Sunday, April 14, 2013

Organizing Leftover Paint

Life has been crazy and I haven't had a minute to even think about blogging.  I've just been so busy with teaching, working out, and coaching.  This past week was an emotional roller coaster to say the least and I will probably blog about it over on Micah's blog here.

Ironically, I got into blogging because of Micah. When she was born I wanted to share her progress with family and friends without having to answer a millions texts, calls, and emails. It was stressful enough being at the hospital worrying about her 24-7.  The best way to do it was to post every once in a while about how she was doing at CHOP.  Writing ended up being such release for me.  If you go back and read some of my "Micah" blogs you can feel my pain, happiness, and every other emotion I was experiencing.

Because I loved writing and I wasn't up for writing on Micah's blog after she had passed, I decided to start blogging about my second love: ALL THINGS DESIGN.  It was a great change of scenery, if you will. Blogging consumed my days and it's HONESTLY what got me through September and October (the first two months without her).  I swear this has something to do with organizing leftover paint...LOL!

Soooooo, anywho after having an emotional week regarding Micah I couldn't help but turn to my keyboard and just start writing away. Before that, I made sure I did what I needed to do in order to bounce back after such a rough week. Those things included: working out and spending time with the ones I LOVE. I woke up this morning did some killer sprints, had a yummy protein shake, showered, and then headed over to my parents for our weekly Sunday morning breakfast. While I was there I got into a little DIY paint project too. I posted a teaser on facebook here.  (go like my page why you're at it)   I will share that story in my next post.  It felt so good to roll up my sleeves and get to painting.  There is just something about me being with my own thoughts and jammin out to some of my favorite songs (Mirrors by JT).

Speaking of painting, see I told you I would tie in,  do any of you despise left over paint cans sitting in your garage that are only filled a quarter of the way or less?  They take up so much space and can be so annoying to open and close and for what???... a small dab of paint or only two brush strokes worth?!? I hate doing all of that work, so I am here to tell you about a system I have been using for a over a year now that makes accessing your old paint super easy.

For starters, I purchased these 16oz mason jars from Target.  There are about $6 for 4 of them so I bought two boxes.

The reason why I didn't use this kind of mason jar below is because:
1. I am obsessed with drinking out of them and..
2. the opening in the top isn't wide enough for some of the brushes I use.
If you don't have a few of these in your drinking glass cabinet then you need to get your ass out there and find that fucking dog and get some. (sorry I still love Billy Madison) These glasses are a staple in my house because they are so fun and can be used in soooooo many different ways. Just go on Pinterest and you will see what I'm talking about. 

I am drinking out of one as I type this post...

The moral of the story is that mason jars ROCK and they are a GREAT way to store almost anything including leftover paint.  Check out the process...

I pulled out all of my cans of paint and started transferring them into the jars. After I was done it was already heaven looking at the paint in these cute little jars.  I made sure I didn't throw the paint cans out before I LABELED everything!  That would be awful right?!?!  Also, if I had a paint can that was more than a quarter of the way filled then I skipped that one and left it as is, no sense in storing it in 4 different jars.  In the end, I only had 5 colors leftover from the painting I had done in my condo(I have a small condo and I used the same color throughout my entire downstairs minus the powder room).  I also had to double up on two of the colors which was not a big deal considering these little jars are a breeze to store away.

I made sure to grab some q-tips so I could transfer a small swatch onto my paint reference sheet.  Another genius idea I found over at IHeart Organizing. 

Here are the reference sheets I am talking about.  (they were freebies from Jen over at IHeart Organizing) I printed 3 of them to keep in my household binder. I thought this would be an awesome way for me to keep track of all the paint colors I've used in the past, whether it'd be from a family member's house, a client's house, or even my house.  I wanted to keep a log of EVERY color I have ever used just in case a future client or myself would like to repeat a certain color.  Jen is a genius for coming up with this solution! 

As you can see I listed what I used the paint on, the name of the paint, the brand, the sheen, and the color code.  Then I dipped a q-tip inside each jar and placed a small dab in the swatch column.  PRESTO! Now I don't have to go search for the big ass paint cans just find the paint code or the name.  

Then I grabbed a second sheet and listed some colors I used in the homes of some family and friends.  I do not have mason jars full of their paint because that would be just silly so instead I just swiped a quick sample for the swatch column the next time I was at their place. 

For all of those clients who's rooms are completely done and have been done for years now, I don't have access to their paint so I had to improvise.  I went into each of my clients' folders in my filing cabinet and pulled out the swatches that we grabbed from the paint store during the early stages of the design process. (yes, I am an organized freak and I keep EVERYTHING) After pulling each swatch out for EVERY SINGLE client I cut a small piece out and glued it onto my reference sheet. Now I can show future clients pictures of my clients' spaces along with a follow up swatch.  This is so incredibly helpful for me! Just imagine a client saying "hey what was that color you used in that dining room you did for one of your clients?" I'd have to go back home and dig out that folder in order to find out or I'd pray that I had uploaded it to my "paint color log" page here on my blog.   

I keep my reference sheets handy in my household binder so that when I am working at my desk it's only an arm's length away.  I can also grab them and take them on consultations with me. 

Last step was to label each jar with the brand, sheen, and color name so that I could grab and go whenever I needed to, no questions asked.  I printed out these cute homemade labels that I made in word and then I laminated them and used double sided scotch tap to adhere them to the top of the jars. You could also just use a permanent marker to write on the top but I am not that boring simple..sorry!  

Now as soon as you finish your organizing and labeling you could do what I do and store them all in their respecting rooms or you can make a small space for them in a linen closet or hall closet so that they are super easy to reach at any given moment.  Believe it or not this little trick will help you get your touch up jobs done a whole lot quicker. No more waiting on your husbands or waiting for your kids to go to sleep before you whip out the jars and start painting. 


This girl is a doer, I wait for no one!

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