DIY Paint Tips: How to Clean Your Paint Brush Like a Pro

The experts at Freeland Painting are excited to share paint tips to help you accomplish do-it-yourself painting projects with professional results. That’s why we’ve shared information, including how to tape like a pro and 9 tips for painting a wall like a pro.

We recently posted our insights on how to choose the right brush for your paint project. In that blog post, we discussed various scenarios that call for specific brush shapes and sizes, but the overall takeaway was this: Buy the most expensive brush you can afford.

Why should you buy the most expensive paint brush you can afford? Because the technology is in the bristles: The better your paint brush, the better your paint job. Plus, a high-quality paintbrush will last for years IF you clean that paintbrush properly after each use. So, how do you do that?

How to Clean Latex Paint from a Paintbrush

Latex paint is the most widely used paint for walls and trim in homes, so that’s the type of paint we’ll talk about cleaning from your paintbrush.

When you’re done painting with latex paint, here’s what NOT to do: Don’t use vinegar, don’t soak the paint brush in a cleaning solution, don’t use a wire brush to scrub the bristles, and don’t use sprays or chemicals to clean it. Cleaning latex paint from your brush properly is much simpler than that.

All you need to clean latex paint from your brush is warm, running water. That’s right: Latex paint is water-soluble and will clean up using nothing but warm water. No soaps, no chemicals – just clean, warm, running water.

Here’s how: With the handle of the paint brush pointed toward your body and the bristles pointed away, run the bristles under warm water and gently massage the paint out of them with your fingers. Keep the paintbrush angled downward so that the bristles are lower than the handle and water flows from the handle end down through the bristles.

Be patient, as there can be a lot of paint on the brush. When you think you’ve gotten all of the paint out of the brush, turn the brush over and repeat the process on the other side–working any remaining paint out of the bristles with your fingers in a gentle manner. The key is to be patient and gentle with the paint brush.

Final Steps for Pro Paintbrush Care

Once all of the paint is out of your brush, it’s time to dry it like a pro:

  1. Dab it. To dry your paint brush, dab both sides of the bristles lightly on a clean cloth several times. Then, reform the bristles into their original position, and lay the brush flat to dry.
  2. Roll it. If there’s still a lot of water in the bristles, you can speed the drying process by rolling the handle of the brush between your hands so that the brush spins quickly and centrifugal force causes the water droplets to leave the bristles. After spinning the brush, reform the bristles into their original position—the way the brush looked when you took it out of its packaging—and lay the brush flat to dry.
  3. Cover it. When you purchase your high-quality paint brush, save the cardboard cover that comes with it. Why should you save it? Because it’s the ideal storage mechanism for your brush. Once your brush is completely dry, simply re-insert it into the cardboard cover, and your brush is ready for your next painting project!

Our No. 1 Paint Brush Care Tip

The number one, most important tip Freeland Painting can share about paintbrush care is this: Never let paint dry on your paintbrush.

It’s simple: Avoid letting paint dry on your bristles so that cleaning the paintbrush will be much easier and more successful.

That means you should always wash your brush immediately after you’re done with your paint job, while the paint is still wet. No procrastinating!

If you need help finishing your DIY paint project, call the expert painters at Freeland Painting. We’ll happily provide you with a free estimate on your home, commercial, or multi-family painting project.

Contact us today at 678.679.3126 to schedule a free estimate!

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