How to open & use 5 gallon paint buckets

Written by james clark
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A 5-gallon paint bucket is an economical way to purchase paint for large jobs, such as exterior walls. Paint sold in 5-gallon quantities is invariably less expensive than purchasing five individal gallons. Professional painters work directly with 5-gallon buckets and avoid the time and hassle of using paint trays. Roller grids hang inside the bucket to wipe off excess paint from the roller brush, allowing you to paint more efficiently and faster.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5 gallon paint bucket
  • Paint bucket opener (often available free where paint is sold)
  • Paint grid 9-inches wide
  • Paint roller brush and handle assembly
  • Paint stirrers

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  1. 1

    Insert the tip of a lid opener under the lid of the 5-gallon paint bucket, working it around the lip while prying upward. Lid openers are usually available free wherever paint is sold. The technique of prying open a 5-gallon bucket lid is essentially the same for opening a 1-gallon paint can, except it is easier to start at the tab on the 5-gallon lid. This offers more of a lip for leveraging the lid with the opening tool.

  2. 2

    Stir the paint thoroughly until it is blended and the colour is uniform.

  3. 3

    Hang a paint grid by the two wire hooks on the inside of the paint bucket.

  4. 4

    Dip the roller brush into the paint and draw it upward against the paint grid, rolling the brush toward you to remove excess paint. The movement is the same as you would use with a flat paint tray.

  5. 5

    Apply the paint to the walls with the roller brush using long, consistent up-and-down strokes.

Tips and warnings

  • Replace the lid and seal tightly on the 5-gallon bucket to preserve the quality of leftover paint. To seal, align the lid over the bucket and press the edge firmly, moving in a circular motion until it snaps completely into place.
  • Use caution when transporting large buckets. A 5-gaqllon bucket of paint weighs about 22.7 Kilogram, depending on the formulation.
  • Clean all tools immediately in paint thinner, followed by a water rinse. Latex paint can be rinsed away in water without using paint thinner or other chemicals if it hasn't been allowed to dry.
  • Don't use a screwdriver to open paint containers; you run the risk of bending or breaking the lid and being unable to reseal the can.

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