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Specialists in Professional Decorative Finishes

How to Keep Paint Brushes and Rollers From Drying Out

Wrap your paintbrush or roller in aluminium foil to prevent drying out overnight or cover it in plastic wrap for a shorter period of time.

Whether you’re a DIY or professional painter, it’s smart to maximize the use of your roller or brush. Part of saving money (and the environment) means know how to keep a paint roller from drying out. If your roller dries with paint on it, the roller will no longer be capable of putting a smooth coat of paint on your wall. So, to complete the job, a painter would either have to accept a substandard paint job with a dried-out roller or paint brush or buy a new one.

In Method 1, we look at how to keep a paint roller from drying out while actively painting, such as in short breaks where you may focus on detail or trim work before returning to your roller. Method 2 covers how to prevent your roller from drying out during longer breaks, such as overnight.

Method 1 of 2: During painting

Step 1: Get a thick coat of paint onto the roller. For very short breaks while painting (up to 5 minutes), this is often enough to prevent the paint roller from drying out.
For breaks that are a little longer, such as between coats, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Cover the roller in plastic wrap. Bear in mind that this can be messy, so you may wish to wear gloves.
Take the plastic wrap around the roll portion of the roller a couple of times, and tear the plastic wrap off.
Step 3: Temporarily store the roller. Place the wrapped roller on a tarp or other protected surface while you wait for paint to dry, take lunch, or focus on trim work.

Method 2 of 2: After painting

Step 1: Coat the roller generously in paint. Before storing your roller overnight or for a longer period of time, you must get a thick coating of paint on it that will not inadvertently dry easily.
Step 2: Tear off about two feet of 12 inch wide, thick aluminium foil. Place the foil on a tarp or other protected surface.
Then, place the paint-laden roller on top of the foil, using a diagonal cant if necessary.
Step 3: Wrap the foil around spongy portion of the roller. Wrap the foil over the entire surface of the rolling part of the roller, and press down the edges to prevent air from getting inside.

Store the roller until its next use.

While these methods are simple and much the same, often the simplest route of achieving a goal is the most effective. The reason to use aluminium foil for longer storage is that it retains a better seal to keep moisture in and air out. Some people also suggest placing your roller in the refrigerator for overnight storage, although this may not be an acceptable step for others in your household. Whether you opt to cool your paint roller off or not, taking the extra care to keep a paint roller from drying out will result in lower cost for materials and a better look to your paint job.

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