How to Clean Paint Rollers

You’ve managed to paint a whole room, all the walls look brand new and neat, then you look down and realize you’ve yet to tackle the worst task. Well, fear not anymore as we guide you through this step by step guide on how you clean paint rollers.

Cleaning the Paint Roller-Waterbased Paint

  1. Roller sleeves retain a lot of paint especially long pile sleeves. Once you have finished your painting project remove any excess paint from the roller sleeve by scraping the flat side of a putty knife along to sleeve to pour the paint back into the can. If any of the paint has dried onto roller sleeve be careful that no dry flakes return to the can, you’ll curse yourself in the future if you do.
  2. Remove more paint by using the roller on an already recently painted wall or old piece of newspaper. We said that roller sleeves retain paint and you’ll be surprised how much.
  3. Cleaning is much easier if the paint hasn’t dried so it best to clean the frame immediately after you have finished painting. Clen the frame in a container or bucket of warm soapy water. A thin firm brush will brush away most of the paint that remains on the cage and handle. The wastewater should be disposed of correctly into water treatment drain.
  4. To clean the roller sleeve, place it into warm water. You can add a small amount of detergent. Work the paint out of the sleeve cover whilst it is submerged in the bucket of water. When it feels as though the paint has been removed rinse under a hose or tap or in a container of clean water. Remove from the water and shake any excess from the sleeve. Place in a dry area on its end side to dry

Clean Paint Roller- Oil Based Paint

  1. Step one is identical to step one above for waterbased paint
  2. Step two is identical to step two above.
  3. Using chemical resistant gloves and safety glasses, remove the roller sleeve from the frame. To clean the frame and cage use a rag with a drop of thinner to rub the paint away. Solvent advice is shown in red below.
  4. Fill a container that is large enough to hold the roller sleeve cover completely with thinner (mineral spirits). Cover the roller and with your hand(ensure that use your gloves) release as much paint from the sleeve as possible. This will need about 5-10 minutes worth of working the sleeve. To dispose of the waste thinners or solvent you can pour it into a large disposable bottle(s). Clean the container out with a used rag. With the container, clean pour some more solvent into it and rinse off the roller sleeve. Again pour this used solvent carefully into the disposable bottle. Rinse the sleeve in warm soapy water, rinse off under a tap or hose and then place to dry on its end side.
cleaning water based paint roller

Items Needed for a Clean Paint Roller

  • Paint Bucket
  • Paint roller and tray
  • Thinners-spirits
  • Safety glasses
  • Chemical resistant gloves
  • Paint Brush Comb
  • Putty knife
  • Newspapers
  • Firm Bristle Brush
  • Brush & Roller spinner

Advice: Thinners contain solvents. Always use these in well-ventilated areas with good means of natural ventilation. Ideally outside of in garages or workshops. Solvents are also flammable and will need to be kept away from naked flames or other forms of ignition. As with all chemicals please store in a suitable location well out of reach of kids and pets. Solvents should be disposed off correctly.

We hope that our guide helps you with your clean paint rollers operation after your painting project. There is also a guide for how to clean paintbrushes.