Applications / How to Use Paint Strainers

December 19, 2019

What is a Paint Strainer?

The painting accessory a crew cannot go without. Paint strainers are disposable painting products designed with a fine mesh material. The purpose of a paint strainer is to remove all impurities (clumps, dirt, dust, dried flakes, etc.) from the paint, prior to a paint job.

Why are Paint Strainers Important?

Straining your paint before application is a critical step in the prep process. Trust us, your newly painted surfaces will thank you if you take this precaution.

While painting, potential unwanted particles and debris can easily stick to a paintbrush or paint roller, creating an uneven surface. These particles can also clog spraying equipment, creating costly repairs. Take the time to strain your paint, and it’ll ensure a smooth surface.

Types of Strainers

From small, funnel-shaped fine mesh strainers to larger 5-gallon bag strainers- there is a wide range of options and sizes for any paint job type. The most popular options include:

  • Bag Strainers: Bag paint strainers are great for all types of paints, stains, varnish, and liquids. These strainers remove dried flakes, lumps, filaments and other dust particles. Bag strainers are ideal for 1, 2 or 5 gallons of paint and are designed with double stitched edges for durability. Available in plain top and elastic top options (Elastic top strainers provide a snug fit on the paint bucket rim, and stay in place.)
  • Cone Strainers: The tried and true, traditional cone strainer is great for removing impurities in latex paint and oil-based paints. Unlike the bag strainer, cone strainers also known as paper paint strainers, are not designed to fit around the edge of a paint bucket. We recommend using a cone strainer holder to filter paint above a paint bucket. Available in multiple mesh counts (the higher the mesh count, the fewer impurities can filter through)
  • Pump Strainers: Pump strainers are used to filter unwanted, superfine particles, specifically in spray equipment to prevent clogging. These strainers typically include an opening for a spray pickup tube. Decrease your prep time, and strain as you spray!

How to use a Strainer

Although all strainers are designed to do the same thing, their processes may differ based on the type of strainer you use.

Bag strainers are great for larger amounts of paint. To use, simply place the bag strainer in the bucket and fold the top edge over the budget rim. Similar to cone strainers, carefully pour the paint into the bag. Avoid straining too much at once, as it may take time to separate the paint and impurities.

When using traditional cone strainers, we recommend using a strainer holder above the bucket. Carefully pour the paint into the paper paint strainer. It’s important to go slow here, as it may take time for the paint to strain through the nylon mesh. If you go too fast, the paint may overflow and things will get messy.

When using pump strainers, or a specialty paint strainers such as Trimaco’s EZ-Strainer, additional precautions may need to be taken to ensure the strainer is in place before straining. Position the strainer on the bucket rim, and thread the spray hose through the provided opening. This design allows users to strain and spray at the same time, saving time on the job!

Trimaco has you covered

Regardless of your paint job type, Trimaco has a wide variety of paint strainer products that will fit your needs. In addition, be sure to explore our other paint prep products! From drop cloths to painter’s tape and coveralls,Trimaco has you covered!



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