My wife and I (and friends! thanks to everyone who pitched in!) painted our whole house and learned to treat our brushes with respect so we weren’t constantly wasting money on new brushes and rollers. We learned from experience and fellow diyers.

For the first project we bought a set of cheap brushes. We battled with lost bristles caught in our paint, uneven bristles and improper cleaning with left for hardened unusable brushes. Since then we’ve invested in a purdy – the best on the market and lasts forever with proper care – here’s how:

1. Don’t dip the brush all the way into your paint can, just dip an inch or so, less paint on the brush means less clean-up in the end.
2. Don’t wait to clean your brush, the sooner you clean it, the better. Rinse latex paint under warm running water and use paint thinner for oil based paints. If you plan on just taking a break and using your brush again soon, wet a paper towel and wrap it around your brush, then either wrap in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag. This should keep it moist again to use within a few hours.
3. Come out the brush to get any loose bits of paint out and then hang dry – that’s what that handy hole is for. Hanging it on the end will protect the bristles.
4. Hold onto the Purdy (or whatever brand you use) cover that the brush came with. Perfect for storing without worring about damaging the bristles.

Rollers are a bit tougher. We used one roller for each color used – we used a lot of mocha paint, so we just staved a roller by wrapping it in a wet paper towel and wrapping it in a plastic bag – we used the same roller for a few days this way. This cut down on the number of rollers we used over all.

Another quick tip for easy cleanup – take a hammer and nail and punch a hole in the groove on the top of the paint can, this way the excess paint will drip back into the can and not pool up in the rim. Makes it much neater and easier to open the next time you want to use that paint.

Got any tips on how to clean and reuse rollers?