It is of course possible to buy paint brushes and rollers that are cheap enough to be thrown away after a single use, but we believe that professional decorators prefer to use top-quality equipment that guarantees a first-class finish to the paint job. When you have invested in professional brushes and rollers, it is worth taking a little trouble to prepare and care for them properly. Follow our top professionals' secrets to ensure a beautiful finish to every paint job.
How to Break in a New Paintbrush
Brush the bristles back and forth against your hand to loosen them. Slap the brush on a hard surface and then spin it around by the handle to ensure that any loose bristles are freed. Dip the brush into your paint and then paint an X shape on some sheets of newspaper, going over it until all the paint on the brush is used. Examine the brush and cut off any misshaped bristles. The best quality natural bristle brushes may then be conditioned by soaking in linseed oil for a few hours. Remove excess oil with kitchen paper before use.
How to Store Paintbrushes
If you are taking a short break from painting, leave your brush with its bristles in the paint. Ideally, use a special paint bucket with magnetic sides to which you can clamp the metal part of the brush, so that one-third of the depth of the bristles is immersed in paint. Alternatively, wrap the bristles in Clingfilm. To store brushes overnight, suspend them in a jar half-filled with solvent using a binder clip or masking tape. When the job is finished, clean thoroughly and store carefully following the instructions below.
How to Prepare a New Roller Cover
The best roller covers or sleeves are made from a wool and synthetic mix. Ragged edges may leave bumps and streaks in the paint finish, so trim carefully with small scissors. Remove any fuzz and loose hairs with a self-adhesive lint remover. When painting, use a 5-litre bucket with a bucket screen hung over the edge. It holds more paint than a roller tray, is safer and easier to carry around, and can simply be covered up with a damp cloth when you take a break from painting.
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