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cleaning paint brush

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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6 Stars

The entire process from start to finish was professional. They did a great job and left everything clean. Ryan wouldn’t leave until everything was perfect. The entire team was so responsive. I would recommend FCI to anyone. I would give them 6 stars if I could.

Bruce G

Reasonably Priced & Very Detailed

We have a three unit, two story condo building that needed an exterior painting job we awarded to FCI Painting. Their proposal was reasonably priced and very detailed. Richard Foden’s came to estimate the job and took the time to explain the process, answer questions and provide recommendations (that help us in our process). We received four proposals and FCI’s stood out making our decision straight forward. FCI crew was professional and the foreman ‘Eduardo’ exceptional. On a daily basis’s he communicated what to expect, what they would be achieving and the crews next steps. Crew was courteous and cleaned up the grounds every evening. We highly recommend FCI Painting company. Thanks

Leo G

Incredible Service

I honestly cannot recommend this company enough. I was attempting to find painters in Naples while I was still in Canada. Richard and his team were so helpful in the process, going above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. They were thorough, professional, and one of the best prices I found in the area. Incredible service.

Jeremy S

Definitely Use Them Again

Richard and his team were great to work with. They were polite, cleaned up and did an awesome job! I have already recommended them to people and would definitely use them again.

Helen R

Ahead of schedule

Very professional, prompt… even ahead of schedule. I will always use them from now on.

Brittany K

Can’t Recommend FCI Painting enough

I can’t recommend FCI Painting enough! Owner Richard Foden runs one of the finest painting companies I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. When my business moved into our new office, we started researching painters in Naples, FL and FCI came highly recommended. The commercial painters that Richard works with are prompt, thorough and professional. After working with them in a business setting, I’ll be certain to give Richard a call next time I’m in need of house painters as well.

Martin V

Professional & Friendly

Had my condo painted by FCI Painting and they did an outstanding job! They were professional and friendly.

Eileen F

Competitive & Fair

FCI Painting did an outstanding job for us and we are more than pleased with the results. We found the pricing to be competitive and fair. Our painter, Chris, was an expert craftsman, patched several areas of drywall that needed attention and helped us work through a problem we had with one of the colors we chose. We would definitely recommend FCI painting for anyone looking for a quality job at a fair price.

Donna C

Way Above Expectation

Big thanks to FCI, I had them paint my house inside and out and they did a fantastic job, way above my expectations, there employees were punctual and polite, and the work was completed 2 days before the scheduled completion date. Would not hesitate to recommend A++++++++++

Neil S

Highly Suggest Their Work

FCI Painting did a fantastic job on my driveway. They were swift, neat, and very sharp eye on quality. I would highly suggest there work and I would call them again.

Tom D

Pleasure to Deal With

FCI did a great job painting our home! Job was done on time & on budget, no surprises! Rich was a pleasure to deal with & was very prompt when responding to a question or request. Chris, our painter, was on-time each day, always prepared, cleaned up every afternoon, worked at a good pace & super friendly. Would definitely use them again & recommend them highly!

Christine C

Always an Outstanding Job

My family has used FCI in our homes and businesses. They have always done an outstanding job, neat and clean and Richard is wonderful accommodating owner to work with. I would highly recommend this company to anyone.

Valerie G

Great Company, Great Results

Great Company, Great Results! We use FCI whenever we can!


Easy to Deal With

Pleasant and easy to deal with. Did exactly what they said they would, when they said they would do it. Would highly recommend.

Christopher G

Beautiful Work

Beautiful work and very friendly respectful employees. Couldn’t be happier.

Tiffany K