Saturday, November 13, 2010

Inexpensive (READ: Cheap!) The Green Plastic Paint Tray Is Weaker Than Most Will Need!

The Good: Inexpensive (may be disposed of), Easy to spot holes, Color makes it difficult to lose
The Bad: Cheap, Breakable, Works better as liner than tray, Not durable.
The Basics: Better as a tray liner than a tray, the Z Pro 24 paint tray is easily breakable and hard to use on its own.

As one who has painted a lot, and reviewed many different paints, I figured it was about time to start writing about the peripherals; the equipment one used when doing house painting projects. One of the big two things I recommend is a paint tray (the other being a brush or roller, as I’ve found my experiences are vastly better when using a roller or brush!). Unfortunately, as simple a device as it is, not all paint trays are created equal.

Enter the Z Pro 24 bright green paint tray. This tray is little more than a liner which is 9” wide by a foot long and is the standard paint liner size and shape. This is a standardized device and what separates most trays from liners is that the trays tend to be made of thicker plastic or metal, whereas the liners are almost universally thinner plastic. The liners are also a few millimeters thinner than the inside dimensions of the trays so they may fit inside the actual tray and prevent the tray from getting paint on them. This green plastic paint tray is actually thinner and may as well be a liner; it does not have the feet many trays have and it is made of a dreadfully thin plastic.

This particular paint tray comes with three liabilities I found problematic, though it was fine as a liner and did not dissolve when I mixed different paints in it (believe it or not, some do!). The first problem was with the color. The bright green color made it very hard for me to mix paints within the tray because the more translucent paints I was using showed the green tint from below, which did not allow me a pure interpretation of how the color I was mixing actually would look on a white surface. Second, this paint tray is so thin – as mentioned, it might as well be a liner! – that when I filled it with housepaint, the side at the deep end of the tray split. Thinking this was an anomaly, I tried again with another one. That was a mistake and the result was replicated.

The final problem came when I filled the tray only half full of paint. This allowed me to actually use the tray as a tray instead of just as a liner. Unfortunately, when I applied any pressure with the roller while moving it in the tray, the tray cracked. In other words, this could not hold up for a pretty basic painting job on its own.

It is worth noting, however, that the two fundamental problems with this tray were eliminated by using the tray as a tray liner instead. This held up just fine when used as a liner for a proper paint tray. As well, the loss of the first three trays was not a huge burden to my wallet as these trays are dirt cheap. However, I was not able to salvage all of the paint from the three broken trays and that was an annoying additional cost to my house painting project.

There are other, better trays on the market than this bright green plastic paint tray and most consumers and professionals will want something more durable.

For paint products and things one might put in this, please check out my reviews of:
Shur-Line Teflon Paint Roller Cover
Linzer 6 1/2" Pipe Roller
DAP Weldwood Contact Cement


For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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