Painting techniques: Keep paint brushes and equipment as good as new
You don't need expensive tools to do a professional job, but you do need to look after them. Be prepped and ready for your next job with our handy equipment maintainence tips.
Cleaning a spray gun
Flush a spray gun out with water or solvent as soon as you have finished using it, squirting the waste into a container.
When the flushing liquid comes through clear, remove the nozzle from the gun and leave it to soak in clean water or solvent to get rid of any remaining paint.
When you take a break during painting, wrap your paintbrush tightly in either kitchen foil or cling film so air cannot get to it. The brush will then be ready for use later—or even the next day.
Keep a loaded roller without it drying out by sliding a plastic bag over the sleeve; exclude as much air as possible before securing the neck with a wire tie.
Don’t leave brushes soaking in white spirit unless you intend to use them again within a day or so.
The way to prevent the bristles becoming bent and out of shape in the jar is to suspend the brush from a length of stiff wire or thin dowel, passed through a hole drilled just above the brush ferrule.
Keep bristles shapely
Wrap polythene around the bristles of cleaned brushes, secured with rubber bands, and hang them from hooks or nails.
Next time you need to use them, your brushes will be clean and, most importantly, the bristles won’t be misshapen.
Read more painting techniques: A simple guide to painting perfectly
Wrap up a roller
Make sure a roller sleeve is completely dry before storing it. Then wrap it in paper or polythene and tie up the ends to keep it clean.
Read more painting techniques: Choosing primers and other sealers
Give an old brush new life
Before reusing a poorly stored brush, flick the bristles against your hand to remove any dust or hardened bits of paint.
Try removing any remaining paint with an old comb. Then restore life to the bristles by soaking the brush in a solution of water and hair conditioner, or a proprietary brush restorer.
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