my Old Workshop

Painting and refinishing tricks

Here are some tips and ideas from our painter and refinishing friends.

To keep air from getting into a paint can and forming a film, store the can upside down.

Painting windows and don’t want to mask? Spread some petroleum jelly around the edges of the glass. Or wet some strips of newspaper and place these on the glass, folding them tight to the frame. They’ll stick, and they peel off easily after painting.

Carrying a lot of heavy paint cans on the job can be a pain. Wear thick gloves or take an open-end wrench and place it under the handle. Lift until the wire handle fits into either side of the wrench. Presto… a handle that’s easier on the hand.

If you’ve just finished sanding, and you’re about to paint or varnish, don’t just wash the surface. Wash your clothes, too. Change out of those dust-covered duds and you’ll avoid having dust ruin all that that careful preparation.

When the dryer eats one sock, leaving it’s twin behind, hang on to it. Put it over your hand and you have a perfect cloth for polishing or wiping off excess stain.

You’re about to refinish that old dresser from the attic. What’s the best way of removing the old finish? Get a cotton ball and dip it in nail polish remover. Touch it to the dresser. If it sticks, the piece is finished with varnish, shellac or a similar finish, and you should use a furniture refinisher. If it falls off, get some paint remover.