Always seal your paint container tightly between paint jobs. This will help prevent your paint from thickening or evaporating. To seal a can properly, clean excess paint from the rim with a brush and then gently tap the edges of the cover with a hammer.
Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping, or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the national Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.
Oil-based (alkyd) paint must be removed from tools with brush cleaner or paint thinner. Pour the cleaning material into a clean bucket and rinse brushes and rollers well. When done, allow the solids to settle out of the cleaner, then strain the liquid back into the original container for reuse. Allow the settled solids to air-dry away from children, pets or open flames, then dispose of the container in the trash.
If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, you can take some immediate steps to reduce your family's risk: clean up paint chips immediately; thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning firty or dusty areas; keep play areas clea; keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
To prevent air from entering partially used paint cans, store them upside down after placing the top on firmly.
If you’re painting over an old semi-gloss paint, check to see if it has become hard and brittle. Try to pick off a piece from an obscure area with your fingernail. If it chips, it probably needs a light sanding to improve the “tooth” for a new coat of paint.
Wait at least two weeks before washing the newly painted surface. After that, clean with any mild household detergent and a soft cloth or sponge.
Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep, or walk through it.
For a quicker and more efficient paint job, don't overload the paintbrush or roller. If it drips, there's too much paint.
If you're going to paint again tomorrow, just wrap your brushes or rollers in plastic and set them aside in a cool place. If your painting chores are done, clean your tools thoroughly. Latex washes off tools and trays with warm water. Oil-based paint requires a thinner or mineral spirit. Wear plastic gloves and work the solvent into bristles or nap and rinse until the solvent is clear. Once dry, store brushes hanging bristles down in their original wrap or paper. Rollers should dry and store standing on end.