Why And How Martha Stewart Decants Her Paint Before Starting A Project

When you decide to paint your walls on your own, there are plenty of steps to follow if you want to ensure you get the perfect, mess-free finish. Moving all of your furniture, taping off any vents or trim, and picking up the right rollers and brushes can help increase your chances of painting your home like a professional. Alongside all of these tips, however, queen of home improvement Martha Stewart recommends one more way to prepare that can seriously up your DIY painting game and make the process significantly more convenient.

In a recent Ask Martha video in which she covered how to properly paint your ceiling, Stewart shared one additional step in her painting process. You may have previously heard that you should decant your wine to enhance its flavor, but Stewart utilizes the same technique when painting, choosing to pour a smaller amount of her paint into a reusable container instead of dipping straight into the full can.

How to decant your paint

Just like decanting wine, the process of decanting paint is fairly simple. If you're covering a large space and using a roller, you'll likely already be pouring your paint into a tray to make it more accessible, but this hack comes into play when you're doing more detailed work, like edges where the floor meets the ceiling or around door frames. For these applications, you'll likely be using an angled brush, so you need to be able to dip your brush into the paint without much hassle.

You could dip straight into the can, but when you're working in higher-up corners of the room, this can get heavy and cumbersome. Climbing up and down your ladder every time you need a fresh dip makes for great cardio, but it isn't exactly convenient, and wobbly legs and a full paint can on top of the ladder are a recipe for spills. In her Youtube video, Martha Stewart instead opts to pour her paint into a plastic deli container to make it easier to hold while still maintaining the necessary depth to properly dip the brush. Because these containers are resealable and made of thick plastic, you can also pop the lid back on if you find yourself with excess paint and store it away for easy touchups.

Why this works

Decanting your paint allows you to carry it more conveniently, especially if you need to tackle detail around areas like the tops of door frames or vents on the ceiling, and choosing the correct container can make storage more streamlined and simple, especially if you need to touch up your paint the line. Additionally, decanting and mixing your paint instead of opening one can after another can help ensure that the pigment remains consistent during your paint job. Even the most popular brands often have a bit of variance in color from can to can, so mixing ahead of time can even out any slight difference you might face when tackling a larger project.

It might seem like an unnecessary step at first, but decanting your paint can actually help to make your entire painting process much more convenient and mess-free, a major consideration when you're covering hard-to-reach areas. It may require you to sacrifice a plastic container, but after seeing your flawless paint job, you might just have to reward yourself with some more takeout to replace it.