Have you ever come back to your paint and found clumps of paint have fallen into the mix? Or worse, dust and dirt have found their way in? Fortunately, there is a tool designed specifically to get things like dust, dirt, and dried flakes out of your paint. This tool is the humble paint strainer. In this post, we will introduce you to everything you need to know about paint strainers.
What Are Paint Strainers?
A paint strainer is an invaluable painting accessory that is used to remove dirt, clumps, flakes, and other impurities from the paint mixture. Made with a fine mesh, they can ensure your paint is as smooth and clean as the day you opened it. With a paint strainer you can even remove fine dust particles that would end up leaving a nasty mark on your wall if left in your paint can.
Why do you need a paint strainer?
You get a more professional look when you prepare your paint via straining it. Your surfaces are evenly painted, and they remain smooth when you keep your paint free of debris and other materials that get stuck to the paint roller or paintbrush. When this debris gets on the roller or paintbrush, it invariably ends up on the wall. When the paint dries, this leaves a nasty mark that chips easily.
Do I need a paint strainer if I use a paint sprayer?
If you’re using a paint sprayer, having a paint strainer will be just as important as if you use rollers and brushes. This is because the dust and dried flakes can quickly clog up your sprayer and cause it to break. This means that, in the long run, you'll actually save a lot of money from not having to repair or replace the clogged sprayer. Straining your paint will protect your paint spraying equipment.
How to Use The Most Popular Types of Strainers
Paint strainers come in all sizes. They can be as large as 5-gallon bags or small mesh strainers. Here are some customer favorites when it comes to paint strainers:
1. Cone Strainers: This traditional strainer works great for removing impurities in oil-based and latex paint. This strainer is used above the paint bucket to filter the paint. The higher mesh count cone strainers work best at leaving very few impurities in the paint. You should always use a strainer holder over the bucket when using a cone strainer. Slowly pour the paint into the paper strainer to avoid overflow.
2. Bag Strainers: If you’re using gallons of paint, a bag paint strainer is the type of strainer you need. It’s great for any kind of paint, varnish or other liquids that need straining, it comes in both plain and elastic top varieties. Bag strainers fit on the bucket of paint to remove lumps, flakes, dust, and other impurities. Just fold the edge of the strainer over the rim of the bucket and pour the paint inside the bag. Don’t overfill the bag because the process of removing the impurities is slow.
3. Pump Strainers: If you are using a paint sprayer, you need a pump strainer to filter out impurities and to keep your sprayer from getting clogged. The strainer comes with an opening to attach a spray pickup tube, so that way you can strain while spraying! If you have a pump strainer like the Trimaco’s EZ-Strainer, please exercise caution and make sure the strainer is in the right position before straining. The strainer should be placed on the bucket rim, and the spray hose should be threaded through the opening on the strainer.
What is the best type of paint strainer?
The best type of paint strainer will depend on your needs. Bag strainers make an ideal choice for paint cans up to 5 gallons. They are also handy as you can buy elasticity bag strainers that fit snugly to the paint can, helping to avoid creating a mess. However, they can be slow to strain your paint and tend to be more expensive than cone/paper strainers.
If you are using a paint sprayer, then the best type of paint strainer will be a pump strainer. These are capable of removing the very finest of particles that may make it through bag or cone strainers. Whilst these superfine particles won't cause any issues with a paintbrush, they can still clog up paint sprayers. A pump strainer is also the quickest way to strain your paint as you can strain your paint whilst you spray.
Paint strainers are a key way to get a more professional finish to your paint job. They also ensure you get the most out of your paint, even when dust, dirt, and other debris finds its way in. The best paint strainer will vary depending on your task, but all are easy to use if you follow the tips above.