Residential Painting

How Do I Maintain My Painting Tools?

Posted on May 5, 2022

Maintaining your painting tools is more important than maintaining many other tools, like hammers and screwdrivers. Painting tools are delicate and must be treated well or they will often fail at the least convenient time. Paint brushes, roller naps, and other common paint tools must be well maintained, or designed to be disposable. Today we will briefly discuss the proper maintenance of your paint tools and offer a couple of pro tips to avoid problems.

How Do I Clean and Store My Paint Brushes?

One extremely important step in any painting project is to be prepared to clean your brushes immediately after using them. Inexperienced painters tend to forget items like paint thinner or mineral spirits and find themselves unable to clean their brushes before the paint dries on them. If you are using oil-based enamel paints, never purchase the paint without purchasing paint thinner as well.

When you have your solvent (mineral spirits, acetone, water, etc.) ready, you can use a rag or paper towel to remove as much material as possible. This will reduce the amount of material the solvent must dissolve, using less solvent. Next, shake the brush inside a trash can or gently beat it against a paint stick to knock off as much solvent as possible. Now simply hang your brush by the hole in the handle, or lay it on a flat horizontal surface to dry.

Can I Reuse Roller Naps?

You can reuse most roller naps, although disposable versions are available. Generally, the more expensive the roller nap the more likely you can clean it. Roller naps come in many textures, lengths, and materials, so follow the directions for how to clean and maintain them. Generally, however, most will follow the same procedures.

To clean your roller naps, follow the same procedures as you did for your brushes. A great way to clean roller naps is to simply use them normally until the roller has no paint left. Then dip them in the appropriate solvent, shake them dry, and repeat until the nap is clean. Lastly, dry them lightly with a paper towel or rag and leave them on the roller handle, hanging from the hole in the handle, or detached from the handle, lying flat.

Maintaining Other Paint Tools

You will likely also employ other painting tools like roller trays, extension handles, and step stools. The most important tip is to clean each tool completely before storing it. If you leave a little paint on your tools each time you use them, eventually the buildup will affect your tools, often leading to replacement. Simply use the appropriate solvent for your project and your tools will last you for many years.