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Paintbrush Cleaning and Storage Tips from Naples, Florida Painting Pro

If you invested significant money in your painting supplies to ensure the best job, there’s no reason that you cannot preserve part of that investment by reusing your paintbrushes. While cheap paintbrushes may not be worth saving, higher quality paintbrushes that are cleaned and stored correctly can last for at least a dozen painting jobs. Naples, Florida-based FCI Painting only uses the highest quality paintbrushes for its paint jobs, and thus has the lowdown on effective paintbrush cleaning and storage. Read on for our tips:

What Type of Paint Did You Use?

The first consideration in cleaning your paintbrushes involves the type of paint used, as this will dictate the solvent you use for cleaning. Oil-based paints and stains require cleaning by paint thinner (mineral spirits, typically turpentine), while water-based (latex) paints can be cleaned with warm water and soap.

Remove Excess Paint Before Cleaning

No matter what type of paint or stain you used, the first step in cleaning is to remove as much excess paint from the brush as possible. Start by moving the bristles of the brush from the handle to their ends up the inside of a paint can. Repeat for bristles on each side of the brush and keep doing it until no more paint appears to be dripping from the brush. After this step, try to remove as much remaining paint as possible by running the bristles across a newspaper until it no longer leaves paint residue.

If some paint has begun to dry on the brush and within the bristles, you might want to let the brush soak in the appropriate solvent for 20 minutes or so (overnight if brushes have started to harden due to drying paint). Otherwise, or after any soaking, stir the brush in the solvent and then gently but firmly squeeze and wipe the bristles with your fingers. You can also use what is known as a brush comb to help remove paint from within the bristles, and a paintbrush spinner, which uses centrifugal force to pull the paint out of the brush.

Rinse, Dry, and Store

Once you believe that you have cleaned out all of the paint (and remaining thinner, in the case of oil-based brushes), rinse out the brush in clean water to remove the solvent and remaining residue. Use the same actions taken for cleaning during this process to ensure a thorough rinse.

Before storage you want the brushes as dry as possible, so shake out excess water and use clean rags, newspaper or paper towels to blot them dry. A paintbrush spinner is also an effective drying tool.

For storage purposes, hanging them up vertically works best at maintaining the brushes’ shape and protecting their bristles. But you can also reuse the original package or carefully wrap them in newspaper, if you are going to store them flat.

Rollers Are Worth Preserving, Too

High quality paint rollers are also worth preserving. Tips on cleaning paintbrushes are applicable to some extent for rollers, but a paint roller cleaner (spinner) is essential for the process. After removing excess paint by squeezing the length of the roller with your hand or a curved tool, the repeated use of the spinner combined with repeated dips into solvent works best for complete paint removal. You will probably want to spin your rollers in a five-gallon bucket to block the resultant spray.

After the rinse cycle, rollers can be dried by letting them stand on end until completely air dried. For storage, never cover them in plastic, but store them in a box with others to ensure the best maintenance of the roller’s fibers.

Or Turn to FCI Painting for your Painting and Staining Needs

If all of this sounds like too much—and you haven’t even begun to consider the details of the actual paint job—consider letting Naples, Florida-based FCI Painting tackle your home or small-business paint job. With more than 25 years of experience in helping thousands of southwest Florida businesses and homeowners paint their exterior and interior spaces, we provide expert service in all elements of every painting job—including the clean up! To learn more about how FCI Painting can help you with your painting project, contact us online or give us a call at (239) 435-1001.

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