Secrets to Using and Preserving Paint Brushes and RollersUpdated: Mar. 16, 2023
Old paint and paint brushes don't do well together .Follow these secrets from the pros for how to use paint brushes and rollers to make painting easier and mess-free.
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Edge-trim your paint roller
Brush for cleaning brushes
Clean brushes with a golf club brush
Dried paint and paint brushes don’t do well together. An old golf club brush is perfect for scrubbing off that crusty coat that builds up on paintbrushes. The plastic bristles scour away most of the crust without harming the brush. The brass bristles will take care of the stubborn spots.
Double the life of your paintbrushes
Wash out most of the paint first
To ensure you get a lifetime of use out of your synthetic paintbrushes, clean each one immediately after using it, before the paint has a chance to dry. Wipe the brush on newspaper to remove excess paint. Then stick the brush into a bucket of warm water and move it around to remove as much paint as possible.
Use a wire brush to remove paint from bristles
Next, hold the brush under running water. Run a wire brush (or a kitchen fork) down the bristles to remove dried paint. When the water running off the bristles turns clear, the brush is clean.
Let each paintbrush air dry, then wrap it with the cardboard cover it came in or heavy paper (like grocery bag paper). To keep the bristles straight, hang the brushes from a nail or hook, or store them flat.
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Lint-free paint roller
Remove fuzz with self-adhesive lint roller
Cheap paint rollers shed all over the paint as you roll it on, but they’re good because they’re disposable—no cleanup! Before using one, wipe it with a self-adhesive lint roller to remove all the loose fuzz—no more picking it off wet walls. Check out more lint roller hacks you wish you knew earlier.
Best way to clean roller covers
Hook up the hose to a faucet
If you do a lot of roll-on painting and use premium roller covers that you don’t want to throw away, get a Roller Washer ($15). You’ll be glad you did. It’s easy to use and gets the rollers incredibly clean—a task that takes a long time by hand, and even then you rarely get a truly clean nap. Just hook up the hose to a faucet, slide the roller cover into the tube, and watch the water flush out the paint in minutes. Order the Roller Washer online by typing “roller cover washer”into your search window.