Save Money and The Environment
Cleaning your latex paint brush with soap and water is a very easy and green thing to do. Just keep the water running until it’s clean and rinsed. Your five year old can do it. I do not even use soap.
Now think about cleaning an expensive brush that has been used in an oil enamel paint. You have to clean it with mineral spirits “Paint Thinner” as it is sold now. Mineral spirits isn’t cheap. It will sometimes cost up to $5.00 just to clean it once. If you do this everyday for a week it can get costly. Some people will just soak them overnight in paint thinner to save money and time. This technique works but the next day it is over loaded with excess spirits. You can spin it out, but that leaves a mess and still doesn’t get it all out. As you start to paint, especially crown molding, it will continue to run down your brush and arms. Its a mess.
If you continue to clean your brushes you will an access of ”used spirits”. This used stuff can be save for a little bit to continue to help clean brushes or put through your airless. Your used mineral spirits has to be disposed properly according to Local and State laws. In Florida professionals have to store in 55 gallon drums and pay $150 to dispose. A local homeowner can drop off at the local recycle facility. Twice a year most communities have a hazardous waste drop off so you can dispose of it there.
Here’s my advice and how I do it.
Get that nice brush that you need for that professional job that you are going to do. Everyday when you finish, wrap it up in foil or plastic and put it in the freezer. The fridge just doesn’t work. The oil will not freeze or harden. Now this works on a regular basis but remember you cannot leave it in there forever. Now if I’m doing a two week to a month long project, I figured I got my money’s worth and will just dispose of the brush and not have to clean it. If its in good condition and didn’t feel like I got good value out of it, then I will clean it. Sometimes if you just rinse the brush twice in paint thinner you can then store it in the freezer and hope it makes it to the next job.
I can do a full paint job and only paint thinner that I use will be a cup full for thinning and or cleaning up.
So its a win win. Save money on paint thinners and Save time by not having to clean brushes and Save the Environmentby not using or disposing of Mineral Spirits.
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