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By Nazih Abbouchi

Having the inside scoop on industry tips and tricks is a great way to get (and stay) ahead, especially when it comes to painting and decorating.

If you’re completing the final touch-ups to get your home ready for auction or have just purchased a new house, take a look at these seven decorating hacks to give you a head start. You can thank us later.

Store paint rollers in empty Pringles cans
If you’re planning to reuse paint rollers for another DIY project you’ll love this tasty trick. Homeowners have discovered that empty Pringles containers are the perfect place to store used and clean roller sleeves, thanks to their long and cylindrical shape.

Empty Pringles containers are the perfect place to store used and clean roller sleeves.

How to

After cleaning your roller sleeve, simply pop in a plastic bag before sliding it into the empty can.

The Pringles container will protect the sleeve from dust, debris and damage, making it as good as new for your next painting endeavour.

Create a DIY paint and brush holder from an empty milk carton
Trying to paint a high, hard-to-reach area? Don’t attempt to juggle large paint tins or trays at the top of a ladder. Instead, with an empty milk bottle and a craft knife, you can create your own handy paint and paintbrush holder, complete with a handle to tackle those trickier jobs.

How to

Measure three inches up from the base of your milk carton and draw a horizontal line around the bottle.
Cut away the two sides which do not feature the handle, stopping at the edges of the two that do, and one inch from the lid of the bottle.
Now you’ll be left with a shallow tray to store a small amount of paint, the neck of the bottle to keep a brush, and a handle to make manoeuvring easier!
Remove masking tape at an angle, and with a little heat
Using masking tape to create sharp and clean lines when painting is no industry secret, but our method of removing it is. All too often, homeowners can ruin hours of hard work by quickly pulling tape from a straight position which results in smeared paint jobs and a low quality finish. Avoid this issue and reap the rewards of your work by slowly pulling masking tape at an angle.

If the tape isn’t peeling away so easily, enlist the help of a hairdryer. The heat helps melt the adhesive part of the tape, allowing for easier removal.

Keep paint trays looking brand new with aluminium foil
Let’s face it; one of the worst things about painting is cleaning up afterwards. Paint is a tricky substance to remove, especially when it’s been left to dry and adhere to trays. Instead of spending time and energy scrubbing, cover your tray with a smooth layer of aluminium foil before adding paint to make your next clean up a walk in the park.

Cover your tray with a smooth layer of aluminium foil before adding paint to make your next clean up a walk in the park.

Avoid the fumes, add vanilla!
No matter what paint you use, they all seem to emit pretty powerful odours. Instead of popping a peg on your nose, there’s an easier and more pain-free way of dealing with the stench.

How to

Add one tablespoon of vanilla extract per four litres of coloured paint. Don’t worry, the vanilla won’t alter the hue of your paint!
Mix thoroughly to ensure even dispersal.
If paint is white or ivory, add a few drops of lemon extract instead.
Enjoy odour free painting!
Use a DIY paint tool to reach hard-to-reach places
Finding brushes that are long and narrow enough to paint hard-to-reach places is as much a challenge as trying to paint the areas themselves. It’s often one of the last steps in completing a room transformation, and one that can’t be left blank as observant buyers will be sure to spot them.

Instead of ignoring the problem or doing a half-hearted job with the wrong brush, create your own paint tool.

How to

Cut a paint pad to your desired size.
Glue to a long stirring stick.
Spread a thin layer of paint onto the paint pad and move back and forth over the area to cover the narrow space.
Use rubber bands to keep drips at bay
When wiping away excess paint from your brush, drips often make their way down the side of the can, leaving plenty of mess to deal with later.

Avoid this sticky issue by stretching a rubber band over the opening. Simply wipe your brush along the band and watch the excess drip directly back into the can – not down it!

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