Tips: How to Loosen the Cap on a Tube of Paint

I am often asked in workshops how to open a welded-shut tube of paint. Here are some ways you can try to loosen the cap.

  • Use the flame of a match to warm the cap from the tube then loosen.
  • Place the end of the tube in warm or hot water to loosen.
  • Pliers

Another way is to use a nonskid rubber mat (that is used to open jars) usually about 6 x 6 inches available at kitchen supply stores but this can sometimes be hard to find.

Sharron MacBride in my BC workshop shared her idea for a less expensive way to get the same results and much more easily available. Rubber shelf liners. You can find these just about anywhere, hardware, grocery, large chain stores etc.

Cut into a small square, and then unscrew the cap. If the cap is still to tight, loosen with warm water or match first then turn.


  1. Hello,Birgit. I do not have much strength and use a gripper, which applies a force perfectly balanced (99/100 with success!).It may be useful?
    Greetings from Italy


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