The Dollar Diva


My ‘messy little secret’!

I do a LOT of painting.   And I mean a whole lot of painting!  Picking paint brush hairs out of my painted items is one of my biggest annoyances.  But I can’t stand FOAM brushes.  They just don’t last, and they don’t give good coverage.  The only thing I use foam brushes for is applying stain.

We live waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the country, and aren’t connected to the city water system.  We have running water, of course, but our water comes from a well with an electronic pump that sends water to a storage tank from which the water goes to the pipes for the house.  It’s not a highly productive well, so we have to be EXTREMELY frugal in our water usage and not waste a drop!

One way I conserve water is to NOT clean my paint brushes and rollers.  Seriously!

And this is how I store my used brushes and rollers; the ones I use for painting BIG items.

I have three gallon bags filled with my used brushes and rollers, one of each for each color of paint.  First I tightly wrap the brush or roller in a plastic sandwich bag, then I put several of those in a gallon zip lock bag; and store those out in the work shop next to my paint cans!

It’s great because if I ever need just a tiny ‘touch up’ of paint, I can just grab a roller or brush and use what’s on it.  No, they DON’T dry out.  Not if you wrap them well enough.  The only real problem I’ve run into is that when the roller (I use small sponge rollers exclusively) has been used for a while, the sponge tends to stretch out a little at the hole where you insert the handle.  And if you TIP your roller the wrong way, your sponge will fall right off the handle.  I’ve quite easily trained myself to just NOT tip the roller that way!

Eventually the foam roller WILL start to break down and shed little bits of foam as you paint.  Time to toss the roller and get out a new one.  I save the handles in case I can find ‘just the foam roller’ refills.

Here’s what I typically buy; a two pack from the dollar store.  More expensive ones from the paint or hardware store are NOT any better, nor do they last longer.

Recently found this ‘variety’ pack at DT.  Two different sizes of rollers and three foam brushes.  Now the foam brushes are a different story for me, and ARE pretty much a ‘disposable’ item after one use.  I’ve TRIED to save and re-use them, but the foam always CRACKS where it’s connected to the handle and leaves marks on my painted surface.  So, as I already mentioned, I only use them for applying liquid stain.

And instead of pouring my paint into a roller tray (and WASTING a lot in the process!)  I pour my quarts of paint into reusable lunch meat containers so I can dip my roller directly into the container.  For gallons of paint, I just dip the roller right into the can!

Some may criticize for eventually throwing away my brushes and rollers instead of cleaning them.  But really, they last LONGER than if I did clean them with water after every use; and eventually EVERYTHING has to be tossed out or recycled anyhow right?  Why not employ a method that wastes less water in the process?  The plastic roller handles can go in the recycle bin.

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One Response to 'My ‘messy little secret’!'

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  1. I agree with not wasting water and cleaning brushes. I tend to put mine in the freezer after I place it in a bag but will have to try your method as I can then use my brushes sooner! thanks!


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