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How to clean painting equipment

Painting is one of those do-it-yourself activities that you can engage in with little training. All you do is decide on the color you want to, for instance, paint your house, arm yourself with the required paint brushes and rollers, get a small ladder to help you reach the higher recesses of the room you are painting and you are ready to roll in no time. However, there is one step that most amateur painters and professional ones at times neglect to do or do it poorly: cleaning painting equipment once they are done. This would be understandable if you are using disposable painting equipment, something that is readily available nowadays. For conventional painting tools, cleaning is one aspect that must be taken seriously as it can render and expensive tool unusable after being used just a few times. One of the primary reasons and benefits of cleaning is to lead to the longevity of your tools.

The first rule when it comes cleaning painting equipment is to do the cleaning as quickly as possible after you are done with the painting. At this time, the paint will still be fresh on the brushes, paint trays, movable sprayers, paint mixers, paint scrapers and any other tools that you used.  This is the best time to clean the tools and will require less effort and comparatively less expense. If you do choose to delay the cleaning, you will quickly realize that would have been a routine cleaning job becomes an onerous task. Paint hardens quickly and if not cleaned in good time would, for instance, cause the paint brush bristles to break off during cleaning.

The solvent that you will use for cleaning painting equipment will depend on the type of paint you used. Water paints can be cleaned off with ordinary tap water and should be quite easy to clean. Oil based paints on the other hand will require an oil paint solvent such as turpentine or paint thinner. When removing oil paint, wet a piece of cloth with the turpentine or thinner then gently wipe off the paint from the tool. In the absence of a cloth, you can use old pieces of newspaper. One you have cleaned the painting tools with turpentine but need to go a step further to make the tools sparkling clean, you can pour a small amount of detergent into a container with water and do a final clean.

Sometimes small pieces of paint will get trapped deep between the brush bristles. A surface clean might not succeed in completely removing them. This is where a paintbrush comb would come in handy. It functions just the same an ordinary hair comb works on hair. Insert the brush comb at the base of the brittles and move it slide it forward towards the ends of the brush bristles. A single swipe will not suffice and you might have to do this several times if you are to achieve the best results.

After cleaning painting equipment, gently tilt the container and pour out the cleaning solvent. The goal is to ensure that the residue from the cleaning is separated from the cleaning solvents. You can then dispose of the solvents and the residue separately as is appropriate for each type of waste.