Did you know that soap and water won’t get rid of all paints from brushes and rollers? It’s important to know how to wash paint brushes so that you don’t damage them and so that they last longer. By using these tips from your local CCT Apex House Painting 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 the best way
Keep your brushes consistently damp to keep them soft and ready to use on your next project. If you have to stop for a while, wrap the brush in a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out. You should also clean it right away after each use since it’s much easier to clean before the paint hardens in the bristles.
Follow these steps to wash paint brushes for the best results:
- Pick the right solvent. There is no one solvent that can clean all kinds of paint brushes from all kinds of paint. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to find out what to do with your paint. In general, paint thinner or mineral spirits work well to get rid of oil-based paints and lacquers. Shellacs like denatured alcohol or ammonia better. You can clean up paints that are made with water by using soap and warm water.
- Instead of putting paint down the sink, use a clean container. Can paint brushes be washed in the sink? We wouldn’t advise it. Cleaning your brushes in the sink can be a problem because you might clog your pipes, be exposed to strong fumes, or pour the flammable liquid down the drain. Fill a small, clean container with the solvent instead. This lets you change 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 in a safe place, like your garage, before throwing it away.
- Shake the brush to get the paint out. Dip the paintbrush into the solvent and use a brushing motion to get the color out of the bristles. Don’t twist, press directly on, or push the bristles back into the handle, as this could damage the brush.
- Clean, and clean some more. Wash the brush until no more of the solvent comes out. It’s important to clean your brushes well because even a small amount of paint can cause them to harden.
- Dry. Once your brush is clean, gently press the extra water out with a paper towel. If there is still color on the paper towel, the brush needs to be cleaned more. Once the brush is clean, put it on a flat surface to finish drying.
Should You Clean Your Paint Rollers Or Throw Them Away?
Paintbrushes can be cleaned and used again, but should paint rollers be cleaned or thrown away? Rollers can be used again and again, but they need to be cleaned well so that the paint goes on smoothly.
Here are the steps to washing paint rollers:
- Roll in the solution for cleaning. Add the paint’s solvent to a clean roller pan, and then roll the paint roller in the solution to loosen the paint. If you use a harsher chemical like ammonia, wear gloves to protect your hands and be careful not to get splashes on your skin or clothes.
- Scrub until solvent runs clear. After you’ve rolled out as much as you can, pop the roller off the handle so you can continue to massage the paint out with gloved hands.
- To get rid of paint, use a putty knife. When paint gets between the roller and the handle, it crusts. The putty knife can help you get the chunks out before they get too hard, so the next time you roll, it will go smoothly.
- Dry on a string or a dowel. Instead of laying the roller on one side or letting it stand on one end, you should put it on a string or dowel so that it dries evenly.
- Put in a cabinet with no dust. A dirty roller will leave dust on your next painting job, so keep it in a clean, dry place until you need it.
Cleaning Paint Brushes That Have Seen Too Much Use
If you don’t clean the brushes right away, what will happen? It’s easy to put the brush down with the intention of cleaning it soon, only to find it hard as a rock a few weeks later. Is it too late to save the crusty brush, or is there still a chance?
Try these ways to clean hardened paint brushes before you throw them away:
- Use solvent to clean the brush. As long as 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, then swirl the brush in the liquid to soften the paint. After you’ve cleaned the brush, rinse it with water. Dry the brush with a paper towel and reshape it before letting it dry flat.
- You can clean paintbrushes with vinegar. Bring vinegar to a simmer in a pan on the stove, then 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 off any leftover paint. Pat with a paper towel, then lay flat to dry.
- Use fabric softener to soften the bristles. Mix fabric softener with warm water then works the paint out of the bristles by massaging them. After getting all of the paint off, rinse with clean water. Dry the brush flat so that water doesn’t run back into the handle and ruin it.
Don't Clean Your Paintbrushes—Hire A Local Pro
How well you can clean paint off brushes and rollers depends on the type of paint you’re using and whether you’re cleaning a brush or a roller. But is it worth it to clean the brush and/or roller? Many people don’t have cleaning supplies at home, so they have to go to the store. Then there’s the time you have to spend cleaning your painting tools. You’ll also need to find a safe place to put everything. So, you may be looking at a set of dried-out paint brushes and rollers and thinking, “There must be a better way.”
Instead of jumping through hoops to get it all done, let the professionals at your local CCT Apex House Painting 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 any of the cleanup and mess. Call us at (919) 646-5009 or set up an estimate online today to get started.