Learn how to clean paint brushes in 5 easy steps

20 January 2022

BY Rebecca Jennings

Become a pro at cleaning your paint brushes and paint rollers by following these simple tips and tricks. Before you start, you’ll need to consider whether you’ve finished with your painting project or whether you’ll be picking up your paint brush later that day or even tomorrow. If it’s the latter, you should remove the excess paint and simply wrap your paint brush and roller in cling film and seal around the handle with masking tape to keep it secure. By doing so you’ll avoid wasting time cleaning your paint brushes and waiting for them to dry before using them again.

If you have completed your painting project, it’s time to get cleaning and here’s how!

1. Consider what kind of paint you have used

The process of cleaning your brushes differs depending on what type of paint you have used. We cover how to clean both water-based paint and solvent-based paint off your brushes in this helpful guide.

2. Remove excess paint from the brush or roller

Avoid wasting paint that could be used for future projects or paint touch ups and scrape off as much paint as you can back into the tin. Run your brush along the edge of the paint tin before the paint dries on the bristles. Then, with either an old cloth or even better a painter’s comb or brush and roller comb remove the remaining paint back into the tin before moving onto the next step.

paint brush on orange background - how to clean a paint brush

3. Soak your paint brush in water or solvent cleaning solution

You’ll either need warm soapy water or a solvent-based cleaner at this stage. This depends on the type of paint you have been using.

water-based paint

Paint brushes and rollers used with water-based paint can be soaked in warm soapy water for a couple of hours. Remove the brush or roller from the water. Drain the remaining water and residue and rinse until the water runs clear.

Solvent-based paint

Solvent-based paints will need to be cleaned with a small amount of solvent-based cleaner or a white spirit in a container or jar. Move the brush around in the cleaning solution and against the inside of the container or jar to start the cleaning process, then leave to soak for two hours. Don’t pour the solvent-based cleaning solution down the drain once you’ve finished cleaning your brushes. You can pour it back into the bottle for future use and any residual paint left in the container needs to be left to dry before disposing of in the bin.

Paint brush soaking in solvent based solution

4. Dry your paint brush

Once your brushes are clean you can dry them with a clean cloth and leave them to air dry. Remember to store your paint brushes in a dry place ready for next use.

5. Step back and admire your handy work!

Now you’ve completed all the essential steps of cleaning your paint brushes, it’s time to grab yourself a well earned brew and appreciate the brilliant paint work you’ve done.

To learn more about the work we do at HMG Paints visit www.hmgpaint.com.
If you’re looking for high quality, decorative paint for an interior or exterior painting project check out our online shop.