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How to Open a Can of Paint: The Easy Way

Paint cans

Starting a new painting project is always exciting. You finally get an opportunity to unlock the potential of the space and morph it into something beautiful. You've lovingly built the inspiration boards, hunted down the perfect paint colors to match your aesthetic, and bought the best supplies.

Before you start, you must tackle the challenging task of opening the paint can. It should be easy, however ten minutes later you find yourself looking for anything to crack into the start of your vision. We've all been there sitting on the floor of our space staring at knifes, scissors, and other various objects we've grabbed from everywhere. Frustrated and annoyed that the paint can lid hasn't budged.

Managed to break into the color out of spite? You likely have paint splatters everywhere and have damaged the can beyond the possibility of resealing. Needless to say, it is important to know how to open a can of paint with more ease.

In this article, we'll guide you through the easy process. Here is how you open a can of paint, but without the headache.

Have you prepped your surface yet? Get perfect results by checking out our guide to Crafting the Perfect Canvas. Learn how to make your painting project look absolutely flawless.

What Do You Need?

Before anything, you need to have the right set of tools for the operation. This includes:

· Flathead screwdriver or painter tool or small putty knife

· Paint can

· Hammer

· Old rag

· Wooden block

Opening the Can with a Screwdriver

Being one of the most common house tools, it’s more than likely that you have a flathead screwdriver lying around. It happens to be pretty effective in opening a paint can.

It all comes down to a few steps:

· Wedge the flathead screwdriver in between the outer ridge and the can. Gently press down on the screwdriver to lift the lid and break the seal.

· Repeat this process all the way around the top until you fully separate it from the can.

Pro Tip: Take your time making it all around the lid! You don't want the cover to pop off and roll away, leaving behind a huge mess of wasted paint.

As you do this, it is crucial that you be careful not to warp or dent the lid. This way, you get to reattach it later on securely. This will help you preserve the leftover paint without transferring it to a different container.

Open the Can Using a Painter Tool

The painter’s tool is a handy little tool designed to do a surprisingly vast number of jobs. It can act as a putty knife, a chisel, can opener, roller scraper, corner cleaner, and nail puller. For this reason, it can be hard to navigate which part of the tool does what.

To open a paint can:

· Start by locating the can opener section. This will likely be the flat end of the tool.

· Position it between the can and lid and lift.

· As you lift, rotate the can to move the painter’s tool around the lid.

Similar to using a flathead screwdriver, make sure to take your time using this method.

Don't want to deal with the stress of getting your project just right? Request your free Painter Bros estimate. No project is too small, contact us today!

Opening a Paint Can That Has Clips

Sometimes your can of paint might come with clips. These are basically small metallic pieces meant to keep the can sealed securely. They usually position them between the can's rim and the inner edge of the lid to keep the lid secure.

While they might seem tight, they are quite easy to remove. You only need to place your flat head screwdriver under the clip’s arch and lift it gently until it pops free. Then proceed with our flathead screwdriver method as stated above.

Congratulations on opening your paint without a sweat! Make sure to check out our article on Staying Safe While Painting before you start working on your masterpiece. No one wants to make a trip to the emergency room after falling off a ladder, believe us.

How to Close a Paint Can

So, you’ve managed to open your can, completed your project, and have a little leftover paint. Ways you can be using this extra paint is through touch ups, color matching, or little decorative projects around the space. To keep it from drying up, make sure to close the can properly. This means closing it without denting the can’s rim or lid.

To do this:

· Gently place the lid back in place on top of the lid.

· Place a rag on top of it to avoid spills and drips.

· Position a wood block across the rag and on top of the cover edge, then tap down with a hammer. Do not use too much force as that can cause the paint container to tip over.

· Rotate the wood block around while hammering its center to get the lid closed.

· Repeat the process until the can is sealed.

As long as you gently hit the wood block, the lid should close without denting. You can repeat this process after each use until you have used up all the paint.


Every painting project begins with opening a can of paint. Properly handling this step can help minimize mess and keep your workspace clean. Additionally, if done correctly, you can store any leftover paint to keep it fresh for future use or between coats.

This ensures that your paint remains in good condition, making it easier to achieve consistent results throughout your project. By following the instructions provided above, you will be well-prepared to complete your painting job with excellent results. Good luck with your project!

For more insight on paint matters or other project services, don’t hesitate to contact your Painter Bros today (844) 509-2313.


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