10 Painting Tips & Tricks You Never Knew

#1. How to spray paint glass

10 Paint Secrets: what you never knew about paint (like how to paint glass!). This is GREAT!

I find glass vases at the thrift store for about $1 each and then I spray paint them to mimic ceramic. It’s a super great alternative for those of us who aren’t yet in the market for a $50 vase.
High five, girl.

10 Paint Secrets: what you never knew about paint (like how to paint glass!). This is GREAT!

To paint any sort of glassware, all you need to do is clean it with soap and water, then wipe the entire thing with isopropyl alcohol about 10 minutes before you spray paint it. I use this high gloss white spray paint (affiliate link) and with just a few light coats, it turns out super shiny, almost like white ceramic. I wouldn’t recommend washing it in the dishwasher, but if handled carefully, it should last for awhile. You can prime it first if you want, but I usually don’t just because in my experience it tends to make the finish less glossy. Plus, spray paint is oil based, so it’s made to stick.

My latest faux-ceramic vase ended up on the blue dresser, and she couldn’t look sassier. Btw, that’s my latest thrift store mirror that I scored for a few bucks. You may have spotted it in the living room reveal post.

#2. Use a dollar store shower curtain as a dropcloth.
After painting an entire house and painting about 20 pieces of furniture (seen here), I’ve gone through my fair share of dropcloths. Canvas dropcloths usually cost between $10-$30, so lately I’ve been using shower curtains from the dollar store. 

They only cost a dollar, and they usually last me through a few projects. 

They aren’t as high quality as your standard dropcloth, but if you’re like me and go through a lot of them, then this is a great option.
Plus, while you’re there, you can pick up a great ladybug or bumblebee bath….mitten??

#3. Put your paintbrush in the fridge. 
All the cool kids are doing it.
This is a tip that you guys suggested to me after the last post, and I’m obsessed. It’s a total timesaver. Basically, when you are done painting for the day, just put your paintbrush in a ziploc bag and store it in the fridge. The paint doesn’t dry on your brush for up to a week, and you save tons of time not having to wash the paint out of your paintbrush.
Let’s all have a little laugh at the fact that I painted an entire house by myself before learning this. Where do I submit my request to get back those 42 days of my life spent washing out paintbrushes?

#4. The oil versus latex test
When painting over existing paint, it’s super important to know if the old paint is latex or oil. If you don’t know, you can figure it out with this simple test. Just rub a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol over the painted surface. If some of the paint comes off onto the cotton ball, the surface is latex. If not, the surface has been painted with an oil based paint. If it is oil based, make sure to use oil based primer before starting.
 See my tips on oil vs. latex paint here.

#5. The cardboard box trick
This tip is new to me, and I am forever thankful to the reader who suggested it to me. 
My graffiti-covered yard thanks you, too. 
Basically, use a cardboard box to prevent overspray when spray painting small items. It’s simple, and it works. 
Voila! No more spray paint mess! 

#6. Use tacks to elevate small objects when spray painting.
This is another great spray paint tip, and this is one I’ve been using for awhile now. I use tacks to prop up small items when spray painting so that the paint can fully cover it. This works especially great for frames, which is something I frequently spray paint. 
(You can see the other ridiculous amount of items I commonly spray paint here.)

#7. Repair dents on old furniture with wood filler to create a smooth paint finish.
I paint a lot of old thrift store furniture, and before I even pick up a paintbrush, I usually have to spend a solid ten minutes repairing dents and cracks in the wood. The good news is that it’s really easy, and a little prep work goes a long way. Just fill in any dents with wood filler and once it’s dry, sand it even with the surface with some fine grit sand paper. This creates a nice, smooth even surface, and your paint job will look so much more professional.
You can see some wood filler in action here. I totally messed up that piece of furniture, but it wasn’t the poor wood filler’s fault.

#8. How to paint the door and NOT the hinges.
I’ve painted 15 doors in this house, and therefore this tip is 
 Rather than painstakingly remove all of my doors, I just covered up all of my hinges with painter’s tape, using an exacto knife to remove the excess, and then painted the doors while still attached. 
My hinges stayed paint-free, and no one is the wiser.
I definitely earned some of my 42 hours worth of paintbrush-washing hours back with this tip. It’s still a net loss of about 40.5 hours, but who’s counting.

#9. The easiest way to gold leaf.
Remember when I silver leafed my vanity table and it was my own personal nightmare (even though it turned out kinda awesome.)? Well, since then, I’ve been searching for an easier way to get a really great metallic finish, and after a few wasted dollars on stuff that totally didn’t work, I finally found it. It’s called Liquid Leaf (affiliate link), and it’s amazing. It has a killer finish that’s way shiner than spray paint or even my beloved Rub n Buff. It comes in a tiny little jar, and it’s exactly what it says it is: liquid leaf. It’s super easy to use, too. 
Just paint it on.

I’ve used it on a couple of frames so far, and I’m smitten. Definitely easier than using actual gold or silver leaf. I just painted the mirror frame in my kitchen yesterday, just for fun, and boy did it deliver.
And there’s a story behind that awesome ginger jar. A $7 story.

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