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Which paint strainers are best? 

Paint strainers come in the form of a mesh bag or a paper cone, filtering dust, debris and clumps out of paint so it will go onto a surface more smoothly. If you are looking for a durable strainer made with nylon mesh to finely filter paint, TCP Global Paint Strainers are the top choice.

What to know before you buy a paint strainer


Filters work to remove microscopic particles from the paint. The product description will list a number of microns so you’ll know just how small the particles are that the strainer can remove from the paint. You want that number to be as low as possible. 


If you are planning to strain a large amount of paint, opt for larger strainers. This will make the process quicker and decrease the likelihood that the strainer will break. 


Paint strainers are sold in different quantities. If you paint often, or have larger projects or multiple people working on them, consider an option with multiple strainers. 

What to look for in a quality paint strainer

Hanging holes

The best strainers have holes that let you hang them instead of having to hold them up while the paint is being strained. Paper and plastic strainers are more likely to be hung than mesh bags, as the mesh will rip when hung. 


If nylon mesh tears while you’re straining the paint, you will have to start over to ensure that all of the dust and debris are removed. Nylon resistant to tearing will make the project go faster and will ensure the highest quality of paint. 


While strainers are used to separate dirt and clumps from the paint, nylon mesh can attract small particles of lint that then get into the paint. Look for nylon mesh that is resistant to gathering lint. 

How much you can expect to spend on a paint strainer

Paint strainers will be priced from $5-$20 depending on how many strainers are purchased and the quality of the materials. 


  • You can cut leggings and use them to filter debris from paint if you are in a time crunch and do not have nylon mesh or a proper strainer. 
  • Lay a towel around the area where you are straining the paint to keep paint drops from falling on your floor. 
  • Before straining, stir the paint to make sure that it is mixed all the way through. 
  • Wear gloves to strain paint if you do not wish to get your hands dirty. 
  • Wear old clothing when straining paint and when painting because getting messy could be inevitable. 
  • When straining paint with a mesh bag, make sure that the bag is securely wrapped around the opening of the bucket and that it does not just sit in the paint. It will need to be lifted up from paint that is already filtered. 
  • Press the brush up against the paint to squeeze the last bits of paint out of a bag strainer. 

Paint strainer FAQ

How do paint strainers benefit spray guns? 

A. Straining paint prevents spray guns from clogging. Removing dirt and chunks from paint causes the gun to operate smoothly. 

What materials are paint strainers made from? 

A. Most are made from nylon mesh with a low thread count and their bases are either paper or plastic. Some strainers are just made with mesh and do not feature a base. Plastic bases are more expensive than paper. 

What are a few multipurpose uses of paint strainers? 

A. They can also be used to separate honey from the honeycomb, protect plants when gardening, filter beer and help you locate kidney stones or gallstones. 

What are the best paint strainers to buy?

Top paint strainer

TCP Global Paint Strainers

TCP Global Paint Strainers 

What you need to know: These 190-micron paint strainers are made with nylon mesh to finely filter dust and dirt from paint. 

What you’ll love: They also work with stains and varnishes, and the fine tip lets the filtered paint be dispensed quickly. They are easily stored. 

What you should consider: Paint easily soaks through the paper, and some filters break after half a gallon of paint is sent through. 

Where to buy: Amazon

Top paint strainer for the money

Ram-Pro Paper Paint Strainers

Ram-Pro Paper Paint Strainers

What you need to know: This 190-micron strainer is made with lint-free nylon mesh that is compatible with all styles of paint. 

What you’ll love: It has holes on the top that let you hang it while straining paint. Paint is delivered quickly out of the fine-flow tip. 

What you should consider: The filters are not included with the purchase and the paper is thin. 

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

California Containers Mesh Disposable Paint Strainers

California Containers Mesh Disposable Paint Strainers

What you need to know: These 200-micron filters are made with durable mesh and are not easily torn or destroyed. 

What you’ll love: They can be folded over buckets so you won’t have to hold onto them when straining paint, and you can use them for 5-gallon buckets. 

What you should consider: Though durable, some of these strainers only last through a few uses and the net melts when exposed to heat. 

Where to buy: Amazon

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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