How to clean paint brushes

Janine
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How to clean paint brushes

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Project Overview

Knowing how to clean your paint brushes keeps them in good condition so they are ready to go next time you need them. We’ll show you some quick and easy tips to clean brushes after using any kind of paint.

Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to Paint

Step by Step Instructions

1 How to remove acrylic paint from your brush
2 How to clean acrylic paint off a roller
3 How to clean oil-based paint off your brush
4 How to clean dried paint off your brush
5 How to store your clean paint brushes
  • Step 1. How to remove acrylic paint from your brush

    Put some water in a bucket and soak your brush in it for a few minutes. Then stir the in brush in the water and wipe it against the side of the bucket several times. Repeat this until your brush is clean.
  • Step 2. How to clean acrylic paint off a roller

    Attach the roller cleaner to the garden hose and insert the roller into the tube. Hold the roller tube over a bucket, to stop paint going into the ground, and turn on the hose. When the water starts running clear, your roller is clean. Take it out of the roller cleaner, then remove the roller from its frame and stand it on its end to dry. If you lie it down it will crush the fibres and create an uneven roll the next time you use it.

  • Step 3. How to clean oil-based paint off your brush

    Before cleaning oil-based paint off your brush, put on your dust mask and safety glasses, to protect you from the fumes. Pour some turpentine into a bucket and soak your brush in it for several minutes. Swirl the brush around and wipe it against the side of the bucket until it’s clean. Then wipe it dry on a rag. 

  • Step 4. How to clean dried paint off your brush

    Removing water-based paint from your brush is easy if you do it right after you finish painting. Otherwise to remove dried paint from a brush, whether its enamel, lacquer, oil or water-based, use paintbrush restorer. Put on your gloves, safety glasses and dust mask, then pour the paint brush restorer into a metal bucket. Soak your brush in it, until it looks clean. Then use a wire brush to remove any excess dried paint. 

  • Step 5. How to store your clean paint brushes

    If you have the original packaging, it’s a good idea to put the brush back in it before storing it away. You can also or store it in a jar, with the brush end facing out and handle-side down. Or hang it on a hook to keep the fibres straight.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Bucket
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Hose
  • Jar
  • Paint brushes
  • Safety glasses

Materials

  • Paintbrush restorer
  • Rag
  • Turpentine
  • Water
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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