Decorating Painting

Cleaning Brushes and Rollers

cleaning paintbrushes and rollers

When buying paint brushes and rollers you have to make a choice. Buy cheap brushes and rollers just for the job at hand and bin them when you finish, or pay a bit more for good quality equipment and look after it. It is a little known fact that paintbrushes actually improve the more they are used, as long as they are looked after.

Remove Excess Paint

Once you have finished your painting job, clean off as much of the excess paint as possible from the brush, roller or paint pad by scraping on the side of the tin or tray and then working it backwards and forwards across a sheet of newspaper.

Cleaning Brushes – Emulsion

Getting emulsion out of a brush is easy. Take the brush to the sink and wash off paint from the outside of the bristles. Now hold the brush under the tap with the bristles facing up and work the water into the brush. Squeeze the brush against the side of the sink every once in a while to release any stubborn paint.

Cleaning Brushes – Solvent based paint

Pour enough white spirit to cover the bristles into a old jar or paint kettle and stand the brush in it for a minute or so. Now work the bristles up and down and against the bottom of the jar to get as much paint out as possible. Once it is fairly clean, use hot, soapy water to wash the white spirit out of the brush (and any remaining paint).

With either method, wrap the bristles in kitchen paper to dry. This also helps to keep the shape of the bristles.

DIY-Extra Tip!

Don’t throw away white spirit that you have used to wash brushes if you will be painting with solvent based paints soon after. Leave the jar or paint kettle somewhere safe and leave it to settle for a few days. Then pour the nearly clear liquid on top into a fresh jar/kettle for re-use.

Cleaning Rollers

First pour the excess paint out of the tray and then wash it out using hot, soapy water. Now run cold water over the roller to get as much paint out of it as you can. Roll the roller up and down in the clean tray to squeeze out more paint, and then return to the cold water. Once the water being squeezed out of the roller runs clear, remove the sleeve from the body of the roller and wrap securely in a plastic bag to store it.

Cleaning Paint Pads

Very easy to clean as they tend to hold less paint that a brush or roller. Simply run tap water onto the face of the pad and squeeze out against the side of the sink. When it is clean, leave to dry before storing in a plastic bag.

DIY-Extra Tip!

If you have to stop painting for any length of time during a job, wrap your brush on cling film. Wrap a roller in a plastic bag and squeeze the air out, then wrap the tray in a separate bag. This will keep the paint wet for quite a while.

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