Instead of putting a paint smear across the outside of a can to mark the level of paint left inside (which can be messy and obliterate the label), use a rubber band instead. Put it around the can and roll it down to the level of the paint. Just by glancing at the rubber band, which is visible all the way around, you will know how much paint is left.
When paint fails, itï¿½s usually caused by weak surface preparation. Spend time on a few basics before you begin to get the results you want when youï¿½re done. Simply washing walls with detergent to remove dirt, grease, oil, and fingerprints can make all the difference. A clean everyday floor sponge mop makes a great wall washer. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and give everything adequate time to dry.
Latex paint makes clean-up simple and fast: Clean any spills with a damp paper towel before they dry; Clean brushes, rollers and other tools with soap and water; Brushes should be paper-wrapped in a manner that retains their original shape before storing.
To reduce your child's exposure to lead, get your child checked, have your home tested (especially if your home has paint in poor condition and was built before 1978), and fix any hazards you may have. Children's blood lead levels tend to increase rapidly from 6 to 12 months of age, and tend to peak at 18 to 24 months of age.
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.