How to Keep Paint Brushes and Rollers from Drying Out

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Keep paint brushes and rollers from drying out so you can get more use out of them. (Photo: @billyves12 via Twenty20)
Whether you’re a professional or DIY painter, it’s smart to maximize the use of your roller or brush. Part of saving money (and the environment) involves knowing how to keep paint rollers and brushes from drying out. If your roller or brush dries with paint on it, it will no longer be able to apply a smooth coat of paint on your wall. So, to complete the project, a painter would either have to accept a substandard paint job with a dried-out roller or brush or buy a new one.
Read on to learn about two ways to keep paint brushes and rollers from drying out.

Keeping Paint Brushes and Rollers from Drying During Painting

Step 1: Get a thick coat of paint onto the brush or roller. For very short breaks while painting (up to five minutes), this is often enough to prevent the paint roller or brush from drying out.
For breaks that are a little longer, such as between coats, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Cover the roller or brush in plastic wrap. Bear in mind that this can be messy, so you may wish to wear gloves.
Wind the plastic wrap around the brush or the roll portion of the roller a couple of times, and then tear the plastic wrap off.
Step 3: Temporarily store the roller or brush. Place the wrapped roller or brush on a tarp or other protected surface while you wait for the paint to dry, take lunch, or focus on trim work.

Keeping Paint Brushes and Rollers from Drying After Painting

Step 1: Coat the roller or brush generously in paint. Before storing your roller or brush overnight or for a longer period of time, you must get a thick coat of paint on it that will not dry easily.
Step 2: Tear off about two feet of 12-inch-wide, thick aluminum foil. Place the foil on a tarp or other protected surface.
Next, place the paint-laden roller or brush on top of the foil, using a diagonal cant if necessary.
Step 3: Wrap the foil around the brush or the spongy portion of the roller. Wrap the foil over the entire surface and press down the edges to prevent air from getting inside.
Store the roller until its next use.
While these methods are simple, they are effective. Aluminum foil is used for longer-term storage because it retains a better seal to keep moisture in and air out. Some people also suggest placing your roller or brush in the refrigerator for overnight storage. Taking extra care to keep a paint roller or brush from drying out will result in lower costs for materials and a better look to your paint job.