How to look after your painting tools
You can save money and time on your decorating projects if you take care of your tools and equipment. When you spend good money on paint brushes and rollers you don’t want to throw them away and keep buying new ones each time you have to decorate. Here are a few tips on keeping these tools in tip top shape so they are always at hand when you need to use them.
For solvent based paint like gloss,eggshell etc.
- Take your used brush and scrape the bristles against the can so any remaining paint on the bristles goes back in the can, then wipe any excess with a cloth. Get an old jar and pour a little white spirit into it,
- place the brush or brushes in the solution for about 10 minutes, remove and wipe with a cloth then store away ready for another use.
For water based paint (emulsion)
This type of paint is easy to remove from your paint brush.
- Place the brush or brushes in a bowl warm water with a squirt of washing-up liquid.
- “Swish” the brush around in the water to get between the bristles.
- Rinse the brush under a running tap.
- Dry it with a cloth and store it in an old jar with the bristles facing upwards.
A neat hack is to tie a rubber band around the bristles to help them maintain their shape.
If you plan to use the brush the next day then you can simply wrap the brush in cling film, foil or a plastic bag and leave it overnight. This will keep your brushes moist and prevent them from drying out, this can keep brushes soft and usable for 1 week!
- Remove as much of the paint on the rollers as possible
- Remove the roller sleeve from the frame and place it under warm running water. Squeeze and twist the sleeve constantly until the paint is removed and you can see the original colour of the roller sleeve.
- Shake it out and leave to dry.
- Wrap it up in clingfilm ready to use again when the need arises.
If you plan to use the roller the next day then you can simply wrap the roller in cling film, foil or a plastic bag and leave it overnight. This will keep your rollers moist and prevent them from drying out, this can keep rollers soft and usable for 1 week!
- Pour any left over paint from the paint tray into the can.
- Wash the tray in a solution of warm water with a squeeze of washing up liquid
- Dry and store them away for the next decorating project.
To make it easy and reduce the clean up time just get some tray liners, place them in the tray and throw them away when you finish. You could also line the tray with some foil. This will leave a nice clean tray at the end of your job.