The Correct Way to Shake a Spray Paint Can
The pigments in spray paint cans will settle to the bottom during storage. Insufficient mixing may result in an uneven color. To help mix the paint thoroughly the manufacturers put a small metal ball in the can. Shake the can back and forth until you hear the ball rolling. Then shake the can so the ball rolls around the bottom. Since the paint in settled on the bottom this will help mix it thoroughly. Try to shake the can for 1-2 minutes the first time you use the can. Then shade the can for 30seconds to a minute the next time the can is used during the same day.
Avoiding Bent Can Lids
Wood putty lids can often become damaged after they have been opened and closed a few times. This allows air to enter the can and dry out the contents. To help prevent some of the damage caused by hammering the lid back in place try pressing the lid on by hand and then turning the can over and hitting the top on a flat surface such as a workbench or concrete floor. The lid should snap in place with one motion. Painters use a variation of this technique by pressing the lid onto the paint can and then stomping it in place with their shoe.
Pre-Treat Your Paintbrushes Before Use
To help speed up brush cleanup dip the brush in the correct solvent up to the top of the bristles before use. This will help draw solvent deep into the brush and make cleanup a little easier at the end of the project.
The “correct solvent” depends on the finish you plan to use. The directions on the can should provide more details. As a general rule use water for water based finishes. Oil based finishes such as oil-based paint, polyurethane, and varnish, should be dipped in mineral spirits. Lacquer thinner should be used with lacquer and alcohol with shellac.