Cleaning Brushes & Rollers 

March 10, 2023

As professional painters, we have a cleaning routine that we run through at the end of every day. A checklist ensures that the space we are painting is safe, clean and that all of our tools and equipment have been cleaned and stored so that the space is ready to go for the next day. Part of that checklist is cleaning our brushes and rollers thoroughly so that the equipment stays in top shape and lasts a long time. 

If you are a do-it-yourselfer and wondering about the proper way to clean your brushes and rollers, this blog is for you. Read on for some helpful tips and tricks from professionals. 

Before Use 

Believe it or not, there are a few things that painters can do to keep their brushes and rollers in good working condition even before the painting commences.

Since high-quality painting equipment can be costly it is important to take exceptional care when prepping, using, cleaning, and storing the tools. Brushes and rollers are no exception. 

Before using a paintbrush, run your hand through the bristles lightly to remove any that may not be attached or become loose after the manufacturing process. This step will keep unattached bristles from getting into your paint and clogging up the brush as you work. 

A similar step is necessary with paint rollers. Prior to filling a roller with paint, take some painter’s tape and roll it around the nap on the roller. Removal of the tape will get any extra nap off without clogging your roller as you paint. 

After Painting 

The trick to keeping your rollers and brushes in good clean condition is to wash them off immediately after use. By cleaning immediately after use the paint will not have a chance to dry and cake up the bristles or roller. 

Start your cleaning by scraping off as much of the paint back into your paint cans as possible. Not only will this save you from wasting paint, but it will also speed up the cleaning process. 

After scraping off excess paint, run the rollers and brushes under warm water until very little paint is coming out of them. You may need to use your hands or possibly a paint scraper to encourage every last bit of the paint to be shed. Some homeowners find that using a brush or roller spinner can help in this process but most professionals usually rely on their hands or scrapers to get the job done. 

Another important step in the cleaning process is laying your brushes and rollers out to dry completely. Be sure they are hanging or (at the very least) not being bent. Most professionals suggest storing your brushes in the packaging that you bought them in. They are designed to be placed right back in the cardboard and stored until used again. 


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