Cleaning Up Latex Paint

There’s always that problem of not quite knowing what to do when you’ve finished painting, particularly with latex. What should I do with my brush? Put it in the sink? Let it dry? Or simply be lazy and throw it in the bin and buy another next time?

Most people go with the latter, and they needn’t. Latex paint is relatively straight forward to clean-up and will save you having to run out to the shops for a new roller or brush every time you need to do a paint job.

Although you can make it a lot more difficult for yourself. The golden rule of cleaning latex paint is don’t let it dry.

Despite being a water soluble paint, it is notoriously difficult to clean up once dry. An acetone based product, available from most DIY stores will help, but save yourself some strenuous scrubbing and start your latex paint clean-up process immediately.

With latex paint being fine to go down the sink, you can run your brushes and equipment under the tap. It is important however to remove as much paint as possible from your equipment before you being to clean-up. Using a paint solvent to enhance the cleaning, you can work the substance into the bristles of your brush and repeat until the paint has disappeared.

Of course some people don’t wish to run paint under their sink, particularly in the kitchen. Outdoor cleaning is fine and probably saves you from flicking paint across your worktops. Making sure you find a suitable spot to tidy, away from any edible plants and plenty of distance from a natural water source, you can simply repeat the process mentioned previously and leave your equipment to dry out in the sunshine.

But if all that seems too much work, make sure the paint is dry before it sees the dustbin

However, if you’re anything like me, then the clean-up process doesn’t end there. Not only will there be paint drops speckled all over the face and work clothes, but on the carpets and windows as well. But panic over, there’s a technique to remove all latex paint stains, and it’s pretty simple too.

Surfaces such as glass and tile can be gently scraped off with a razor blade or sharp object, whilst removing the stain from a carpet takes a few more steps.

It’s important to treat a stain as soon as possible if you splash any on the carpet. After scraping or sponging down the spill, dry-cleaning products will help remove any marks and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with a dry spotter.

As the pad picks up stains, keep changing it and keep it moist with the dry spotter. If any stain remains, add some dry-cleaning fluent to the material to loosen the stain, and repeat the process.

And voila, your partner will be none the wiser.

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