Friday, 14 February 2014

Rubber band over paint can stops drips and makes less mess!

I'm a messy painter at the best of times! It doesn't matter what I'm painting; houses, murals, signs, canvases, I always get covered in paint. I get paint all over me, all over the ground and all over the table... I'm a messy painter!

I have heard about putting a rubber band over the paint pot to stop the can from getting covered in paint but have never tried it. Then, a couple of days ago, I found myself painting a sign for a friend and I wanted to do it under our pergola instead of the back yard, as we have had on and off spots of rain a fair bit lately. I knew that if I got paint on the seating or the brick in the pergola area - I wasn't going to be popular with the husband who build it all!

So I decided that trying the rubber band over the can might be a good idea for me to have a go at under these circumstances!


Here's what I did...
 
Find a rubber band large enough to go over the top and under the bottom of the can.
The rubber band goes over the paint pot so that it is stretched over the open part of the pot.

 
Like this...
 
 
So when you dip the brush in and want to wipe off the excess, you use the band and not the side of the pot. 
 
 
 As long as you are gentle, it works a treat!

 
This stops the paint getting into the grooves making it hard to get the lid on properly when you have finished painting (and sometimes impossible to get off again!)

 
 The paint just drips off the rubber band and goes back into the pot!
 
 
I found slightly off center worked better than straight across the middle for such a small pot. It gave me more room to manoeuvre. Just make sure there is still enough tension on the rubber band so you don't end up loading it up with paint and pinging it off the can...

 
 
And keeps it all nice and clean!
 
I had heard about doing this before but never tried it. It did make a huge amount of difference to the clean up and I will definitely be doing this again. I often get the paint pot stuck to the paper and to the floor with the amount of paint that pools at the top of the pot and then overflows and drips down the side when I paint.
 
This was the first time I had done it and I think I was probably going slower and paying more attention to what I was doing as it was different (and I really didn't want to get paint of the seats or the bricks which would have slowed me down anyway). Once I get the hang of it, it would be easy to speed up a bit. Its hard to not drag the brush against the side of the can after 40+ years of doing just that!
 
Though if you sped up too much, I could see that if you "pinged" a rubber band loaded with paint that things could get quite messy, quite quickly!
 
Unloading the band from the can was also a bit of a delicate operation - another potential moment to ping the band full of paint onto a precious family heirloom (well it wont land on the newspaper will it??) Do it with two hands and have somewhere to lay it or throw it straight out if you aren't going to use it again. I found the even though the paint had dried on the band (and it had stuck slightly to the newspaper) that I could stretch it out again and pop it back on the can. I did four coats and used the same band on two cans.
 
Give it a go and tell me how you went!

Score card:
Green-ness: 3/5 for not wasting paint and for reusing a rubber band!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not wasting paint and reusing a rubber band already in your possession!
Time cost: 10 seconds to find and install the rubber band onto the paint pot
Skill level: awesomely basic!
Fun-ness: Fun not to have any mess to clean up!

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