How to clean your paint brushes in an eco-friendly way

Once you've finished painting, it's important to give your paint brushes and rollers a good clean.

As a professional painter, you will no doubt have developed your own routine for doing this; however, this routine may not be as eco-friendly as it could be.

Here are a few tips to help you reduce your impact on the environment.

Make sure you squeeze all of the left-over paint on your brushes and rollers onto disposable materials, such as old rags or pieces of cardboard.

When the paint has dried, you can throw these away with the rest of your rubbish.

This will help prevent more paint than necessary from going down the drain.

Instead of washing your paint brushes and rollers under a running tap, do so in a bucket. If you're using waterborne paints, you use clear water or add a little regular dishwashing liquid or soap to clean your equipment.

Once you have washed them, transfer them to another bucket filled with clean water and rinse them again.

Don't throw out the water in either bucket immediately – wait until the morning. By this time, the paint will have settled to the bottom, and you will be able to separate it from and reuse the water in the bucket.

If you're using solventborne paints, you will need to clean your brushes and rollers with some sort of solvent. In order to be as eco-friendly as you can, use as little solvent as possible, and make an effort to decant it so you can use it again.

This should not be poured down the sink.

Having said all of this, cleaning your paint brushes and rollers at the end of the day if you're planning on using them again the next is unnecessary.

Instead, wrap them in plastic overnight and they'll be all ready to go in the morning!

For more tips, see the Resene DIY tip sheets.

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