How to Remove Clumps From Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean 5-gallon bucket

  • Paint strainer

Most people have tried their hand at a painting project around their home. Since most do-it-yourselfers generally look to save as much money as they can, they often end up having to use older, used paint. Sometimes this paint contains contaminants such as dirt, small bits of wood or dried pieces of coagulated paint. Many times, a lot of do-it-yourselfers find themselves having to stop painting every few minutes to remove these clumps from their paint. Luckily, you can solve this problem with the help of a simple paint strainer.


How To Use A Paint Strainer

Step 1

The simple, inexpensive paint strainer can remove about 99 percent of clumps from paint. Even an amateur can use a paint strainer properly. First, place the strainer inside a clean, empty 5-gallon bucket. Wrap the edges of the strainer tightly around the bucket's rim.


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Step 2

Now you're ready to pour the bad paint into the clean 5-gallon bucket. Grip the handle of the bucket containing your left hand and raise the bucket so it's hovering 1 or 2 inches above the clean bucket. Now, take your right hand and grip the bottom edge of the bucket nearest to you. Lift slowly from the bottom and pour the clumpy paint into the clean bucket, through the strainer.


Step 3

As you pour, the strainer will prevent the clumps from passing through. As the clumps collect, they may clog the strainer, preventing the purified paint from passing through. If this happens, set the bucket down and collect the clumps from the strainer. Once you've cleared the strainer, you can begin pouring again.


You can purchase paint strainers in a few different styles; they cost between $5 and $10 each. Although some have the shape of a cone or funnel, the most effective kinds look like nets with very tiny holes. You can clean or reuse paint strainers, but their low cost allows you to treat them as disposable if you're so inclined. (If you've ever tried to clean one, you can easily see why many choose to discard paint strainers after one use in favor of a fresh one the next time.)


Clumps in paint can become a real nuisance when you're painting. Low-quality, unpurified paint not only slows a painting project—they can lead to an unattractive finished product. Clumps can even create expensive problems with spray-painting rigs; unpurified paint can clog and ruin these expensive machines. Although it may seem like an unnecessary headache, taking a few moments to clean clumps from your paint with a strainer can save you a lot of problems in the long run.

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