How to Prevent a Paint Spill and How to Clean it up

Everybody knows that accidents happen. When painting spilling does occur but you can take some preventive measures so spilling the paint will be less likely. There are also some steps to take to clean the paint if it does happen to spill.

Spilling paint is not the end of the world as chances are you will be able to clean it up and you will never know that the paint was spilled in the first place. What you should do to make sure that the paint does not spill in the first place is take some prevention precautions.


You should set up a work area with sawhorses, if possible, and then cover the sawhorses with a plank of wood. By doing this it will keep the paint cans and tools off the ground where they can easily be knocked over. Pets and small children are going to be curious and to avoid them spilling paint make sure the area you are painting is closed off to them.

You should decant a few inches of the stirred paint into a can that is free of water or dirt. A full gallon of paint can weigh in excess of 10 pounds. By putting several inches of paint in a container it can be less weight and easier to handle. If you use a full can of paint it can also throw your balance off if you are working on a ladder. Buy a bucket hook so that you can hang the can of paint from the ladder. If you do happen to spill you will only have to deal with a little paint and not a full can as well having only several inches in the container. It will also remind you that you need to stir the original container of paint every time the paint can is refilled. If you paint form another container it will keep the original paint contamination free of things the paint brush will pick up when painting any surface.

In order to prevent the paint from dripping over the sides of the can load the paintbrush like the pros do. Dip the bristles of the paint brush no more than half into the paint, then lift it out and gently tap the bristles against the inside of the bucket or container. By doing this the brush will still have a lot of paint but will not drip. By scraping the paint brush over the lip off the bucket it will remove too much paint from the bristles of the brush, make the paint can more of a mess, and make it harder to put the lid on securely.

Cleaning up Spilled Paint

Let’s face it no matter how careful you are accidents will happen. The best thing to do when removing paint is tending to the spill while it is still wet. Do not just grab a rag or cloth and mop it up as this can spread the paint. The first thing to do is take your paint brush and brush into the paint picking up as much as you can, then scrape it into the can. Then solidify the paint using kitty litter or sand and when it solidifies scoop it up and throw it away. After getting as much as the paint up as possible get a sponge with warm and soapy water or soda water and dab the sponge over the paint. Make sure you do not put too much soapy water or soda water on the paint as it will cause it to spread. Work from the outside in and get up as much as you can but never press hard on the paint as you are only mashing it down further. Keep repeating this process until all the paint is removed.

Author: Jason Green