How to clean paint brushes – remove even dried on oil or water-based paints from brushes and rollers

Learn how to clean paint brushes to make them last longer, and to prevent your shed and garden storage getting paint all over it... Sure, removing either fresh or dried on paint off of your best paint brushes and rollers might not be the most fun task, but the results are rewarding and it will save you some cash on buy replacement tools too... Read on to find out how to get every last bit of gunk off your brushes.

How to clean water-based paint off brushes

In the middle of a painting project and want to keep your brushes fresh overnight? Simply wrap the head of your paintbrushes and roller in cling film or secure in an airtight plastic bag. Seal around the handle with masking tape and store in a dry place for up to two days – Dulux

How to clean oil-based paint off brushes

Can you save a dried paint brush?

Thankfully, yes. So don't go throwing away pricey DIY or arts paint brushes just yet. If you've been using latex paint you shouldn't need to resort to such harsh cleaning agents as the acrylic paints will soften in warm water and dish soap.

How to clean paint brushes – remove even dried on oil or water-based paints from brushes and rollers

Prepare a soapy water mixture in a clean container and suspend the brush in it, submerging the bristles. Work the bristles and then suspend again and let it soak for a half hour or so. Use a stiff brush to rub along the lines of the bristles to remove the softened paint and rinse until the water runs clear. Repeat if necessary.

For stubborn dried on paint that is water-based you may have to resort to a paint thinner, followed by the warm soapy water method and it may take a couple of goes.Be sure to take precautionary measures when using paint cleaners as the fumes and vapor are flammable. Soak the bristles directly in a small can of thinner, keeping it out of reach of children, and covering the can as your paint brush soaks. Do this in a well ventilated area for about thirty minutes or until you see the paint settle.

Top tip: Keep the can of paint thinner to use on any future paint brush cleaning!

How to store clean paint brushes mid-DIY

We've seen all sorts of tips for storing paint brushes, from wrapping them in cling film (not very eco-friendly) to submerging them in solvent (works only if you're pausing a DIY job for a couple of days). The method we swear by is simply wrapping your paint brushes in old newspaper once they are completely dry, and securing with rubber bands. Now they're ready to be stored in your shed.

Our favorite liquid soap to useOur favorite liquid soap to use

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap Original Scent, 19.4 oz, 573ml

Works a treat, every time!

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