Tip for paint or varnish cans

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Blog entry by dlcarver posted 03-25-2008 01:55 PM 1352 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am trying out my photobucket to see how this thing works, and at the same time make it something useful. Most of you older foggies probably already know this tip. To keep paint or varnish from collecting in the chanel around the top of the can where the lid fits in….. take a nail and make holes around the chanel about an inch or so apart and the paint or varnish will drain back into the can….. instead of drying in the chanel and making the can unsealable with the lid.
NOTE: The bigger the can the bigger the nail
Click on the link above…. if it works…..Dave

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

19 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4005 days

#1 posted 03-25-2008 02:34 PM

Alright, I’m an old foggie. I admit it.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4111 days

#2 posted 03-25-2008 03:36 PM

Been doing that for years…..oh no…...guess I’m one too Lee. Perhaps we shoud start hanging out on the front porch in our rockers. Nah…let’s go build one.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View jcees's profile


1060 posts in 3825 days

#3 posted 03-25-2008 03:37 PM

Fogie this!!! As far as being foggie… er… uh… yepper, it’s a veritable pea soup in here. AND if you want those opened cans of finish to survive, you’ll want to displace the oxygen with argon like with Bloxygen. Great stuff.

So there, nya!

aka The other white meat

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3812 days

#4 posted 03-25-2008 04:39 PM

Never heard that one before, I’ll have to give it a try. Maybe now my wife wont have to stomp on the cans until they crush.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3799 days

#5 posted 03-25-2008 04:43 PM

Hi Dave

My Dad was a painting contractor for years and did this all the time. To give you an idea of how long ago this was. My Dad mixed all his own colors and I remember him being so upset when rollers first came out.

Iv’e got a tip for the old foggies. Filling your glue bottle from a gallon jug. I know none of you Jocks have ever drank whiskey from a jug, but if you had. You hook your index finger in the handle of the jug and turn it back on your arm. That way by raising your arm you can control the flow of the glue and watch the bottle being filled in front of you. Now in the case of wiskey, you can control the flow and and watch yourself being filled. Not that I have ever done this!

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4017 days

#6 posted 03-25-2008 05:23 PM

Neat tip thanks :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4014 days

#7 posted 03-25-2008 05:31 PM

To display the picture put a ! at the beginning and end of the link like this

! !

Just remove the spaces to from the line above to get this:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3808 days

#8 posted 03-25-2008 05:44 PM

jcees recomended Bloxygen, but for the more frugal (read cheap) you can minimise the oxygen in partial cans of finish by putting in glass marbles to take up the extra space. I usually have an old paint can full of clean marbles in the shop just for this purpose. Clean them up when you are done with the can & you’ll never run out of marbles (a good thing at my age). I don’t always use them, but for expensive finishes that I don’t use very often, it can save me having to buy a fresh can. Yes, I’m an old foggy and have punched holes in the rim of pait cans for years.


View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4089 days

#9 posted 03-25-2008 06:06 PM

Tim out-fogied me with the marble tip. Something about buying a seemingly empty can of inert gases for 10 bucks rubs me wrong, so I too use the marble trick. They are cheap and readily available at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, floral supply places. Another benefit of being married to a craftsperson.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3756 days

#10 posted 03-25-2008 06:23 PM

Thanks Gary….It’s done.

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3760 days

#11 posted 03-25-2008 06:26 PM

Marbles are great, but my old shop teacher decades ago used to use burned-out light bulbs to displace air in cans of shellac and other finishes that tended to skin-over in the can.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

#12 posted 03-25-2008 06:39 PM

Or simply transfer the remaining shellac or varnish to a smaller container to minimize the air space.

Thanks for the tip Dave, I will admit I am an old foggie since I have been using this for years but you still teach me a new trick or two- if I can manage to remember them.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3756 days

#13 posted 03-25-2008 09:03 PM

I can’t imagine how you would use light bulbs for this? Being so breakable and so forth. I didn;t know about the marbles.

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4111 days

#14 posted 03-25-2008 09:06 PM

Tim, I lost my marbles long ago. :-) I think my little brother stole them when we were kids.

I am also pretty big on puting stuff in smaller containers. I use a lot of mason jars for that. It also lets me see what’s inside with out having to open it. I also use clear squeeze bottles (cheap ones) I’ll squeeze out the air and cap the top. Seems to work well for my walnut oil and salad bowl finish.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3756 days

#15 posted 03-25-2008 09:26 PM

Greg, wouldn’t the varnish eat through the plastic? I know the oil would be ok though.

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

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