How to Clean a Paint Roller to Make It Look Brand New

If your paint roller sticks have ever looked like they've seen better days, this step-by-step tutorial on how to clean them is for you. I recently faced the same dilemma and wondered… where have I seen a really good paint removal process before?

I decided to borrow a trick from the beauty salons to revive and clean a paint roller stick. With just a few simple materials like foil, acetone, and cotton balls, you can make your old paint roller sticks look brand new.

Follow along as I guide you through the best way to clean a paint roller stick

Tools and materials

  • Old paint paint roller stick
  • Foil
  • Acetone
  • Cotton balls
Paint sticks with dried paint
Soaking cotton balls in acetone

Step 1: Soak cotton balls in acetone

Take a handful of cotton balls and soak them in acetone. Make sure they are well-saturated but not dripping excessively.

Covering the paint roller with acetone-soaked cotton balls

Step 2: Cover the paint roller

Wrap each paint stick with the acetone-soaked cotton balls. Ensure that the cotton balls completely cover the painted surface of the sticks. This step is crucial as it allows the acetone to penetrate the old paint and soften it.

Wrapping the paint roller stick in foil

Step 3: Wrap in foil

Individually wrap each paint roller stick covered in acetone-soaked cotton balls with a sheet of foil. The foil will help to retain heat and prevent the acetone from evaporating too quickly.

Paint roller stick covered in foil

Step 4: Let them sit

Place the foil-wrapped paint roller sticks in a safe and well-ventilated area, allowing them to sit for about 15 minutes. This waiting period gives the acetone enough time to work its magic and soften the old paint.

Step 5: Remove the foil

After 15 minutes have passed, carefully unwrap the foil from each paint roller stick. Be cautious, as the foil and paint may be a bit messy at this point.

Scrubbing the paint off

Step 6: Scrub off the paint

With the softened paint, you can now start scrubbing it off the paint roller sticks. You can use a cloth, a scrubbing pad, or an old toothbrush to gently remove the paint. Be patient and thorough,as it may take some effort to get all the paint off.

Rinsed paint rollers

Step 7: Clean and rinse

Once you've removed most of the paint, clean the paint roller sticks thoroughly with warm, soapy water to remove any remaining acetone residue. Rinse well to ensure they are clean and acetone-free.

Step 8: Dry and inspect

Allow the paint roller sticks to air dry completely. Once dry, inspect them closely to ensure all the paint has been successfully removed. If there are any stubborn spots, you can repeat the process as needed.

Your painting tools should now look refreshed and ready for use. This process may be a bit messy, but the satisfaction of seeing your roller sticks transformed is worth it.

How to clean a paint roller

This is a cost-effective DIY approach to cleaning your paint roller sticks. Let me know what you think in the comments! Also please share with us if you have an easy way to clean paint rollers and sticks.

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