Just like any other tool in your toolbox, painting tools need at least some care and maintenance so you get several uses out of them. We’ve already discussed how to properly store leftover paint for later use (and how to tell if they’ve gone bad). Now, here’s how to properly care for paint brushes and rollers so you can reach for them again…and again and again.

Clean After Every Use

Doing a poor job of washing your paint tools—or worse, not washing them at all—is a sure-fire way of making them unusable for your next project. Hardened and dried paint on your tools will definitely affect the quality of your paint job as well.

Here’s a quick guide on how to clean brushes and rollers:

  • First, remove as much paint left on your tools as you can. Gently scrape, press, or squeeze to remove the excess. Roll or brush off whatever remains on scrap cardboard or newspaper.
  • The next step is to check the paint label. It should say what solvent you should use to clean your tools as this will vary depending on the type of paint. Examples of these are water and soap, paint thinner, lacquer thinner, epoxy reducer, and others.
  • Clean your tools in the appropriate solvent as thoroughly as you can making sure to get anything stuck in between bristles or in the nap.
  • Once your tool is sufficiently clean and paint-free, shake off or squeeze the excess solvent and leave to dry.

Caring for Your Paint Tools So They Last Longer | MyBoysen

Store Properly, Trim When Necessary

Do not leave your brush standing on its bristles! This will leave them bent and deformed. It’s best to store your paint tools by hanging them to protect the brush bristles and roller nap. You can also keep them upright but on their handles.

Now, let’s say you’ve gotten several good uses out of your brushes and rollers already. They may look a little tired and used, but that’s okay. See if they need a trim to freshen them up a bit.

For rollers, this may mean taking a pair of scissors and trimming out the edges where you see dried beads of paint. Just make sure you don’t overdo it so the nap stays a relatively even length. For brushes, use a nail clip to cut off stray bristles that are sticking out.

Choose Quality Brushes and Rollers

Here’s a fact: low-quality paint tools just don’t last very long. Sure, you can still care for them, but your efforts will go much farther if you had better tools to begin with.

Picking high-quality tools over cheaper but poorly made ones is just a wiser move. First, they perform better. Good rollers and brushes are a lot less likely to leave behind fibers and bristles on your painted surface. They’re also able to hold a good amount of paint, lessening the chances of marks and streaks.

Second, as mentioned, high-quality tools last longer. They can be reused over and over again unlike low-quality brushes and rollers that easily break. They’re an investment you want to make especially if you see yourself doing more home painting in the future.

It can be a little difficult to get started on something new, especially if it requires technical know-how to pull off successfully. If you have further questions on painting tools or just paint in general, the Boysen Technical Service Department will be happy to help. Send an email to ask@myboysen.com or call (02) 8363-9738 local 413 to 418 during office hours for a one-on-one consultation.


Jill is a writer on a continuous journey to learn about paint and share them with you, the reader. She has an interest in the technical side of things but also thoroughly enjoys playing with colors. She likes calm greens, quiet blues, and mellow yellows best.

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