When paint has been standing for a while, it needs to be correctly mixed before it can be used.

We’ve all opened a tin of paint that has been standing in the garage, only to see a watery liquid with blobs of the tinting dye floating on the top. It’s a fact that paint separates over time, but usually, it can be rescued. Here’s how to mix paint properly, as well as one method that should be avoided.

What not to do: don’t shake tins of paint to mix it. Yes, it works in that the paint gets mixed, but it also creates air bubble in the paint that may not be visible. When you use the paint, the bubbles pop and create an imperfect finish.

What you should do: a purpose-built paint mixer is the quickest and easiest thing to use. These attach to a drill – you simply push it in, tighten the drill’s chuck, put the end into the paint and gently press the drill’s trigger. You don’t want to go at full speed, or you will create a mess and possibly add air bubbles to the paint.

These paint mixers lift the solid gloop at the bottom of the tin and mix it in with the lighter, more liquid paint at the top, blending it into a usable paint again.

If you don’t have a paint mixer, here’s a good hack: take an old plastic coat hanger and cut it so that you are left with the hook at the end. Place the end in a drill and use the hook to stir up the paint.

And that’s another simple trick from the Builders workshop. Get to Builders. Get it done.

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