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!

DIY Paint Tips: 9 Tips to Paint Walls Like a Pro

A fresh coat of professionally applied paint is one of the fastest, most effective ways to upgrade any space. In hours, the walls of a room can go from stale and scuffed to cheerful and refreshed. There are few more gratifying home improvement projects than painting a room!

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer who wants to learn professional painting tricks and tips, you’ve come to the right place! The painting experts at Freeland Painting are eager to share best practices and lessons learned over 20+ years of professional painting to give your DIY painting project the best basis for success.

If you haven’t already, read our blog posts about choosing the best paint brush for your project and how to use painters tape like a pro.

Here are 9 tips to help you paint interior walls like a pro:

1.Get a canvas tarp or two. A good painter’s tarp—or two or three, all made from canvas or other heavy cloth—is an invaluable investment to protect your floors and carpets. Because paint drips, and when that happens, you don’t want it to get on your beautiful flooring.

Freeland Painting pro tip: When you notice you’ve dripped paint onto the tarp, clean it off immediately. That way, you won’t step in the paint and track it into other rooms.

2. Protect furniture. In an ideal world, you remove all furniture from the room you want to paint. Since that’s not always possible, move furniture to the middle of the room and cover it with a thin-mill plastic to protect it from paint splatters and spills. However, please don’t use that same thin-mill plastic to cover floors because it will tear too easily when you walk on it.

3. Prep your room. Use quick-drying spackle and a utility or palate knife to fill nail holes or gauges in the wall. After it dries, sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper until smooth. Use a damp cloth to wipe the walls down from top to bottom, which will remove dust and grime that can prevent paint from adhering.

4. Apply painters tape. Use painter’s tape (read Freeland Painting’s expert tips) to protect your ceiling, baseboards, and trim.

5. Cut-in. With the right paint brush for your project, first “cut in” all the walls to be painted—which is basically the process of using your brush to outline the area with three or four inches of paint before using a roller to apply paint to wide-open sections of the wall.

6. Roll it. Now you’re ready to roll! When applying paint to walls with a roller, the first step is to spread the paint around by working the roller in a W pattern about 3 feet across. Start at the top of the wall and continue down it using the W pattern, covering the wall as far as your paint will go. When the roller starts getting dry, dip it lightly into the paint, and go back to where you began painting that section to smooth any lines or patterns out. Here’s how: Starting at the top of the wall, roll down over the still-wet paint all the way to the baseboard in one long line. Then start back up at the top, overlapping by an inch or two. This will smooth the inconsistencies of the W pattern to ensure that you don’t see any line or pattern when your paint dries.

7. Consistency and overlap. When painting with a roller, be sure to use consistent pressure, consistent speed—not too fast or paint will splatter—and mild overlapping. At the end of each “W” run, overlap wet paint with wet paint.

8. Paint from corner to corner. Never stop to take a break in the middle of painting a wall—paint all the way from corner to corner. Never stop without a wet overlap, or you’ll be able to see the lines where you stopped and restarted after the job is done.

9. Wrap brushes and rollers. When you reach a logical stopping point to break for lunch, use plastic bags or plastic wrap and a rubber band to wrap wet brushes and rollers and keep them airtight. Without exposure to air, they won’t dry out, so you’ll be able to pick up a few hours later where you left off.

Following these 9 tips will ensure that you get a high-level result from your paint project, but at Freeland Painting, we always go the extra mile to make our customers smile, so we offer one additional bonus tip:

Bonus Tip #10

10. Make it fun! One of the most valuable tools in any DIY painting project is a blue-tooth speaker so you can jam out to music and make the project go by quickly and enjoyably. It’s also fun to get the kids involved—let them try their hand on some of the easy sections they can reach with a roller to make it a family project everyone can be proud of.

Call us for a Free Estimate

If we at Freeland Painting can serve you by providing your home, business, or multi-family residence with a fresh interior or exterior coat of paint–or a new roof, siding, or gutters – call us today at 678.679.3126 to schedule your free estimate. We brush up on the details every day!