Even the most fastidious painters make mistakes. Don’t panic if your work looks a little messy, or even if you have a spill. There’s always a solution.
◘ Dealing with runs
Sags and runs are difficult to remove once the paint begins to dry. Avoid them by not overloading the paintbrush. If any do form, don’t try to remove them while the paint is still tacky. Wait till they dry, then sand back and repaint. You may need to sand back to the bare wood.
◘ Dab hand with spills
Act fast if you spill paint. Scrape up as much as you can with a flat-bladed tool, then dab off what’s left with dry absorbent cloths. Lift off any remaining traces with clean cloths dampened with cold water (for water-based acrylics) or mineral spirits (for oil-based enamel paints). If you’re cleaning a paint spill on fabric using mineral spirits, you’ll need to clean off the residue with dish soap on a damp cloth.
◘ Hard attack
Attack dried acrylic paint on carpets by repeatedly dampening the stain and teasing lumps of paint out of the pile with an old toothbrush. If you have a spill of oil-based enamel paint on your carpet or hard floor, you should be able to remove it with a water-based paint stripper. Test it on an inconspicuous corner first. Neutralize the stripper residue with water immediately afterward.
◘ Surgical removal
If you spot a stray brush bristle as soon as it appears, lift it off the wet paint before it gets stuck. Otherwise, wait until the surface is thoroughly dry, then use a scalpel or utility knife to carefully cut it away from the hardened paintwork.
◘ Rub insects off dry paint
Small insects sometimes land on wet gloss paint and get trapped. Don’t try to remove them when the paint is tacky. Instead, wait until the paint is dry and rub them off with a rag dampened with mineral spirits.
◘ Scrape paint off glass
The best tool for removing paint from a windowpane is a purpose-made plastic scraper fitted with a utility knife blade.
◘ Super soaker
If you’ve spilled a large volume of paint and you happen to be a cat owner, then you can soak it up with kitty litter. Just heap it on the spill, leave it to absorb for a while, then scoop up and discard.
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