One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to totally transform a room is to paint the walls.  I learned to paint after my husband died and my children and I moved into a friend’s basement.  This friend loved to paint, wasn’t afraid of colour and was more than willing to teach me.  She gave me permission to paint the rooms we were occupying.  Back then, my children were very young and I didn’t have a lot of time to redecorate.  My friend totally understood this.  She had had three children in the space of eighteen months.  She encouraged me to tackle a wall at a time when the boys were down for the night.  She had done this herself when she was in the throes of rearing her own babies.  It takes time but I found it very enjoyable to make progress each night.  What I didn’t enjoy was the clean-up following each of those short paint sessions.

I still paint that way – a wall or two at a time when the boys are occupied or sleeping at night.  I don’t clean up every time though.  Here’s a trick or two that I use that has made me enjoy painting without dreading the clean-up work at the end.  When I am done with my roller for the evening, I wrap it in an ordinary grocery bag, put it in an empty Pringles tin and put it all in the freezer.  You don’t waste as much paint this way and the Pringles tin keeps the roller from getting dented as it freezes.  When you’re ready to paint again, simply take the roller out of the fridge and let it thaw.  This usually takes about a half-hour to an hour.  Once thawed, simply unwrap the roller from the plastic bag and go right to painting.  You can keep doing this until the paint job is done.  That means that you only have to clean the roller once even though you may have painted with it many times to get two coats on all the walls.

Sometimes I am too impatient to wait the half-hour to an hour for the roller to thaw.  My microwave is big enough for my entire paint roller to fit in it.  I have literally put the whole thing in the microwave, plastic bag, Pringles tin and all and used either defrost or short bursts of full power heat to quickly get the roller to a place where it can be used.  Don’t try to paint with a frozen roller.  I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work well at all!

I also freeze my paint brush when I know that I am going to use it again with the same colour.  I simply put it in a plastic baggy, zip it up and put it in the freezer.  It too needs time to thaw and it too can go in the microwave if you’re impatient like me.  I’m not sure pros would recommend these tricks but I’ve done them many times and find them real time and paint savers.  Why wash all that paint off the roller and paint brush when you don’t have to?

The flip side of this is that to try it you may have to buy a can of Pringles chips.  My boys loved getting this special treat so that I could use the tin.  It’s always good to get your kids involved in the reno process.  It’s a win-win situation.  They get something unusual for a treat and I get something I can use to make my life easier.  I like it when that happens.