While a 5-gallon paint bucket offers some level of convenience, pouring directly from the container is anything but. Pouring from a full or nearly full container is difficult to do with any level of accuracy, resulting in lots of drips and wasted paint. Instead, buy a spout designed specifically for 5-gallon buckets.
Go for the Deluxe Options
While even the simplest spout for a 5-gallon paint pail helps immensely, deluxe versions are the most useful, with features to help prevent drips and to fit most types of paint bucket lids. Typically, the lid on a 5-gallon paint pail has a smaller round, capped opening on it. Some of these are screw-top lids, while others are plugs designed for the paint company to add tint without removing the entire pail lid. Look for a 5-gallon paint bucket spout that fits both the screw-top and tint-plug styles of lids; that way, you'll have one device that works no matter which brand of paint you buy, even for projects years from now.
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Besides the universal fit, some deluxe 5-gallon spouts have a built-in vent for airflow, making it easier to pour the paint. Also look for an angled spout design or a spout that swivels, which allows you to better aim the paint flow even with a screw-top fitting. To get the most bang for your buck, look for a spout that also has a cap. This way, you won't have to remove the spout or come up with another way to cover it when you're finished painting for the day, as leaving the spout open for a while eventually allows the paint to dry out.
Pouring From a Spout
A full 5-gallon paint pail is quite heavy, so have a friend ready with either the paint tray or a small painting container when you're ready to pour paint. The shape of the spout you use may work fine with the spout near the bottom of the lid as you tip the pail, but some spouts dribble this way when you lift the pail back up. Since you won't know until you give it a go, tip the pail forward a little at a time while a friend steadies the paint tray or smaller container. It's best to tip the pail and pour slowly at first to better control the weighty paint pail; otherwise, it may get out of control and spill paint too fast.
Another way to pour from a spout that works well for a relatively straight spout is to rest the paint pail on its side while the cap is on the spout and the spout on the lid is at the top in its highest possible location. Remove the cap and slowly roll the paint pail to the right or left while resting the paint tray on the same flat surface in front of the spout. Stop rolling the pail when paint pours out and move the paint tray to the best position to catch the paint. To stop the paint flow, roll the pail until the spout is at the top again.