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How to Clean Your Painting Tools Properly

How to Clean Your Painting Tools Properly

So you went through all the hard work of researching your painting project, picking the paint, prepping your area, and then painting it. Now it’s time for the part that usually causes people to run for the hills: the clean up! You have to pick up any coverings, close the paint lids tight, vacuum, and clean the brushes and other painting tools you used. And you know if you don’t clean them as soon as possible, the paint will just dry on the tools and make it harder to clean later. We know the feeling because we do this every day. That is why we wanted to give you a quick tutorial on how to properly clean your most common painting tools. Below are some quick step-by-step instructions outlined by Cleanipedia.
Paint Brush

Paint brushes — they’re fun to use but not fun to clean. Unlike in elementary school, you can’t just drop your brushes into a cup of water and then clean them with a paper towel. Below are the proper steps to follow when cleaning different types of paint brushes.

Non-oil based paints are easiest to remove, so we’ll start with them.

1. Rinse the brushes thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear.
2. Using an empty jar or other suitable container, make a mixture of dish soap and hot water. As always, keep all cleaning materials well away from your eyes and mouth.
3. Soak the brushes in the mixture for a few minutes. If there’s any stubborn residue, gently massage the bristles with your fingers to remove it.
4. Rinse the brushes again.
5. Reshape the brushes by hand while they’re still wet, and then leave them to air dry.

Use the same procedure above for oil-based paint. However, before soaking the brushes in the warm, soapy water mixture, you should do the following:

1. Fill your container with a small amount of white spirit. Don’t use too much, just enough to cover the bristles.
2. Gently push the brushes into the white spirit and twirl them around. Make sure all the bristles are exposed.
3. Follow the list above from here on out.

Acrylic paint brushes require specific treatment:

1. Start by rinsing them with cold water until the majority of paint is removed and the water runs clear.
2. Next, gently massage your special brush conditioner or conditioning hand soap into the bristles of each brush.
3. Rinse them thoroughly and reshape them manually.
4. Leave them to air dry.

Paint Rollers

These are fun to use and they can cover a wide swath. But when not cleaned properly, they can become damaged and paint unevenly. Below are a few steps to clean them well.

1. Remove excess wet paint by wiping it off onto a newspaper.
2. Fill your empty bucket with warm, soapy water.
3. Remove your roller from its mounting and place it into the bucket.
4. Squeeze it out repeatedly with your hands until the water starts running clear.
5. Once it’s clean, remount the roller and spin it quickly to remove the excess water.
6. Allow the roller to air dry.

Paint Tray

This messy task is the worst. That is why we included some fun pictures to make it easier. The steps below will help you get your tray clean enough to eat dinner off of.

1. As soon as you finish painting, return any unused paint to its original container, unless it has been contaminated. Use a brush to feed the paint back into the tub, and then replace the lid.

2. Run cold water over the tray and rinse away the worst of the paint.

3. Then, with cold water still running over the tray, use a scrubbing brush to remove any stubborn paint. You’ll find that by using a circular motion, the residue comes off quite easily.

4. Give the tray a final rinse once all the paint has been removed, and dry it with an old rag. Then store it away for later use.

Now that you know how to clean the most basic tools, you can paint with confidence. They key is to clean with as much care as you do when painting and to follow the steps carefully so your tools last a lifetime. If you don’t want to deal with the mess, or if you just have a question about cleaning your painting tools, call us today!

2 replies
  1. Jason
    Jason says:

    Very glad to see a company in Florida that is willing to help people, even if they don’t make a penny from it. That says it all. I was a painter for many years up north and moved to Vero beach when I retired. I am planning on refinishing my kitchen cabinets. I will use your advice here with cleaning the tools. It is one thing I could never seem to do properly haha Thanks for the help good sirs.

    Reply
    • Sheldon P.
      Sheldon P. says:

      I actually contacted them for some advice and they were kind enough to come to my house and help me out. I planned on doing a whole new paint job on my house and I had no clue what I was doing. I hired them to help with half the work and it was great to see professionals doing such a fantastic job. They even showed me a few tricks for cleaning my brushes off as well. My wife was even impressed and not much impresses her these days! LOL I highly recommend these guys for anyone on the Treasure Coast.

      Reply

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