How to clean painting tools?

To preserve and reuse your painting equipment from one site to another, it is essential to clean it. The cleaning technique differs depending on the tool (brush, roller or spray gun) and the paint used. To make your tools last a long time, here are our tips for optimizing their cleaning.

Keeping brushes in good condition is possible!

In painting, you always need a set of brushes on hand. Flat brush, long-haired brush, repaint brush… What would a painter be without his brushes? To be sure to have them for many years, they will have to be maintained with care. Otherwise, they will harden and quickly become unusable.

Are your brushes with synthetic or natural bristles?

The material of the bristles is important to know during their first use. Is this the first time you’ve used your new brushes? With proper cleaning, they will only last longer. Here’s how to clean them after their first paint job:

  • Dip your natural hair brushes in linseed oil for a whole night. Immerse them at three quarters of the hairs. The next day, rub them with soapy water to remove the rest of the paint. Then wring them out by simply pressing the tip of the brush, without twisting the bristles.
  • Dip synthetic brushes in water, all night too. Then clean them in the same way, with soapy water, before spinning.

Once they have been used, the mode of maintenance depends mainly on the paint used.

Acrylic paint: water, water

For acrylic paint as for other water-based paints (vinyl and alkyd), cleaning is done with water.

  • Wring out your brushes as well as possible on a piece of cardboard to remove as much paint as possible.
  • Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a little bit of soap or washing up liquid. In this mixture, gently remove the paint from your brushes.
  • Then soak each brush overnight in a glass of water.
  • The next day, wipe and wring out the bristles without twisting them. You just have to dry them with a soft cloth. Always store them upside down.

NB: brushes with natural bristles require special treatment. At night, let them soak in linseed oil rather than water, to feed them. Just rinse them the next morning with soapy water, and let them dry.

Glycero paint: solvent cleaning

Solvent-based paints do not clean up with water. This concerns glycero paints, but also epoxy or polyurethane. To remove them from your brushes, use a solvent product such as acetone or white spirit. Attention, the use of a solvent requires working in a well ventilated room.

  • Start by wringing the brushes on a piece of cardboard to remove the paint.
  • Pour the solvent into a bucket. You will clean your brushes there until all the paint is removed.
  • Then rinse the brushes with lukewarm water. Squeeze them out. Comb the bristles with an old fork, you will prevent them from taking a bad shape while drying.
  • As before, soak your brushes overnight in water (synthetic bristles) or linseed oil (natural bristles).
  • The next day, dry them well with a soft cloth before storing them, head up.

After cleaning, what to do with the paint?

To clean your brushes, whether with water or solvent, never sit directly in a sink. You risk clogging the drains (blah) and polluting the rivers (blah, blah)! The bucket is the best formula. But be careful: do not empty your bucket full of paint waste into the water network. To clean responsibly, let it settle. You will be able to recover the paint, which will go to the recycling center. The filtered water can then be discarded. As for the solvent, you can recover it after decantation and reuse it next time.

System D : You left your paint job flat and the paint has hardened on the brush: it’s finished! But no, you can still save him. To do this, dip it in boiling white vinegar.

Cleaning a paint roller: how to do it?

After repainting your kitchen, should you throw away the roller full of paint? Especially not, it can still be used! No need to buy a roller for each job: good cleaning is much more economical – and ecological. Also avoid disposable rollers, it is unnecessary pollution. But how do you purify a well-laden paint roller?

  • Disgorge your roller by passing it several times over a piece of cardboard or an old newspaper. Do not hesitate to press the sleeve with a spatula to evacuate as much paint as possible.
  • Ensuite, withdraw the sleeve. It is especially him that must be cleaned.
  • Fill a bucket for cleaning: soapy water for acrylic paint, solvent for glycero paint.
  • Dip the sleeve in the bucket. You clean up the water soapy? Leave to disgorge for a few minutes before rubbing the sleeve until it is clean. If you clean with solvent, soak the sleeve until saturated. Then wring out and renew the contents of the bucket, so that it soaks in a clean solvent. And so on, until the sleeve is perfect.
  • Rinse the sleeve with clear water. If it has been solvent cleaned, rinse it with warm soapy water. Then wring out your sleeve using a spatula and hang it up to dry overnight. Store your roll flat.
  • As for brushes, don’t throw water saturated with paint in the water network or in nature. After settling, pour the paint waste into an airtight container and head to the recycling center!

System D : If your painting job lasts several days, you can avoid cleaning the roller from one day to the next. How ? Once soaked in paint (the one you will use the next morning), lock the roller in an airtight bag, like a garbage bag. After a night thus protected, the roller is ready to use, the paint still fresh!

This tip is also valid for your lunch break! Within an hour the paint is already drying. Always have cling film or garbage bags on hand to wrap the rollers in use (or the brushes) by vacuuming the air…

And the gun? How to clean it?

It is certain that with a low pressure gun, the painting site progresses more quickly. Nevertheless, do not neglect the cleaning of this tool. Well maintained, it will keep all its efficiency. As with brushes and rollers, cleaning the spray gun depends on the type of paint used.

Acrylic paint: clean with water

Clean your gun as soon as you are finished using it. If you forget it in a corner, the paint will dry out and the nozzle will clog up.

  • Start by filling out the tank hot water gun.
  • Then have fun spray water by aiming at a specific support (a cardboard box for example). If you put it everywhere, hello general cleaning!
  • After emptying the tank in this way, clean the bus of projection. It cleans gently, with a brush and warm water.
  • Also clean the outside of the gun.
  • You just have to let it dry and wipe some parts.

Glycero paint: instead of solvent

This time, you need to fill the tank of the gun with a solvent product. Check the leaflet to find out which solvent to use.

  • Then spray the contents of the tank on a support, so that you can catch the spills. A box will do.
  • After having thus emptied the tank, disassemble the gun to clean the nozzle with a brush impregnated with solvent.
  • Also, clean the exterior of the gun.
  • Allow to air dry.

Electric gun: Vaseline oil

In the case of an electric gun, do not use water or solvent to fill the tank. Vaseline oil is perfect.

Leave a Comment