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The Best Paint Trays for the Perfect Paint Job
Believe it or not, paint trays are one of the most important pieces of types of equipment you need for the most efficient paint job. They are small trays that store your paint temporarily, while you are painting. Paint trays are a must if you are using rollers. They not only save your time and money, but they help ensure you get that professional finish. Apart from being really affordable, they are reusable as well, and if cleaned properly and regularly, they will last you a long time. Paint trays help remove extra paint from rollers and prevent the paint in cans from drying out quickly, as you do not have to keep the lid open at all times. After reviewing a number of paint trays of different brands, we have compiled for you a list of the most efficient and durable paint trays in the market. What makes them the best paint trays in 2023 is that they are easy to use and designed to provide a comfortable experience.
This is a 9” paint tray which is the ideal width as it can accommodate all paint rollers up to 9”. It is designed to store about 1 quart of paint and the ridges on one side helps to remove excess paint from the rollers. It is very sturdy and the legs are ideal for keeping it both on the ground and mounting on a ladder. It is made of plastic and is very lightweight, but durable at the same time. The material allows it to be cleaned easily, so it can be reused many times. FoamPRO is a well known brand known for its quality control standards, and that is why this paint tray is one of the best in the market.
This is a metal paint tray which also has a 1 quart capacity of storing paint. It is pretty lightweight and ideal for small paint jobs at home, or even outdoors. The grid on one side allows you to remove excess paint from your rollers which helps prevent extra streaks on your walls or furniture. The price point is extremely affordable, even cheaper than plastic paint trays. It is ideal for 9” paint rollers and below, and its legs are designed to mount easily on a ladder. The only problem with this paint tray is the material; the metal may rust quickly if not taken care of properly. Therefore, it might not last a very long time.
Ideal for using on a ladder and light enough to hold in your hand
The Wooster Brush paint tray is made of plastic and is very lightweight with a 2 quart paint capacity. It can be used to mix paint if you are looking to paint a small surface. The ridges allow you to remove extra paint from your rollers and overall it is a very efficient tray. If you do not want to wash your paint trays, you should opt for this one as the paint peels right off once it is dry. It is 11” wide so you can even use it for paint rollers that are wider than 9”. It is made of polypropylene which makes it rust proof, and it will surely last you a long time.
Bigger capacity; can be used to mix paint for small surfaces
Rustproof polypropylene material
Paint peels right off once dry
Larger size; paint may spill if it is mounted on a ladder
The Precision Defined paint tray set includes two 9” trays. They are made from 50% recycled plastic. They have a deep paint pocket allowing you to customise the amount of paint you want to pour in. The trays are made from high quality materials and are rust proof, so you will not need to replace them quickly. You can even use paint tray liners with these trays. The legs allow easy wall mounting and the textured ridges help in getting rid of excess paint from your rollers. The company offers 100% money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the product.
This is a plastic paint tray designed to hold about 1 gallon of paint. It is 15” wide so it is suitable for all rollers up to 15”. It is ideal for large rollers that are designed to paint large surfaces and the deep paint pocket allows you to store a large amount of paint as well. It has ergonomic handles which allow easy transportation. It has a built-in magnet that can carry up to a 3” paint brush. The ridges on the surface will get rid of the excess paint on the rollers, and give your smalls a smooth and streak free finish. You can also use paint tray liners to prevent having to wash it again and again. The material is extremely durable and this will surely last years.
Ideal for mixing paint
Built-in magnetic brush holder
Too big to mount on a ladder
Buying Guide for the Best Paint Trays
Getting that professional look and finish after painting your walls requires the right tools, and a paint tray is designed to help you do just that. Paired with paint roller brushes, they will make the job very easy for you. This guide will help you understand why paint trays are important, what are features you need to look for, and how to pick the perfect one.
Why Do You Need a Paint Tray?
Paint trays are designed to hold a certain amount of paint, so you can pour in the amount you need without having to dip the brush or roller directly in the can. This is easier as most cans are not wide enough to fit paint roller brushes. Moreover, consistent exposure to air can dry out the paint quickly, and you can prevent this by pouring the amount needed in a tray and closing the lid of the can. This way, you can save your money as the paint will not be wasted. Most paint trays also have ridges that are designed to get rid of the excess paint from the rollers. Dipping directly in a paint tin can leave extra paint on your rollers which can cause unwanted streaks on your walls. Therefore, a paint tray is necessary for a comfortable experience and a professional look.
