Paint rollers are convenient for achieving a smooth, even coat of paint on walls, furniture, and other surfaces. However, cleaning them can be a hassle, especially when the paint has dried and hardened onto the roller.
While many people resort to using harsh chemicals like paint thinner to remove the dried paint, these substances can be dangerous and unpleasant to work with.
But fear not because there are several methods for cleaning dried paint rollers without using paint thinner.
Plenty of DIYers simply throw paint rollers away when they’re done. Certainly, a good way to clean up. If you plan to paint multiple rooms or pieces, the cost of purchasing a new roller per project can quickly add up.
The better paint finish you get from higher-quality paint roller covers will also cost a little more, and you’ll want to reuse them to get the most out of your purchase.
The cleaning steps for paint rollers can be simple if you follow the guidelines for the different types of paint. So, you can save money and your tools, we’ll take a closer look at how you can clean a paint roller, frame, and paint tray.
Determine The Kind Of Paint That You Want To Remove
To determine whether the paint on the roller is oil-based or water-based, we must first determine its base type.
Most of the time, you can refer to the paint packaging, but sometimes you don’t even know what paint was used, so what can you do?
If you don’t need an old towel, you can use an old cloth and soak it in some methylated spirits. Afterwards, wipe it over the paint roller to remove the dried paint.
The color of the fabric will determine the type of paint. If it is stained, it will be water-based; if it isn’t stained, it will be oil-based.
Most dried paint rollers have water-based paint called latex since dry paint rollers are commonly used for painting walls.
How To Clean Oil-Based Paint Off A Paint Roller?
To clean oil-based paint rollers, a solvent like mineral spirits must be used to remove it.
Clean the Roller Frame and Paint Tray
The roller frame and paint tray should be cleaned with a damp rag dampened with mineral spirits. To remove dry paint, use a stiff-bristled brush or pour mineral spirits into the paint tray.
Use Solvent to Clean the Roller
Ensure mineral spirits completely cover the paint roller in a bucket. The amount of solvent required can be reduced by using a small container.
Work the solvent through the fibers with your hands when using rubber gloves to paint the roller. It will take 5-10 minutes to do this.
You can squeeze off as many mineral spirits as possible from the roller by removing them from the solvent with your gloved hands.
Dispose of the mineral spirits after they have become soiled. A clean rag will help you get rid of the grime from the bucket. The roller needs to be rinsed with enough mineral spirits.
Remove excess solvent by gently squeezing the roller after it has been rinsed. Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water. Finalize the cleaning of the paint roller with a soapy solution.
Ensure you rinse all the excess water with fresh water and gently squeeze to remove the excess moisture. If you want to dry your roller air, set it on its end or hang it on a hook.
Place the disposable container in the last batch of mineral spirits. If you are disposing of a container in your municipality, follow their instructions.
Warning: Use rubber gloves and eye protection when using solvents to prevent skin irritations.
How To Clean Latex Or Water-Based Paint Off A Paint Roller?
It is always a good idea to remove as much excess paint from latex paint rollers as possible.
Remove Excess Paint
The sponge-like fibers of paint rollers hold an incredible quantity of paint. Using a putty knife, gently scrape the excess paint back into the paint can.
Working downward with a roller, hold it perpendicular to the can opening and gently roll it across the surface.
Finish off by touching up any bare spots on the wall with the remaining paint on the roller or rolling the excess paint on newspapers until the roller stops releasing paint.
Remove The Roller To Clean The Frame
Make sure you wear rubber gloves when retrieving the roller from the frame. The frame is much easier to clean when the paint is still wet.
Put a bucket of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in it. Get rid of the paint from the roller handle and frame with an old rag or stiff-bristled brush. You can then set it aside to air-dry.
Wash the Roller
Dip the roller in a bucket of warm water containing some dishwashing liquid and some dishwashing liquid. Make sure all roller surfaces are clean, using your hands to massage the paint.
Rinse the Roller
If you want to rinse the roller, use a fresh bucket of water or a stream of fresh water. It may take some time to complete this. Get rid of the excess water by shaking it off.
Dry the Roller
You should not dry your roller on its side; doing so will flatten the fibres. If you want to dry it upright, place it over a pants hanger or place it upright on its end.
Clean the Paint Tray
Using a bucket of soapy water, wash out the paint tray. Using a stiff-bristled brush, remove any dried paint along the edges.
If you aren’t in a rush, let the paint dry and peel it away when using a plastic tray or plastic tray liner. There can be a wide range of results from using this method.
Dispose of the Cleaning Water
Stormwater drains are not meant for dumping cleaning water since they contain paint bits. Ensure that the water is discharged into a sewer drain connected to a water treatment center.
How Often to Clean a Paint Roller?
Painting sessions should end with a clean paint roller. When the paint is wet, cleanup is much simpler and easier. It is also necessary to clean the roller frame and paint tray.
Take a short break during painting by placing the roller in a large plastic bag and tying the handle closed. Place the paint tray in a separate bag and secure it tightly. If you do this, you will prevent the paint from drying until you return to your work.
To clean dried paint rollers, they must be soaked in a solution that dissolves the paint. In case the paint is water-based, soak the roller in a mixture of water and soap for a couple of hours.
Paints that are oil-based must be dissolved in mineral spirits or paint strippers. When the paint is just starting to dry, you may be able to scrub it off. If it has been drying for more than a couple of hours, it might be better to replace that roller.