Looking After Paint Brushes and Paint Rollers
Care of equipment
If you want your painting equipment to last you will have to look after it properly, which means you must clean it after use.
Where brushes are concerned, you should work the brush over several sheets of clean newspaper to remove as much paint as possible, then work it up and down in the appropriate solvent (white spirit for most solvent based paints, water for emulsions) changing this frequently to remove the remaining paint. Make sure when you do this that the solvent is worked right up to the point where the bristles are set into the brush.
When you reach the point where no amount of working in solvent appears to remove any more paint, wash the brush out in warm, soapy water (to remove the last vestiges of paint and solvent) and pat dry with a clean cloth. Mould the bristles into their correct shape, then wrap the brush head in paper secured around the ferrule with a rubber band beforeit away. The paper both absorbs residual moisture and helps the bristles keep their shape to prolong their useful life.
Clean roller sleeves in the appropriate solvent, too, but do not leave them to soak in solvent or they may be damaged. Rinse them well and dry them away from direct heat. Paint pads can be cleaned in a similar fashion; again, prolonged immersion in cleaning solvents may cause damage by lifting the pad away from its handle.
Cleaning obviously takes time and if you intend to stop work for only an hour or two and then restart, merely wrapping the brush, pad or roller tightly in polythene will mean it’s ready for use when you want it. If, however, you are leaving the paint applicator overnight, it’s worth cleaning it out properly. Don’t simply leave it standing in solvent until you are ready to re-use it. The solvent in the bristles or fibre will ruin your work when you restart unless you clean it out.
To store equipment after it’s dried out, it’s best to hang brushes onthrough holes drilled in the top of the brush handle and store roller sleeves and paint pads securely in polythene bags.