How to Filter Paint

When impurities like sand, dirt and dried paint chips find their way into paint, they can damage expensive spray rigs. In addition, they can get stuck in paint brushes and rollers and create considerable problems during the application process. Fortunately, you can filter out these impurities through the relatively simple process of paint straining. Still, you need to know the proper techniques to employ, or you could create a tremendous mess.

  1. Place the 5-gallon bucket on top of a heavy-duty fabric drop cloth.

  2. Fit the paint strainer into the clean, empty 5-gallon bucket.

  3. Pour 1 gallon of paint through the strainer.

  4. Wait several minutes for the paint to drain through the mesh.

  5. Raise the paint strainer with one hand, and massage the remaining paint through the impurities allowing it to drip through the mesh down into the bucket.

  6. Repeat the straining process until all of the paint has been filtered.


  • Dirt, sand and dried clumps of paint can ruin expensive spray rigs. Never attempt to run unfiltered, dirty paint through a spray rig, or you could end up with hundreds or thousands of dollars in repair costs.
  • Do not pour more than 1 gallon into the strainer at a time, or the paint may overflow onto flooring.

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.