How To Use a Paint Tray?
Once you are aware of the importance of paint trays, it is also important to know how to use them. First and foremost, you need to pour your paint into the tray, depending on the amount you need to cover your surface. If you are using a paint roller brush, make sure to dip it in the paint completely, so when you are painting you get a smooth and consistent finish in one go. Do not forget to roll your brush over the ridges in your paint tray, as this will get rid of the excess paint. Most paint trays come with sturdy legs that allow you to mount them on a ladder. Just be careful to avoid spills and accidents that can be a hassle to clean. Lastly, it is necessary to clean your paint trays right after you use them. You do not want the paint to dry because it will be a nuisance to clean it then. You can also use paint tray liners to save yourself from the hassle of regular cleaning, and they help prevent color mixing as well.
What Are Some Things To Consider When Buying a Paint Tray?
A little background research is necessary to avoid buying a product that proves to be unsatisfactory and feels like a waste of money. Here are some things to look out for before you purchase a paint tray.
Most paint trays are made of plastic, which is ideal as they do tend to last a long time. However, it is important to make sure that the material is durable and does not break easily. The metal paint trays may be stronger, but frequent washing and outdoor use can cause them to rust quickly. If you prefer a metal tray, make sure to take extra care to prevent it from rusting.
Paint trays come in different sizes, so it is important to know beforehand which paint roller you intend to use. For a 9” paint roller brush, you need to find one that can accommodate 9” and above brushes, otherwise, the tray will be a waste of money. You also need to take into account the amount of paint you want to store in the tray. If you want to paint an entire wall, you need to find one that can hold about a gallon of paint. This will allow you to mix your paint in the tray as well. Moreover, if you intend on using the tray on a ladder, make sure that it is not too big so there are fewer chances of spills and accidents.
The overall design should be sturdy enough to prevent unnecessary spills. For wall mounting, most paint trays come with legs that can easily balance on a wall. If you are looking for a bigger paint tray that cannot be used on a ladder, make sure it has ergonomic handles which allow easy transportation and the paint does not spill.
How Do We Choose the Best Paint Trays?
Our job is to do the hard work and compile for you a list of the bestsellers in the market. We conduct all the necessary research needed for choosing the best products so you don’t have to.
We go through customer reviews of the products and choose only those that overall have positive reviews from customers. We try to stay away from those that have a lot of negative reviews because these are honest and come from people who have actually used the product.
We do look at the brand of the products and choose the ones that are known for their excellent quality and good customer support. Some brands provide money-back guarantees too, and we try to include those that can be contacted easily in case of complaints or queries.
Our team conducts an analysis to see whether the product is worth the money. If it seems like the product is too expensive for its specifications and there are other cost-effective alternatives, we do not include it in our list.
What Are Our Final Thoughts About Paint Trays?
We believe it is important to keep in mind the type of paint job you are intending to do and then purchase your paint tray. The right size and material can really make the process very comfortable and easy for you. Paint trays can help prevent dying out your paint, you can easily get rid of the excess paint from your paint roller brushes and they can give that perfect finish to your surfaces while saving your money simultaneously. If cleaned properly and regularly, they can last for years and you can even use a tray liner to avoid having to wash the tray after every use. Overall, it is a very handy product designed specifically to assist you in getting that perfect finish, whether you are a professional or doing an at-home DIY paint job.
People Also Asked
Q: Are paint trays suitable for all kinds of paints?
A: Most paint trays can be used for all kinds of paints as long as they are not caustic. Thinners and mineral spirits should be avoided as they can damage the material.
Q: How do I avoid streaks while painting?
A: Make sure to roll your brush over the part with ridges to get rid of excess paint after dipping it in the paint. This will help give you a smooth and consistent coat with no streaks or unwanted patterns.
Q: How do I clean a paint tray?
A: Most paint trays can be cleaned by running them underwater, and using a brush to scrub off the paint. It is also important to dry the tray, especially if you are using a metal tray to prevent rust.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. All questions regarding articles or product testing can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org