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Saturday, 24 February 2007
Cleaning Paintbrushes & Rollers

Paint brushes and rollers are expensive items and many a good brush has had to be thrown away because it simply cannot be revived.  I know it's tempting to sit down after all that hard work and admire that excellent paint job, but it takes a few minutes to clean your brushes - then you can relax and admire your handiwork.

First remove excess paint by painting back and forth over a piece of newspaper or brown paper, or with a paint scraper, otherwise you are going to end up with globs of paint everywhere and your cleaning solution will be so thick with residue it simply won't do the job of cleaning properly.

Water-based paint:-

Rinse water-based paint out of brushes and rollers with warm water, then wash well in soapy water, rinse and lay flat to dry or hang from a hook.  Another good tip is to use a hosepipe to make sure you get lots of clean water running over them.

Oil-based paint:-

Use white spirits or a proprietary solvent - do it in an old tin with about 8- 10 cm of thinners, then there is no danger of the spirits splashing on the surrounding area.  Leave flat or hang on a hook to dry. It's generally not a good idea to rinse with water afterwards as this tends to dry the brushes out and make them stiff.

Reviving a stiff brush:-

Soak stiff paintbrushes in a proprietary solvent using rubber gloves to work the bristles apart to release trapped paint. You can also use an old brush or fork to run through the bristles and separate them.  Repeat as often as necessary to get the bristles apart and back to their normal shape.

Tip:  Save your thinners for another washing day!  Let the residue settle, pour off the clean thinners and dispose safely of the gunge at the bottom.  Seal and keep the thinners for the next time you tackle a paint job.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 February 2007 )
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