Paint brush and roller care: 10 tips

Properly caring for your brushes and rollers helps to keep them in working order for as long as possible. Taking care of your brushes and rollers can also make it easier to start your painting projects and keep them smooth. Here are 10 tips for paint brush and roller care.

Paint brush and roller care
Paint brush and roller care: 10 tips

  1. Before storing brushes and rollers, make sure they’re clear of all traces of soap and solvents. Do this job well and your rollers will last for years.
  2. Oil-based paints often leave an oily residue in your brushes, even after cleaning them in mineral spirits. To get rid of the residue, try washing your brushes in a cheap shampoo. Not only does this remove the oil, it also cleans out the last traces of colour.
  3. After cleaning your paintbrushes, try running a fine-toothed comb through them. This will remove any residual particles of paint as well as any loose bristles.
  4. If you’re painting with a roller and have to take a break, slide a plastic bag over it and press out as much air as possible before closing the bag with a twist tie.
  5. You don’t have to clean your brush every time you take a break. To stop it from drying out, wrap it tightly with kitchen foil or plastic wrap. When you’re ready to restart, just unwrap your roller and get to work.
  6. To prevent bristles getting bent out of shape while soaking, hang the brush from a length of stiff wire or thin dowel. Drill a hole in the brush just above the metal band, pass the wire or dowel through it, and then balance the rig on your container of water or mineral spirits so that the bristles are submerged but not pressed against the container’s bottom.
  7. To soften a paintbrush that’s stiff with dried water-based acrylic paint, soak it in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water for 10 minutes.
  8. Getting all the acrylic paint off a paint roller is easy, but time-consuming. First, using an old blunt knife or screwdriver blade, scrape as much paint as possible back into the can. Next, run the roller over the ribbed part of the paint tray and finally over sheets of newspaper to remove excess paint. Remove the roller sleeve if possible. Wash in cold or tepid water, working the paint out of the material with your hands. You can also use a little soap, but be sure to rinse it all out before storing.
  9. After you’ve cleaned your brushes, wrap them in plastic wrap, secure the wrap with rubber bands, and hang your brushes from hooks or nails. Next time you need to use them, they’ll be clean and, most importantly, the bristles won’t be misshapen.
  10.  Making sure that paint rollers and brushes maintain their shape while they dry can be a problem, but a specialized homemade hanger can help. Cut a standard wire clothes hanger in one corner and shape the end of the upper part into a hook. Then slide your roller and brushes on the wire and place the bottom wire of the hanger in the hook to close it. Hang your loaded hanger to drip-dry in a convenient place, an you’re done.

These 10 tips are sure to help you better clean and store your brushes and rollers so that after each of your painting jobs they’ll already be ready for the next one.

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