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5 House Painting Hacks That Make Home Improvement Easy

These hacks will make you a painting pro.

You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but what about spring painting? Spring is a time of freshness and renewal, which makes it the perfect time to do the house painting you’ve been putting off. Let’s face it — professional painting services are expensive, but if you take matters into your own hands, you run the risk of a messy and time-consuming paint job. But the challenges that amateur house painters run into plague us all. Fortunately, with a few tips from professional house painters, they don’t have to be problems at all. Use the below house painting hacks to put that new coat on your home quickly and beautifully.

1. Master touch-ups with a strategic swatch.

Paint typically needs to be touched up every few years, but it’s easy to overlook the importance of this task. By the time you realize you need to repaint, you may well have forgotten the name of the color you originally used and find yourself scrambling to match color swatches. Abraham Kourtidis, a painting pro who works as director at Brush Paint Wall, has a clever tip: “Tape the color swatch card on the back of a light switch cover. If you need to get more paint, you’ll have the name of the brand and paint color handy.”

2. Prevent wall drips with paper plates.

It seems half the job of painting is reassembling newspapers to catch drips. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid this task entirely, says home improvement expert Judi Kutner of ApartmentNotes.com. “Just take a paper plate and tape it under the can — it’ll stay connected to the can to continue catching drips no matter how many times you move it.” Any hack that helps eliminate mess is a plus, since paint splatters can be a real hassle to deal with. Just make sure you don’t confuse this paint plate with one you’d use for food!

3. Protect door fixtures with aluminum foil.

A colorful door can be the difference between a drab exterior and an inviting one, and a nice-looking door may well boost your home’s curb appeal. While a door is a smaller space to paint than a wall, the presence of the door knob requires some additional maneuvering. To give your door a refresh without painting the knob, just wrap it with foil. Unlike painter’s tape, it won’t leave behind residue and will be easy to remove when finished.

4. Avoid fence messes with a dustpan.

Giving your fence a fresh coat of paint extends its life and helps protect it from the elements. But it can be tricky to avoid getting dirt and debris mixed in when painting near the ground. The simple fix: Grab a dustpan, advises Chris Matthias of House Adorable. “Hold the dustpan against the bottom of each pillar to catch drips, as well as block dirt or grass; this will give you a crisp paint edge along the bottom.” As a bonus, a freshly painted fence is a perfect complement to the beauty of a spring garden.

5. Paint furniture legs easily with a nifty nail trick.

You don’t necessarily have to throw out old furniture. Painting is a fun DIY that can give furniture new life and provide you with creative fulfillment. If you’re painting a chair, you might find you struggle with coating the bottom of the chair legs. Try this pro fix: “Tap a nail into the bottom of each leg so the chair stands up off the floor,” says Rick Hernandez, of Sepi Painting & Waterproofing. “This lets you paint to the bottom without marking the floor.” When paint dries, remove the nails and voilà!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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