Few things are more annoying than having to stop in the middle of a painting project, with a mess on your roller and a pan full of paint. To keep the paint and tools from drying out, wrap them tightly in several layers of plastic wrap, then stash it all in the refrigerator overnight. The paint will stay fresh, and you will be ready to resume work in the morning.
Related: Paint Like a Pro—8 Clever New Tools Under $10
Waiting until spring to replace your storm windows? In a pinch, you can cover entire windows with plastic wrap to cut down on drafts, or you can simply wedge strips of plastic wrap into cracks in the frame, or between the sash and the frame, to reduce the wind chill.
Related: Drafty Windows? Solutions for Every Budget
Keep utensils neat and well organized for moving day. Simply wind several layers of plastic wrap around trays of silverware to hold the pieces in place. This trick also works for keeping desk supplies like paper clips, staples, pens, and pencils in order during a move.
If working with gloves on makes your shovel or rake handle feel slippery, you can use plastic wrap to create temporary replacement grips. Wind several layers of plastic wrap tightly around the end of the handle to provide a stickier grip.
Related: The 8 Best Tools for Conquering Ice and Snow
A Head Start
Construct your own mini greenhouse by placing seeds in a pot and tightly covering the pot with plastic wrap. The seal helps keep the soil moist, which in turn helps seeds sprout faster. Lift the edge of the plastic wrap every day to let in some fresh air and prevent mold.
Related: How to Grow Edible Plants Indoors—Starting from Seeds!
Leftover paint, putty, or spackling can dry out over time, even if tightly covered. To prevent premature drying, place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the material before you replace the lid. Make sure to cover the entire surface inside the can to keep the air out.
Related: 9 Things You Can Do with 1 Gallon of Paint
In the Board Room
Keep multiple pieces of stacked lumber secure by wrapping several layers of plastic wrap around the ends of the boards. The plastic wrap provides enough resistance to keep boards from slipping and sliding during transport.
Related: 11 Things to Know Before Visiting the Lumber Yard
Create a beautiful faux finish on your walls with a decorative technique called frottage. Press a wrinkled sheet of plastic wrap against a freshly glazed wall while it is still wet, and then carefully remove it to create the marbled texture. Repeat as necessary to finish the entire wall.
Related: Believe It or Not—9 Incredible Faux Finishes You Can Do Yourself
Want to protect newly finished floors from dirt and scuffs? Make temporary booties by wrapping several layers of plastic wrap around your shoes, securing the plastic in place with rubber bands.
Related: Floor Care Guide—11 Ways to Care for Your Wood Floors
Don’t Whine About Corked Wine
Wine that has been contaminated by “cork taint” can be redeemed—to a degree—with plastic wrap. Pour the wine into a pitcher with a square foot of wadded-up plastic wrap. Swirl gently for a few minutes or let sit for half an hour. The plastic wrap will absorb the spoilage, rendering the wine drinkable (but not perfect).
Related: 5 Easy DIY Wine Racks You Can Make in an Afternoon
Cut Down on Cleaning Time
Use plastic wrap—especially the “press-and-seal” variety—to cover the shelves of your refrigerator. When it gets dirty or spattered, simple peel it off and replace with a new sheet.
Related: How To—Clean Any Appliance
If you're interested in more alternative uses of household staples, consider:
10 Unexpected Uses for Table Salt
9 Alternative Uses for Toothpaste
10 "Sober" Alternative Uses for Alcohol at Home
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!