You're painting the kitchen when an emergency (kid's sick at school; Brad Pitt is Ellen's special guest) calls you off the job. To keep brushes and rollers from drying out, place them in bags, and tie them or wrap them with rubber bands to keep out air. The tools will stay moist and protected for a day or so.
2 of 10Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran
Baby Oil as Paint Remover
Dab some baby oil on splatters to remove latex paint from skin.
3 of 10Photo: John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran
Luggage Tag as Decorating Aid
Avoid decorating mistakes. Tuck fabric, wallpaper, and paint swatches inside so you can ensure a perfect match.
4 of 10Photo: Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino
To-Go Container as Paint Palette
Even a starving artist eats takeout sometimes. Use the plastic top from a to-go container as a palette for mixing colors; when you’re finished, just toss.
5 of 10Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran
Shower Curtain Liner as Child’s Smock
Finger-painting on the day’s agenda? Cut a new shower curtain liner in half or in fourths, and then cut a hole in the center for your little one’s head to pop through.
6 of 10Quentin Bacon
Aluminum Foil as Fixture Protector
Protect doorknobs and hardware in the kitchen and bathroom when you're painting by wrapping foil around them to catch dribbles. The foil molds to the shape of whatever it's covering and stays firmly in place until the job is complete.
7 of 10Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran
Scratched CD as Paint Palette
When you're working on an art project, dab the colors you need onto a CD. (Place one finger in the hole to keep the CD stable.)
8 of 10John Lawton
Vanilla Extract as Paint-Odor Masker
Disguise unpleasant fumes with this sweet-smelling pantry staple. Stir in a few drops of pure extract for each gallon of (nonwhite) paint.
9 of 10Monica Buck
Coffee Can Lid as Paint Splatter Shield
Paint like a pro. To make a splatter shield for when you’re painting a high surface, cut a slit in the center of a lid and pull the paintbrush through.
10 of 10James Wojick
Baby Food Jar as Paint Bucket
Simplify paint touch-ups by pouring a few ounces of each new wall paint into a jar for when those times it’s needed to cover the inevitable nail holes and scuffs.