Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guest Blogger: Lisa... on Organizing and Storing Your Painting Supplies

Hey there, Smitten readers!  I have a treat for you today!  Organization expert, Lisa is going to teach everyone a little somethin somethin about organizing your messy paint cans and paint brushes (Yes, I'm talkin to YOU!).

Lisa believes in the power of storage units when they are used properly. She currently organizes storage units in Virginia Beach and Tallahassee.   Take it away, Lisa!


Visit any home decorator’s abode and it won’t take long to find the paint stash. There are some that stack everything up until you have the leaning tower of paint cans, and others spread things out to make it seem like less of a mess. If you fall into one of these categories (or another messy one) then it’s time to get your painting supplies under control. 

Prepare for storage the right way
If you’ve ever reused paint, you know there is a right way and a wrong way to prepare it for storage. The wrong way usually involves just sticking the top on and stowing the can away.  Instead, you should take these few steps to increase the life of the paint. First, cut a circular piece of foil or wax paper and gently set it down to float on top of the paint. This will make sure you don’t have to deal with a filmed over top when you open the paint up again. Next, clean off the rim of the can completely and put the top back on. There’s nothing worse than struggling with the top of a can after the paint dries and seals it like super glue!


When it comes to the paintbrushes you should also make some extra preparations. First, remove all the paint from the brush. If you’re using latex paint you can use water to get the paint off, and for oil paint you can use paint thinner. Once the paint is gone, clean off the solvent with soapy water and set the brush out to dry. After everything has dried out you can wrap the bristles of the brush in plastic wrap or newspaper to keep out the elements. Once you’re prepared to store, it’s time to get organized.

Organize and store
Now you’re ready to organize the paint and store it. Your paint should be stored somewhere with relatively constant temperatures where the kids can’t get to it. The garage is usually a good place, especially if it’s climate controlled. Depending on your home, you might also be able to use a basement or utility area for storage. I have a paint locker that I created from an old armoire, but anything with shelves will do. I like to break the organization down by paint type and color. All the latex paint goes on one shelf, all the oil on another, and all the specialty stuff goes on the last shelf. 


You can store brushes in a variety of ways. I bought two hanging organizers that are similar to the shoe organizers you hang on the back of doors. I have one on the inside of each door to the armoire, one for each kind of paint. The brushes and other tools that get used with the “specialty” items go in old mason jars on that shelf. 


Now you’re ready to organize your painting supplies. Good luck!

So are you ready to take on that jumbled mess that you hide away when company comes to visit?  I definitely did!  Thank you so much to Lisa for these great ideas on organization!  We all hope to hear from you again!

So what organization project is troubling you?  Leave a comment and you might see some hopeful tips in the future.