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How To Clean Brushes & Rollers

September 2, 2022 | Home Improvement | No Comments

Did you know that soap and water won’t get all the paints out of brushes and rollers? It’s important to know how to wash paint brushes so that you don’t damage them and they last longer. By following these tips from your local Bergen Rockland Painters pros, you can learn how to clean different types of paint out of your brushes, rollers, and even hardened paint brushes.

How to Clean Paint Brushes Best

Keep your brushes damp so they stay soft and can be used for your next project. If you have to stop, wrap the brush in a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out. You should also clean it right away after each use because it’s much easier to clean up before the paint hardens in the bristles.

If you want to know how to wash paint brushes, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right liquid to use. There is no one solvent that can get every kind of paint out of every kind of brush. Check the instructions that came with your paint to find out what to do. In general, paint thinner or mineral spirits work well to remove oil-based paints and lacquers. Shellacs react better to ammonia or alcohol that has been ruined. You can clean water-based paints with soap and warm water.
  1. Instead of putting paint down the sink, put it in a clean container. Can paint brushes be cleaned in the sink? We wouldn’t advise it. Cleaning your brushes in the sink can be a problem because you might clog your plumbing, be exposed to strong fumes, or pour the flammable liquid down the drain. Instead, put the solvent in a small, clean container. This lets you change out the solvent while cleaning the brush with as little waste as possible. You can seal this solvent and use it again later, or you can let it evaporate completely in a safe place, like your garage, before throwing it away.
  1. Move the brush around to get the paint out. Dip the paintbrush in the solvent and use a brushing motion to get the color out of the bristles. Don’t twist, press down directly on, or push the bristles back into the handle. Doing so could damage the brush.
  1. Clean, then clean some more. Wash the brush until there is no more solvent on it. It’s important to clean your brushes well because even a little bit of paint can cause them to harden.
  1. Dry. Once your brush is clean, gently press the water out with a paper towel. If there is still color on the paper towel, that means the brush needs to be cleaned more. Once the brush is clean, let it dry on a flat surface.

Cleaning Paint Rollers

Paint Brushes can be cleaned and used again, but should you clean or throw away paint rollers? Rollers can be used again and again, but they need to be cleaned properly so that the paint goes on smoothly.

To wash paint rollers, do the following:

  1. Roll in a solution for cleaning. Put the paint’s solvent in a clean roller pan, and then roll the paint roller in the solution to make the paint easier to spread. If you use a stronger chemical like ammonia, wear gloves to protect your hands and watch out for splashes that could hurt your skin or ruin your clothes.
  1. Scrub until solvent runs clear. After you’ve rolled out as much as you can, take the roller off the handle so you can continue to massage the paint out with gloved hands.
  1. To remove paint, use a putty knife. When paint gets between the roller and the handle, it dries and hardens into a crust. The putty knife can help you get the chunks out of the way before they get any harder. This will make sure that the next roll goes on smoothly.
  1. Hang on a string or dowel to dry. If you want the roller to dry evenly, don’t lay it on its side or let it stand on one end. Instead, put it on a string or dowel.
  1. Keep in a cabinet with no dust. If your roller is dirty, it will leave dust on your next painting job. Keep it in a clean, dry place until you need it.

Cleaning Hardened Paint Brushes

What happens if the brushes aren’t cleaned right away? It’s easy to put the brush down thinking you’ll clean it soon, only to find a few weeks later that it’s hard as a rock. Is it too late to save the crusty brush, or can it still be used?

Try these ways to clean dried-out paint brushes before you throw them away:

  • The solvent can be used to clean the brush. If you know what kind of paint is on the brush and has dried, you can match it with the right solvent. Pour some solvent into a clean container and swirl the brush in the liquid to soften the paint. After cleaning the brush, rinse it with water. Use a paper towel to dry the brush and reshape it before letting it dry on a flat surface.
  • You can clean your paintbrushes with vinegar. Bring vinegar to a simmer in a pan on the stove, turn off the heat, and put the hardened brush in the hot liquid for 20 minutes. After soaking, wash with soap and warm water to get any leftover paint off. Pat, it with a paper towel, and then lay it flat to dry.
  • Use fabric softener to make the bristles softer. Mix fabric softener with warm water and rub the bristles to get the paint out. After all the paint is off, rinse with clean water. Dry the brush flat so that water doesn’t run back into the handle and damage it.

Save Time & Effort by Hiring a Pro!

How well you can clean paint off brushes and rollers depends on the type of paint you are using and whether you are cleaning a brush or a roller. But is it even worth it to clean the brush and/or roller? Many people don’t have the right cleaning supplies at home, so they have to go to the store. The time it takes to clean your painting tools is also a factor. You’ll also need to find a safe place to keep everything. So, you may be looking at a set of hardened paint brushes and rollers and thinking, “There must be a better way.”

Instead of jumping through hoops to get everything done, let the professionals at your local Bergen Rockland Painters give your home a fresh coat of paint and clean up afterward. We offer painting services for both the inside and outside of your home, so you can get the look you want without having to deal with the cleanup and mess. Call us at (973) 846-5552 or book an estimate online today to get started.