Nothing ruins a can of paint or varnish faster than having the liquid dry up inside the rim. How do you keep this area clean and still have a surface to wipe your brush on?

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Nothing ruins a can of paint or varnish faster than having the liquid dry up inside the rim. How do you keep this area clean and still have a surface to wipe your brush on? Make yourself a paint-can protector from a piece of scrap 1x material.

Start with a jigsaw and cut out a circle an inch smaller than the inside diameter of the can rim. Then, take a router and cut a rabbet around that circle that fits the outside diameter of the can. The depth of the rabbet should equal about half the thickness of the board.

When you open the can, slip the protector over the top. The rabbet should fit snugly over the paint can, and the smaller-diameter circle will cover up the rim and give you an improved surface against which you can wipe the brush.
Loyal Downing, Des Moines, Iowa