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How to clean a paint roller

Want to know how to clean a paint roller so you can use it again? If you are into DIYing, you know that a fresh coat of paint will instantly update your home. Investing in quality painting equipment will help you achieve the best results. However, buying a good paint roller can be costly. And you don’t want that perfect roller to go to waste after only one painting job.

Savvy DIYers will wash the paint rollers to reuse them again and again for the following projects. A good roller can last for about five paint jobs, so be sure to get the most of your painting equipment and save money. Cleaning your painting equipment is straightforward, so don’t throw the dirty rollers away. This post reveals the step-by-step process of cleaning a paint roller. Once you go through it, you will save lots of money on new rollers.

How to clean a paint roller

Reusing your paint roller is a smart decision. You won’t need to throw away the good roller that you have paid good money for. Besides saving some bucks, reusing the equipment is also environmentally friendly. And let’s not forget that you won’t need a trip to the store for your next painting project. Cleaning the paint roller is pretty simple, and you can do it in no time. In addition, we explain the detailed process and provide some helpful tips and tricks for you. 

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1. Scrape off and save excess paint with a painter’s tool

The paint roller’s specially designed material will absorb a large amount of paint for easy application. Therefore, you need to remove the excess before you start cleaning. This step allows easy washing but also saves the extra paint for future use ( a bonus if you’ve purchased one of the best paints since you’ll save money, too!). Use the curved end of a putty knife to scrape the excess paint back into the can. Push the paint in a downward motion over the can opening and let it drip inside. 

2. Roll extra paint off on a scrap piece of cardboard

While the previous step has removed so much paint from the roller, there are still residues left. Remove the leftovers by working the roller over a piece of cardboard until the thick fabric stops releasing paint. 

3. Remove the roller cover from the roller frame

It is better to use rubber gloves to protect your hands for this step. Remove the cover of the roller carefully and prepare it for the next step. 

4. Submerge the roller cover in a bucket of dish soap and water and scrub it

Dissolve a few drops of dish soap in a bucket with water. Submerge the cover so that it is fully coated with soapy water, allowing it to penetrate deep into the fabric. Work the paint out by massaging the cover all over the surface. 

5. Rinse it off in the sink and lay it to dry

Rinse the roller cover thoroughly to remove any residues of soap and paint. Hold it under running water in the sink for a couple of minutes. When the water runs clear, shake off the excess. Position the cover upright and allow it to air dry. Never let it dry flat, as this will flatten the dense fibers. 

6. Wash off the roller frame.

Make sure to clean the roller frame straightaway before the paint dries to avoid making the process more difficult. Add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket with warm water and submerge the roller frame. Give it a nice scrubbing with a cleaning brush to remove all the paint residues and ensure it is spotless. 

Also, don’t forget to clean your paint tray to reuse it the next time. You have two options available, depending on when you will use it again. If you don’t use it soon, you can leave the paint to dry. Then, you can scrape the excess paint with your putty knife. However, it is easier to wash the tray just like you did with the rest of your equipment. Prepare a bucket with water and a few drops of dish soap. Rinse and brush the tray to remove the paint residues altogether. Rinse and let it air dry. 

Tip: Since cleaning the tray can be a daunting task, you can cover it with plastic wrap before you begin painting. The paint residues will remain over the plastic wrap, and all you need to do is remove it and toss it. 

Note: Don’t dispose of the dirty water in the storm drain. Dispose of the dirty water with plant residues in a drain intended for water treatment. 

How to clean a paint roller with oil-based paint

Soapy water will work perfectly fine for latex paint. However, things can get more complicated when you use oil paint. The process is similar, but the difference is that you need to use a solvent to remove the paint. Before you get started, it is essential to remove as much residue paint as you can. Always make sure to use gloves and eye protection when working with mineral solvents. 

How often to clean your paint roller

It would be best to clean the paint roller every time it is used. When you are finished with your painting session, the roller should be washed. 

However, you don’t have to clean it if you use the roller pretty soon. If you will have a break from painting but want to continue, it is better to close the roller tightly in a plastic bag. The simple step will prevent the paint from drying, so you can get back to business the next day. You can place every piece of your painting equipment in a garbage bag and secure it tightly to prevent the paint from drying. If your paint job is delayed for a couple of days, you can place everything in the fridge to prevent the paint from drying. 

Using high-quality tools is essential for any painting job. This step will make a huge difference in how the paint is applied. A good paint roller will create an even finish and last for longer. If you are looking forward to a professional painting job, the right equipment is the key. When you know how to clean your paint roller properly, you can reuse it again and again. 

How many times can you reuse a paint roller?

If you buy a high-quality roller, you will be able to use it five times. After that, the fibers will start to shed, affecting the quality of your painting job. A paint roller is worn out when you will notice dots from the previous paint. This will create an uneven finish, so it is better to use a new paint roller. 

When you want to buy a new paint roller, you don’t need to throw the whole one. You can slide off the roller cover and replace it with a new one. If properly cleaned, the roller frame will be as good as new. With this simple step, you will save money, so be sure to invest in a good quality frame to be able to reuse it. 

When it comes to painting trays, you can reuse them many times. It is crucial to clean them well before your next paint job. We have already explained the detailed process of cleaning your paint tray and keeping it spotless, so be sure to follow the instructions.