How to Protect Woodworking Projects on Sawhorses

Painting interior doors is an easy do-it-yourself project — if you have the right paint, tools, and some sawhorses. But it helps to protect the door while you paint, and all you need are pool noodles from the dollar store.

Chelsea Lipford Wolf paints an entry door
You can paint a door on its hinges, but doors with lots of imperfections need special treatment.

The Simple Way to Paint a Door

You can paint an interior door — and get a smooth finish — without using professional tools such as a sprayer.

In fact, you just need some 3-inch screws, sawhorses, semi-gloss interior paint, a 6-inch high-density foam roller, a paint brush, and painter’s tape.

WatchTips for Painting Interior Doorsfor a step-by-step demonstration.

However, some do-it-yourselfers may be hesitant to place their door on sawhorses, due to potential damage of the workpieces.

Fortunately, there’s a Simple Solution for that! (Now’s a good time to grab some pool noodles.)

Protect Wood Projects with Pool Noodles

Looking for an easy, temporary way to create a soft surface on your sawhorse?

This tip comes from Tom, a New York fan of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show. He heard my tip about covering sawhorses with carpet strips to protect workpieces and offered this improved idea:

Cutting a pool noodle with a utility knife

First, cut a pool noodle about an inch longer than the horizontal rail on the sawhorse. 

Joe Truini cuts a slit in a pool noodle

Next, slit the noodle with a utility knife.

Pool noodle placed firmly on a sawhorse

Finally, wrap the pool noodle around the sawhorse rail.

The soft pool noodle will prevent anything you place on your sawhorse from getting scratched.

Plus, the pool noodle slips on easily, grips tightly and slides off easily, unlike stapling the carpet. 

After you’re done, you can remove the pool noodle and you’re back with the wooden sawhorse!

Further Reading


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