A paint brush cover is important to any paint brush. It helps the brush maintain its shape when it dries and protects it when you need to transport it.
A simple and free method to keeping your brushes protected is to use old toilet paper rolls. Just flatten out the roll and you have a perfect fit for a 2 inch brush which is possibly the most versatile brush.
Clean paint brushes immediately after use. Do not soak brushes in solvent or water, as this can damage the bristles.
To wash latex paint off a paint brush any mild bar soap or dishwashing detergent will work. Prepare soapy water and pour into a clean container. Dip the paint brush into the mixture, working the soap through the brush bristles. Follow with a clear water rinse. Repeat the process if necessary. Always use a clean container with clean soapy water and follow with a clear water rinse. For stubborn water-based paints, try lacquer thinner, followed by warm soapy water and a clear water rinse.
When cleaning oil-based paints, varnishes, lacquers and shellacs from your paint brush, closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions to select the proper cleaning solvent. Pour the solvent into a container and dip the paint brush into the solvent. Work thinner through the brush bristles, dipping up and down in container several times. Spin the paint brush into a waste area to remove excess thinner and then repeat process with a clean container and clean thinner.
A paint brush comb is also a good tool to clean a paint brush. This tool is very useful in cleaning through the center of the brush and removing any residue near the ferrule’s edge. Paint residue left in the brush will harden and “set” the bristles, making them lose their bend recovery. Once clean, use the paint brush comb to straighten the bristles. Reshape the paint brush to its original shape and lay flat to dry. Do not use a wire brush on a paint brush. While it will help remove the dried paint from the tips of the bristle, it also knocks off the flag (splits) at the end of the bristles.
Whenever possible, store brushes by hanging them. Never store a paint brush on its tip, which can result in “curling.”
Consider using different brushes for oil-based products and water-based products. It is much easier to clean the paint brushes if you don’t switch back and forth between the two types of bases.
Remove roller cover sleeve from the painting frame immediately after using. Do not allow the paint to begin drying on the paint roller. Clean roller covers immediately after use. Never leave the roller sleeve soaking in water or solvent.
To clean oil-based paints, varnishes, lacquers and shellacs from your roller cover, closely follow manufacturer’s instructions in selecting the proper cleaning solvent. Pour the solvent into a container and dip the roller cover into the solvent. Repeat this process using a clean container and fresh solvent until the roller cover is clean.
Cleaning water-based paints from your paint roller covers requires a good wash with soap and warm water. Then rinse until clean. Repeat the process if necessary. Always use a clean container with clean soapy water and follow with a clear water rinse. If needed, use a putty knife to help scrape off the paint. For stubborn water-based paints, try mineral spirits or lacquer thinner, followed by warm soapy water and a clear water rinse.
Dry and store your roller covers with care. String roller covers on rope or dowels to aid in drying the sleeves. Don’t stand the paint roller on its end or lay it down. Dry thoroughly before storing in dust-free cabinets or boxes.