The Genius Painter's Tape Hack That Keeps Your Paintbrush Clean

Painting projects can take a couple of days, sometimes even more. Unfortunately, there are times when the project might last longer than the paint brushes, depending on what steps you take to clean the bristles and to prevent paint from covering every inch of the brush. Some jobs get so messy that you get paint on the handle which sets off a chain reaction of getting paint on you, your clothes, or other spots where it doesn't belong.

Such does not have to be the case with your paint brush, especially if you use painter's tape to protect the handle and the base of the bristles. Painter's tape comes in handy for blocking off the parts where you don't want paint to land throughout the room, so the same application can be used for a paintbrush. First, you'll need a roll of 1.5-inch wide painter's tape. And of course, you'll need the brushes that you'll be using for your projects. Then be prepared to be amazed.

Apply and reapply tape as needed

You'll first take your paintbrush and, starting at the metal ferrule (or base) where you see the bottom of the bristles, wrap this area with the tape. The tape should overlap onto the bristles by just a short distance, leaving most of the bristles (about three quarters) exposed to where the painter's tape won't get in the way. If you're a very messy painter, keep winding down the tape to include the handle.

After that, you can dip your brush as normal and start painting away. As your painting progresses, the tape might get wet. If too much paint accumulates on the ferrule or the handle, either add more tape if the coat isn't too thick or simply take off the wet tape and replace it with new. The tape should come off easily without sticking to the bristles. Plus, you'll have more luck if the paint is still damp but not dripping, as you're trying to avoid the mess. You might want to use paper towels or a rag when peeling off the tape.

What's the best tape to use?

It's important to use the right kind of tape, and for this hack, regular blue painter's tape will work best. Just like it does for floors and trim, the blue tape will keep paint off of the handle and base of the brush as well as the bottom of the bristles. You shouldn't have to worry about paint soaking through even if you forget and dip your brush too deep into the paint can because you'll automatically overlap your strips of tape as you wrap around the ferrule and handle which adds protective layers. If all you have is heavier duty green painter's tape, or you just like the stronger seal frog tape offers, that will work just fine.

Try not to fall into the temptation of using masking or packing tape for this hack, though. Packing tape would be rather difficult to completely peel off without pulling at the bristles, especially if it's the strong type. Conversely, masking tape provides almost no protection against the paint as compared to painter's tape, which is noticeably thicker, and masking tape won't adequately adhere to the area where the bristles meet the base.