Problem-solving Products to Help Your Job Run Smoothly from Start to Finish

by inPAINT

tools of the trade 1Doing product reviews as we do, it’s not uncommon to hear from manufacturers who would like us to take a look at their latest and greatest. What is uncommon is to hear from a painter who’s just so excited about a product that they reach out to tell us about it. From England.

Such was the case with Wayne de Wet, a decorator and product reviewer with the UK version of the PDCA, known simply as the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA).

Wayne reached out to me regarding the U.S.-made Roller Keeper. He did a write-up on it for the PDA magazine and thought so much of the product that he sent me a note essentially saying, “you’re going to want to see this.” And he was right.

As you’ll read, it offers a common-sense approach to solving a common painting challenge. The same is true of the other product covered in this column, SureSwatch. Both products offer practical solutions to save you time and money on the job.


Roller Keeper extends the life of your roller covers and saves you valuable clean-up time

roller keeperSometimes the best solution to a problem is also the simplest. Such is the case with Roller Keeper.

Essentially a pop-top tube made of durable plastic, it lets you store wet roller covers for days or even weeks. Best of all, you won’t get a drop of paint on your hands while using it.

At the end of the day, you simply squeeze the Roller Keeper to pop the lid open. The smartly designed hinged lid twists and locks out of the way while you slide a wet roller into the tube. The flared opening keeps paint from dripping down the sides and onto your hands. Once the roller is inside, you squeeze the grips on the sides and pull the roller cover free of the frame. Pop the lid shut and cleanup is done. On the lid, you’ll find a handy label area to identify the job, color and date.

Roller Keeper can be stored upright on the floor, a shelf, or hung from a pegboard. A built-in reservoir at the bottom collects paint but keeps your cover from sitting in it. The next day, you pop it open, insert the roller frame, and you’re good to go. Roller Keeper works with the most common roller cover sizes, from 3/8″ to 1-1/4,” and is ideal for frequently used products like ceiling paint and primers.

Roller Keepers are available at Ace Hardware and Benjamin Moore stores across the country.

To purchase online, email


SureSwatch makes paint-color selection easy

SureSwatch 1While manufacturers’ paint chips are great for helping customers make the initial color selections, they’re really not all that helpful for showing how a color will look on the actual wall. They’re small, they’re made with ink (not paint), and they’re printed on white paper. Yes, you can paint color samples directly on the wall but undoing that effort before the job starts requires a good bit of sanding and feathering to prevent telegraphing and/or callbacks later (tick-tick, ka-ching).

It’s exactly those obstacles the creators of SureSwatch had in mind when they developed this temporary color-testing tool.

Measuring just 3.5 thousandths of an inch thick and available in 9″ x 12″ and 27″ x 38″ dimensions, SureSwatch is a clear, low-sheen film surface that you paint just as you would a wall. Backed by a temporary adhesive, the sheet adheres smoothly to walls with no curling, edges, or shadows to distract from the color. Plus, every sheet includes a Primer Decider that allows you to choose the right primer shade to achieve the finished paint color in the fewest number of coats possible.

SureSwatch is ideal for helping customers finalize color selections, and can also be used effectively in the bidding process to gain customer confidence and (hopefully) the job.

To learn more about SureSwatch, visit

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