It seems so simple, doesn’t it?
Of all the things you need to think about when painting your house, cleaning your paintbrushes seems like the last thing on your mind.
Just rinse it under a tap and move on with your life, right?
Or even just throw it away, and buy another one next time you want to paint, right?
Of course, we’re professional painters so we clean our own brushes.
But if you’re taking a DIY approach, it’s different.
While you can throw away your paintbrushes, this isn’t exactly good from an environmental perspective.
It’s not good from a pocketbook perspective either – why buy a new paintbrush every time you have to do a quick wall paint touch up when you already have a perfectly good one handy?
But if you want to know how to clean your own, keep reading.
Take Care Of Your Stuff And It Lasts Longer
That should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody.
But it’s true that taking good care of your stuff means it lasts longer.
Whether it’s a car, a computer, a paintbrush, or your frying pan, this is still true.
Cheap paintbrushes will of course not last as long as high quality ones.
But they’ll only last for one job if you don’t take care of them properly.
On the other hand, if you buy a good quality paintbrush and give it the proper care, it can last you up to ten years.
And the good news is it’s really not that hard to do.
How To Clean A Paintbrush
The materials you’ll need to clean your paintbrushes depend on the type of paint you’re using.
Latex and acrylic paint is water based, which means they’re much easier to get rid of.
On the other hand, varnish, lacquer, shellac, and some other types of paint are oil based.
And as we all learned in grade school science classes, oil and water don’t mix.
So if you’re using oil based paints, you’ll need to use paint thinner and a pair of gloves.
For water based paints though, you’ll just need dish detergent, warm water, a bucket, and a brush comb.
You can also use a brush spinner after if you like.
Cleaning Water Based Paints
Pour the warm water and detergent into your bucket.
You can use a sink as well if you like, but be sure to clean it thoroughly after, since leftover paint can remain and cause some problems.
Or, just use your laundry tub if you have one.
Now, dip your brush into the water.
Work the water and soap into your brush with your hands, and rinse it with clean water.
Do this as many times as you need to get rid of the paint.
Be aware though that paint can still remain even if it looks like the brush is clean on the outside.
This is why the brush comb is important.
Use your brush comb to get deep into your brush, cleaning out as much paint as possible.
Once you see only clean water after rinsing, you’re in a good spot.
Now, connect your brush to a brush spinner to remove any extra water.
Comb your brush back into its original shape with the brush comb.
And now your brush is clean and ready to go!
Cleaning Oil Based Paints
Oil based paint cleaning is a little messier.
Paint thinner is by nature toxic, which means you’ll need to be more careful than using water and detergent.
Make sure to wear gloves when you’re cleaning with paint thinner, since it’s not good for your skin.
As well, be sure to do it outside or in a very well ventilated area, since the fumes are toxic.
That means avoid using your kitchen or bathroom sink.
Not only is it not ventilated enough, the chemical agents in the paint thinner can sometimes eat away at the finish of your faucet or drain.
Pour your solvent into a bucket, and dip your brush in.
Work your paint thinner into the bristles of your brush – but make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves.
Once it seems mostly clean, dispose of the paint thinner and fill your bucket again with fresh paint thinner.
Repeat this as many times as you need to until your brush is clean.
Now comb it into shape with your brush comb, spin the excess paint thinner out of it, and put your brush away for the next time you need it.
How To Rescue A Dried Brush
In many cases, you’ll just have to throw your dried brush out and get a new one.
However, you can sometimes rescue it, saving you money and keeping junk out of landfills.
Get some brush cleaner from a local hardware store, and fill a container with it.
You need this container to be big enough for your brush to fit inside.
Next, put your brush in, making sure the whole thing is submerged.
Let it sit overnight – either in your backyard or covered with plastic to keep the fumes away from you as you sleep.
Tomorrow, the paint might have been loosened enough that you can clean the brush.
How To Clean A Roller
To clean a roller, you need a tool called a 5 in 1.
All paint stores should have one – they’re wonderfully handy.
For water based paints, start by running the curved part of your 5 in 1 tool along the edge of your roller to push away loose paint.
Next, put your roller under running water in your laundry tub and scrub at it with your hands until the water is clear.
For oil based paints, it’s still a good idea to run your 5 in 1 tool’s blade along the roller.
Next, pour your paint thinner into a paint rolling tray.
Then dip your roller in the tray, washing away as much of the paint as possible.
Work through it with your rubber gloves to keep it tidy.
Once it seems like it’s not getting any cleaner, dispose of the paint thinner and refill it with a fresh batch.
Repeat until your roller is clean.
Either way, stand your rollers up to dry – don’t let them lie down.
If you do, they’ll dry unevenly and not paint as smoothly for the next job.
Call PurcellPro Painters Today
Does all this seem like way too much work?
Would you rather hire a local painter to take care of it?
Then call PurcellPro Painters today for a quote.