Provided the foods spilled onto a clean countertop or table, you can simply brush the grains or legumes into a bowl or plate and pour them back into the appropriate container. 

Related: 10 Cleaning Habits to Blame for Your Messy Home

Grease Is the Word

You don’t need fancy cooking spray to coat loaf pans or muffin tins when baking. Just use a clean paintbrush to evenly apply grease, butter, or oil to your pans. With a paintbrush, you can thoroughly cover the sides and really get into the corners.

Related: Buy or DIY—8 Clever Solutions for Storing Pots and Pans

Web Wizard

A broom is the tool of choice when it’s time to remove cobwebs from hard-to-reach corners of the ceiling. But when it comes to delicate fixtures like chandeliers or troublesome spots like air vents, a wide paintbrush with a long handle is a better bet. Its gentle bristles allow it to dust without damaging the object it’s cleaning.

Related: A Dozen 10-Minute DIYs for a Pest-Free Home