Cleaning Up

Cleaning Up


To avoid cleaning out brushes and rollers in the middle of a job using alkyd paints, wrap them in aluminum foil (to prevent the solvent from evaporating) overnight.

When you've finished painting

  • Brushes should be stored flat or on their handles. Standing them on their ends will bend the bristles and spoil them.
  • To reseal a can of paint so that it is airtight, wipe the rim of the can clean, replace the lid, place a block of wood over the top and tap it down with a hammer. Then quickly invert the securely lidded can to form an airtight seal which will help prevent skinning.

Handling paint and chemicals

  • Only buy as much paint as you need for the job in hand. If you do need to store it, out of the reach of children.
  • Don't throw away your white spirit after use. Allow it to stand and the sediment will fall to the bottom. Then pour off the clean spirit and re-use it.
  • Don't pour paint or white spirit down the drain as the chemicals they contain can disperse and contaminate the water supply.

Health and Safety

  • Even though paint products are safe and easy to use these days, many contain chemicals that can be harmful if incorrectly used. A few simple precautions will ensure that good results are obtained safely.
  • Always read the label and instructions for the use of paints, thinners and other decorating materials before you begin work.
  • Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin and always wear suitable eye protection when decorating.
  • Avoid the inhalation of dust. Wear a suitable face mask if dry sanding.
  • When applying solvent-based paints you should use them in well ventilated areas. Ensure maximum ventilation during both application and drying. Do not use on large surface areas inside such as walls and ceilings (always use Water-Based paints for this), or in confined spaces.
  • Special precautions should be taken during surface preparation of pre-1960s paint surfaces over wood and metal as they may contain harmful lead.