Jul 17, 2014

Your DIY guide to properly storing paint brushes and rollers to ensure long-term use.

Q: How should I care for my paint brush so that it maintains its performance level use after use?

Storing paint brushes or rollers should only be done after immediately cleaning them after use. The most coming methods of cleaning a paint brush or roller is to use mineral turpentine or paint thinner, but these should only be used if you have painted with solvent-based paints (enamel, varnish, oil etc.). If you have painted with water-based paints (latex, acrylic, PVA etc.), then it is quite safe to simply use soap and water before storing paint brushes away. A good tip is to then use a comb to clean and straighten bristles once they have dried.

However, before storing paint brushes or rollers, do not soak them for extended periods of time – they will lose their shape if you do. The best method for storing paint brushes is to hang them. Avoid storing them on their tips as this will curl the working tips rendering them somewhat useless.


Q: How do I keep my paint brushes and rollers in good condition? Mine always go tatty quite quickly.

If you are using water-based paint, wash and rinse your paint brush or roller under running water as soon as possible. To fluff the roller, spin it against a flat surface somewhere outside. You’ll likely get a little wet during this exercise! Once thoroughly wrung, hang your roller or paint brush on the washing line until fully dry. Storing paint brushes or rollers after this process will keep them in good condition.

Cleaning a paint brush or roller that has been used to paint with solvent-based paints is a simple exercise. After rinsing with turpentine (in the case of enamel paint), pour a little Polycell Brush Cleaner into a jar or container and work the bristles thoroughly until they are totally clean. Rinse with water before storing paint brushes or rollers and they will be as good as new next time round!


Further Reading:

Our article on how to load a paint brush not only explains how to properly use your painting equipment but will also explain the difference between natural and synthetic bristles.

Our articles on choosing the right paint brush and choosing the right paint roller, offer some useful information to help you choose the right paint brush / roller for any DIY project.

We also have a comprehensive guide safe paint disposal – detailing the best and safest way of cleaning up and storing paint brushes and equipment after use.