How to clean paint rollers and brushes | The Sun

PAINTING a room and sitting back to observe your work can be really satisfying, but cleaning up after? Not so much.

But it's important to ensure you clean your brushes and rollers after so you can reuse them.

How to clean paint rollers

Cleaning your painting equipment is a great way to save money and ensure that they can be used again on your next home transformation project.

How you should wash your brushes and rollers depends on the type of paint you've been using.

Thankfully, we've got all you need to know on how to clean off latex or water-based, and oil-based paints.

Cleaning water and latex paint off rollers

1) Start by using a putty knife to scrape excess paint left on the roller back into the tin.

2) Hold it at an angle and work it through the brush with a downward motion.

3) After that, use what remains on any spots you need to cover on the wall, or use a newspaper to soak up the remaining paint.


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4) Next, remove the roller and clean the frame. Make sure you use rubber to gloves to ensure your hands are protected. Put washing up liquid in a bucket and use a stiff brush to work the paint off the roller holder, before leaving out to dry.

5) You then need to wash the roller itself, by submerging it in warm water mixed with washing up liquid, using your hands to work the paint out of it.

6) After it's been given a good clean, get a fresh bucket of water, or use the showerhead to rinse it out completely, before giving it a shake and squeezing it to get rid of excess moisture.

7) Dry it afterwards, ensuring that it's left upright, as leaving it on its side will flatten the brush fibres.

8) Clean the paint tray next, by rinsing the paint out, using our trusty bucket of soapy water, and using a stiff brush to get rid of stuck-on paint.

9) Finally, ensure you don't just chuck the water down a stormwater drain, and dispose of it in a sewer drain that leads to a water-treatment facility.

Cleaning oil paint off rollers

1) As you'll be using solvents when can cause skin irritation and splash into your eyes, make sure you use protection and rubber gloves. Start by dipping a cloth in white spirit, and scrub off any paint that remains on the frame and tray. A stiff brush may be needed.

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2) Fill a bucket with enough white spirit to cover the roller. Using gloves, work the solvent into the brush for five to 10 minutes. After that, take it out and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can.

3) The excess white spirit should be poured into a disposed container. Use a cloth to wipe the bucket and then refill it with sufficient spirits to rise the roller with. Once you've done so, squeeze out the excess liquid.

4) Now get a bucket of warm water and washing up liquid and give the roller one last clean. Give it a thorough rinse, and once again squeeze out the excess, before hanging out the roller to dry.

5) Pour the remaining liquid into a disposable container and dispose of it responsibly.

How to clean paint brushes

The approach for cleaning brushes is slightly different.

But it's no less important, as leaving paint to dry in the bristles of your brush could render them unusable, depriving the world of your next great masterpiece!

Here's how to look after you brushes according to Dulux's website:

Wrap your brushes to reuse them

If you're stopping for the night in the middle of a painting project, you needn't wash them.

Simply wrap the head of the roller and brush in cling film and seal it with masking tape.

You can then store it in a dry place for two days

Scrape off the excess

Next, scrape as much of the paint as you can before you give them a wash.

You can use a putty knife to do this.

Water-based paint? Soak it

If you've been using a water-based paint, soak your brush in warm water for around two hours, before drying with a cloth, and storing in a dry place.

Solvent-based paint? Use a solvent-based cleaner

If you've been using oil, put a small amount of a solvent-based cleaner in a small container or jar.

Push the brush against the side of it, so that the cleaner is worked into base of the bristles.

Allow it to soak for a couple of hours, before drying with a cloth and storing in a dry place.

Dispose of your solvents properly

Solvents contain powerful chemicals, so after you've been using it to clean brushes, put a lid on the container and leave it for 24 hours.

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Once the paint has dropped to the bottom, you can pour the solvent back into the bottle to use again.

Let the paint in the jar fully dry before throwing it out. Using as small a jar as possible will be better for the environment.

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