How to clean paint rollers

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Painting your home yourself is definitely the cheapest option – and the most covid-friendly in the current climate. However, you’ll still need to purchase some high-quality tools, including paint rollers. You don’t need to buy the most expensive roller you can find, but a better quality roller will give a smoother finish because they’re less likely to splatter. Buy with the intention of using them over and over. explains how to clean paint rollers.

How to clean paint rollers

First things first, put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves.

No one wants paint stains on their hands, so this step is essential.

You’ll also need to protect your eyes with some plastic goggles or work-glasses.

Make sure they are tight to your face to keep chemicals from getting in your eyes.

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Lay some old newspaper sheets on the floor to avoid any spillage.

If you don’t have newspapers but have paint trays, clean the rollers over the trays.

Alternatively, do this over a space that can be easily cleaned or that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Once you’ve prepared the area, it’s time to get cleaning.

Taking the roller apart allows you to clean the roller cover and its cage separately.

This can be tricky on some rollers, and you may need to unscrew the roller from its cage.

If you don’t have time to clean your rollers right now but are finished painting, store them in a sealed-off place such as the fridge.

If you want to clean your rollers straight away, follow the rest of the steps.

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Latex-based paint

If you used latex-based paint, you have a few options when it comes to removing it from the roller.

Keep painting on any areas that aren’t totally painted – this will get rid of as much paint as you can.

Then, start scraping off any excess dry paint from the roller using a scraper or putty knife.

Fill two large rectangular containers with warm water and add some washing up liquid to one of them.

Rinse the roller cover with warm water and then dip it in the water and washing-up liquid container.

Use your hands to rub the paint off. Once you’ve done this, get rid of the dirty water and refill the containers.

Repeat the steps with the roller cage, then place the parts in the container of clear water to get rid of any soap or paint.

Use a clean towel to dry the roller cover and let the cage dry.

Oil-based paint

If you paint with oil-based paint, roll-off as much of it as you can onto an area that hasn’t been painted properly.

Take a putty knife and scrape off any dry paint left over.

You’ll need a paint remover to get this paint off the roller, and the paint label should tell you which is the best solvent for the paint you’ve used.

It could be acetone, paint thinner, or a mineral spirit, for example.

Pour the remover into two separate trays, and fill another with warm water.

Make sure you pour enough to fully submerge the paint roller parts.

Soak the roller cover in the first paint remover tray for about five minutes, swishing it from side to side.

Then put it in the second one for another three or four minutes.

Rinse the roller in the warm water and use paper towels to dry it.

Repeat these steps for the cage.

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