Why An Expert Recommends Leaving Some Leftover Paint In Your Tray

If you are a handy person around the house and love trying out DIY hacks in your home, then you have most likely handled a paintbrush at some point in time. Painting your walls can be a fun task, but just like all DIY activities, it can get very tedious if you are not privy to all of the necessary tips and tricks that professional painters are more aware of.

In order to paint your walls, you will need, of course, paint, a paintbrush, a paint roller, and a paint tray at the very least. The procedure of painting is quite straightforward: you pour out some paint onto the tray, dip the roller or the brush into it and roll it out to get rid of the excess paint, and then you apply the color to the wall. However, you've probably noticed that the tray gets drenched in paint after several uses. If you've been washing the tray after each use, an expert's recommendation might make you think twice about that.

Let layers of paint dry to provide added mass to your tray

Paint trays are designed to hold paint during a paint job and to keep it from making a mess. Any veteran painter knows that rolling out a paintbrush or roller onto a tray can be frustrating at times because of how light the trays are. That is why professional painter Mac Wentz revealed to Family Handyman that he takes an unconventional route to make sure his tray stays steady while he does his job.

According to the painter, he does not wash his trays after using them. While most people will usually wash off every trace of paint from the tray for putting them away after a job, Wentz allows the excess paint to dry rather than cleaning or lining. "Just pour any excess paint back into the can and let the paint in the tray dry completely before using it again," he advised. Wentz does this to increase the weight of the tray, making it sturdier and less likely to tip over during use. "I have paint trays with a 1/8-inch-thick paint buildup in them. I like them better than clean trays."

Wrap your tray in plastic to preserve the paint

Leaving thin layers of paint in your paint tray to accumulate and giving the tray some weight is not the only hack you can pocket when it comes to painting your house. You can let leftover paint dry but you also need to keep the active paint in the tray to stay usable. When you're in the middle of a paint job, you might need to put your decorating or renovating activities on hold temporarily and when that happens, you have to know the best way to store the leftover paint.

Paint needs to stay wet, so when you're stepping out to get some more supplies during a painting session, you have to keep the paint from drying out. YouTube life-hack expert Digital Friend explained in a video that in order to keep your supply of paint fresh while in the tray is by covering the entire top of the wall with clear plastic film. If you can't find any plastic film around, don't fret; he gave another solution: a regular old plastic bag. "Wrap it up, and this acts kind of like a lid and stops paint from drying out," he explained. Your paint will stay in liquid form and be ready for use whenever you're ready to pick up the brush again.