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Eric Stromer shows you how to properly clean and store paint brushes and rollers.
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How to Clean and Store Paint Brushes and Rollers
Featured Pro: Eric Stromer Category: Home Improvement Time: 5:09
ERIC STROMER: Hey, I’m Eric Stromer. And this is your GMC Trade Secret.
This is what happens if you don’t clean a paint brush out. Okay, obviously there’s a problem there. Now, paint brushes and rollers can be easily ruined if you don’t clean them properly after each project.
Now, the methods for cleaning paint brushes will vary depending on what type of paint you’re using. For oil-based paint like we’re using here, you would either use mineral spirits or paint thinner. You can use a wire brush and, of course, a bucket, and that’s all you need. You want to do this in a well-ventilated area.
All you have to do is pour your mineral spirits in your bucket like that. Then you want to submerge your brush right there in the mineral spirits, working it back and forth until the brush gets pliable again. And then you want to take your wire brush and brush through essentially like you’re combing the brush to get clumps out or any paint that’s dried within the bristles themselves.
You do all four sides; back in the solution. And then you’re going to want to take another bucket and fill that up with some cleaner mineral spirits or paint thinner. I like to roll it out this way and just get the excess off between both palms, just like that. Go on to your next container, same thing, working the paint brush back and forth.
And then finally, in your last bucket, something a little bit tall. You want to put your bristles right down in the bucket and then roll back and forth briskly like that, shaking all the paint off the brush. There you go – a nice clean brush. If you see any additional paint that’s dried, you can go back through it and comb with your brush and make sure that it’s nice and untangled.
Now, before we move on to water-based products, I want to tell you to never pour mineral spirits down the drain. Check with your local waste management agency to learn where you can dispose of used paint thinner, just as you would for oil or other dangerous chemicals.
So when you’re cleaning your brushes using water-based paints, it’s actually very simple, because water is going to be able to take the paint out of the brush with a little bit of soap, okay. Also small amounts of paint can go down the drain, so it’s okay to wash your brushes out in the sink.
Let’s start with the brush. You want to take off the excess amount of paint on the side of your rolling tray and then go over to your sink with your wire brush. Give yourself a little bit of water pressure there. And I like to wet up inside the brush right in this area here. Go ahead and squeeze out the excess paint. You can go ahead and use your dish soap. Put your soap on the bristles, both sides, and then just lather up the brush.
Take your wire brush at this point and comb through. Make sure all those globules of paint and tangles on the bristles are out. Great.
Now, when you’re finished with it, go ahead and wring it out with your hand, and then go back to a bucket and then do the same thing, rolling it back and forth between your palms to get the excess water off the brush bristles. And then, if you do have your cover that your brush came with, go ahead and put that back around the brush bristles. That’ll obviously keep the brush in the right shape. If you don’t, you can store the brush in a plastic bag, keep it nice and dry, just like that.
Now, for the roller, go ahead and take the roller off the roller handle in the tray, so all the excess paint goes back in the tray. And then get yourself one of these three-in-one tools. These are great. It has a little U shape there. That’s to go on top of the roller as you’re running the water over it and get the excess paint off that way.
Now, keep in mind, you can do this with your hand if you want to just wring it out that way. But the tool is much more effective. You also want to use a little soap to cut some of that paint off the roller. Then you might want to go ahead and run your bristle brush over the roller just to get any additional loose matting off the roller itself. Great. You can also shake it out a little bit, get that excess water.
And go ahead and put your roller nap head right in a plastic bag there. Ziploc it up tight. Now you’re going to want to store it on end, because if you lay it flat, some of that nap around the outside may be uneven or dry strangely, so when you reuse it the next time, it’ll give you uneven paint coverage. Put it on end just like that.
All right. Now, with a little preventive maintenance, you can make sure that your brushes and rollers are in top shape and ready for your next paint project.
I’m Eric Stromer, and that’s your GMC Trade Secret.