What is a Paint Bucket Grid – How Do You Use It Correctly?

paint bucket grid screen

Spilling paint on the floor is one problem I have always experienced when painting from a paint bucket.

No matter I use a brush or a roller, I need to continuously reload them until I finish up my entire paint project.

For years I have used a traditional roller tray or a pan for this purpose.

But there’s a great product these days to make the work easier and it’s a handy paint grid.

Usually made up of metal, a paint grid or a screen is used for removing excess paint from the roller cover or a brush.

Because it reduces the amount of paint loaded on the brush, it lowers the chance of spillage when you take the brush out of a bucket for painting.

How to use the Paint Bucket Grid?

A paint roller bucket grid can be used in a much similar manner as a roller tray.

Below are the easy steps you may follow when using your paint grid screen for the first time…

Step 1- Prepare

Start by preparing the area by laying down the drop cloths on the floor

Next, pour about two gallons of paint into a clean 5-gallon bucket.

Make sure not to keep it more than ½ full as you will need to accommodate the paint grid in the pail.

Step 2- Insert the paint grid

Now insert a 9-inch paint grid screen into the 5-gallon bucket.

And hang the grid towards the inside of the pail by hooking up the grid’s prongs over the edge of the bucket.

Remember, you may need to choose a smaller screen size when buying if you plan to use a smaller bucket.

Step 3- Dip the applicator and start painting

Once you have stabilized the grid inside the bucket, you are ready to dip the brush/roller.

Submerge your paint brush or a roller cover into the paint and rub/roll-out excess paint on the grid.

Ensure that you begin at the top of the grid screen, going down and then back up.

Repeat rolling up and down the screen, if required, to remove the excess paint and evenly distribute the paint onto the applicator.

Once you have loaded your paint applicator tool, you are now ready to paint your project.

Cleaning a bucket grid/screen?

Although paint grids work wonderfully for interior as well as exterior painting with buckets, the greatest drawback is it’s not very easy to clean.

After completing the paint job, you will have a lot of paint that has already dried and clogged up on the screen.

It’s almost impossible to get all the paint removed from it and store the tool for future usage.

The trick of the trade is to get a new screen and throw the old one away.

Paint grids are super cheap to buy online and most likely they won’t affect your overall budget.

using bucket grid

Using Paint Bucket Grid vs. Roller Tray

Do you remember – when I said the grid works similar to roller trays?

So, what’s the purpose of putting up a grid screen in a paint bucket rather than simply using an old roller tray – you already have in your storage.

Well, the real benefit comes down to improved efficiency and less time required to paint your walls and furniture items.

Unlike roller trays, which cannot be installed in a bucket, a paint grid screen is much easier to hang inside the paint container.

And when you are using a bucket, the handle makes it easier to carry (think when you are on a ladder to paint the ceiling) keeping you closer to access the paint without having to worry about stepping in it by mistake.   

The bottom line

Metal paint grid screen is a good alternative to a tray when you need to paint with a bucket without creating a mess.

The only major drawback of using a grid is it’s not reusable.

Paint trays, on the other hand, can be cleaned and reused more than once but are not as easy as paint screens at many places.

I think it’s good to have a pair handy in your painter’s toolbox as both of them will make your job convenient.

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