Painting a room (or a piece of furniture, or a staircase) is a messy job. And doing it right requires a serious time commitment. But if you're still putting up with smelly paint fumes and lengthy cleanup sessions, there's a better way. These brilliant painting tips will change the way you tackle your next painting chore, making it faster, easier, and cleaner than you probably thought possible.


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Say So Long to Paint Smells

Stir two teaspoons vanilla extract into one gallon of dark or bright paint (avoid adding to very light or subtle hues). The extract will make the paint smell better as you brush it on, and it helps mask smelly paint fumes.

Stop Paint Drips Before They Start

Place two rubber bands around your paint can, so that they are centered across the opening. After dipping your paintbrush, run the bristles along the rubber bands to wipe off excess. Now you’re ready to paint without drips.

Speed Up Your Cleanup

To save yourself from spending hours scrubbing paint trays clean, line the tray with aluminum foil before you start painting. Wrap the edges of the tray with the foil, so it won’t pull up as you coat the roller. When you’re done painting, carefully roll up the tin foil and throw it away.

Make Your Paint Cans Easy-Open

Before you close the paint can, place plastic wrap over the top, then replace the lid as normal. You’ll thank yourself the next time you go to open the can—dried paint around the edges won’t be a problem.

Color-Code the Lid

If you have a large collection of paint, or tend to use various shades of the same color throughout your house, clearly labeling the cans will save you a headache the next time you want to touch up the trim in the bathroom. Add a dab of paint to the lid of the can, and use a permanent marker to note which room it belongs in.

Shop the Color:

Curious about that pretty aqua paint we used? It’s Cruising by Sherwin Williams, a vibrant blue that would make for a dreamy accent wall.