After the brush is clean, dry it off with a clean rag, then add a few drops of boiled linseed oil to the bristles, this will keep your brush soft and ready to use for your next painting project. If you plan to be painting again soon, you can store brushes for a limited time between uses in plastic bags closed tight at the handles with rubber bands and stored in your freezer.
When cleaning up after a paint job it is important to remember:
For latex paints, use warm water.
For alkyd or oil based paints, use solvent or paint thinner.
Here are some more tips for cleaning your paintbrushes:
Soak the brush immediately, following the recommendations on the container (water for latex, and solvent or paint thinner for alkyd).
Wash in warm, soapy water.
Rinse in clean water.
Gently pull the bristles back into shape.
If you want to remove excess water from your brush once it is clean, try holding the handle between the palms and spinning the brush in an empty paint container.
Hang the brush up to dry.
Reshape the brush by replacing it in its packaging.
Store the dry brush in a sealed plastic bag in a dry place.
For cleaning rollers try the following:
Scrape excess paint out of the roller.
For rollers that have been in oil based paint, put the brush inside an empty quarter milk carton. Add solvent, crimp the top of the carton around the handle and gently shake the carton and brush.
For rollers that have been in latex paint, essentially follow the steps for brushes.
To remove excess water after washing, squeeze the roller with your hands. Alternatively, use a brush-and-roller spinner.
For storing paint try the following:
Follow the instructions on labels.
Check that the containers are tightly sealed.
Store paint in containers that are almost full.
Don't store paint near sources of heat or ignition.
Don't store or reuse empty paint containers.
Make sure you seal the lid tightly. To do this you want to hammer the lid down with a mallet. Hammer all the way around the lid not just one side or in the center.
With the lid on securely and one hand on the lid, turn the can of paint upside down for just a second or two, then turn the can right side up again. This will coat the entire inside top surface of the can with a thin film that will help seal the lid.
Either use up as much of your paint as possible or store it in smaller containers for touch-up jobs. If you have a lot of paint left over you may want to consider donating it to a community group.
Reuse your paint thinners, turpentine, mineral spirits, solvents, etc., that have been used for cleaning tools. If the used liquid sits in a closed container, the paint particles will settle; you can then pour off and save the clear liquid.
If you have any residue remaining add an absorbent such as cat litter it, and dispose of it through a disposal program. You can call your local government for guidance about household hazardous waste disposal programs in your area.
We hope these tips about brushes will help you keep your brushes in tiptop shape.