Tips & Tricks for Easy Paint Clean Up

Painting is fun - but the paint clean up usually is not!

Kids love painting and it's so educational for them...but they do love making a big fat mess. The clean up however, can be made easier by following these simple tips and tricks.

paint clean up

Top Paint Clean Up Tip: Reduce the Mess

Mess prevention is absolutely essential...if you are ever going to let your kids paint at home again!!

Children LOVE to paint, but unfortunately it does involve mess, especially if you have a toddler. The mess can be minimized or even totally eliminated....and not by banning painting altogether!

Reducing the mess is the first and best step in the clean up process and following these steps, will save you time and effort once your little artist is done creating masterpieces.

Reducing the Mess - BEFORE Painting

8 Tips & Tricks for Reducing the Mess - BEFORE Painting

  • if possible - paint outdoors on the grass or concrete - especially if finger painting

  • choose a surface such as an old plastic or wooden table that can easily be hosed down if needed - keep in mind that acrylic paint can stain surfaces and even become unremovable once dry

  • if you have a table you don't want stained, use a plastic or vinyl table cloth - weighed or tied down

  • if painting indoors, lay an old sheet, blanket, tarp or a piece of lino off-cut underneath the table

  • dress your child in old clothing or use an apron or smock

  • have a wet old towel or baby wipes on hand for quick cleaning

  • have somewhere to put or hang artwork once completed - pegging art work onto a piece of rope or string will keep them out of reach until dry

  • have an ice cream or other container on hand to place brushes in for washing

Have everything you could possibly need (including lots of paper) ready to go, before letting your kids get stuck into the paint.

Reducing the Mess - DURING Painting

6 Tips & Tricks for Reducing the Mess - DURING Painting

  • if you are short on time - or water, use a disposable plastic plate for a palette, or small clean yoghurt tubs - one for each color. If buying a palette from a discount store choose one with fewer holes - as kids tend to like all the holes filled to the brim.

  • reduce wastage by giving your child small quantities of only 2 or 3 colors at a time

  • also (if not finger painting) allow your child to use only one type of brush, applicator or tool at a time

  • adding a little soap flakes or dishwashing liquid to paint seems to make the clean up easier

  • as soon as your child has completed a masterpiece hang it up or place out of reach to dry, they may like to paint numerous pieces at one sitting

  • supervise young children at all times

Since young children tend to have short attention spans, it won't be long before your child has created enough artwork.

Reducing the Mess - AFTER Painting

4 Tips & Tricks for Reducing the Mess - AFTER Painting

  • promptly wash or wipe your child's hands clean, as well as the table he or she was working on - one drop of spilled paint can very quickly turn into some extra fun for them!

  • if your child got color all over his - or your - clothes - soaking them in water while the paint is still wet will reduce or prevent stains

  • most paint will easily wash off skin with soap and water, remainder can be rubbed off using a little olive, canola, sunflower or even baby oil

  • wash brushes and applicators, tools and palette (if it's a bought one) with soapy water before paint dries. Or, if you don't have the time to wash these straight way - soak them in a bucket of soapy water.

Preschoolers can be encouraged to help with the clean up after painting. Give them a cloth and a spray bottle filled with water and let them go for it.

Homemade Paint is Easier to Clean

Homemade paint tends to be much easier to clean. These recipes usually only use basic ingredients such as flour, water and food colouring that will not stain surfaces or clothing.

To easily make you own, go to .

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