A lot of prep work goes into starting a paint project. The job isn’t over when you’ve applied the last coat. You need to clean up your work area and put things away before you can relax and enjoy your handiwork. Put as much effort and care into cleaning up after painting as you would in preparing for the project.
Start by picking up drop cloths and tarps. Pick them up carefully, making sure you don’t spread around any paint that may have gotten on them. Clean paintbrushes and other tools with warm, soapy water. You can also use a non-toxic, citrus-based cleaner for additional help. Thoroughly rinse your roller covers and brushes in water until the water runs clear, then place them in a brush/roller spinner, if you have one, to remove excess liquid. Store in their protective sleeves or hang them on nails or hooks.
Remove painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any fresh paint. Remember that the longer it stays on, the harder it is to remove.
Dispose of used paint cans appropriately. Many people don’t know that leftover latex paint has to dry completely before you can dispose of it. Even if you have used all the paint from a can, allow the empty container to dry with the lid off before discarding. If there is less than a quarter of the can left, you can let the paint dry by leaving it in a well-ventilated area until it hardens, stirring it once every few days.
When leaving paint out to dry, be sure to keep it in an area that’s away from children, pets and open flames.
Only buy what you need for the job at hand so you don’t have too much extra paint. Before you begin, measure the area carefully (height x width = total sq. ft.). One gallon of paint will cover approximately 350 to 400-sq.-ft. To see how much paint you’ll need, check out the paint calculator tool.
When setting out paint to dry up, try filling partially empty cans with shredded newspaper or a powder to aid in clumping up the leftover paint so that it dries up faster for discarding.