Your paint job is done, but that’s not the end of it. It’s time to wash up and put everything back where it belongs. Here’s what you should do.

(image: CertaPro)


Clean paint brushes, rollers, paint trays, scrapers and all the tools you’ve used, to prevent paint from drying permanently on them. Use warm, soapy water to remove latex paint. For oil-based paint, soak tools in mineral spirit or paint thinner, then wash with soap and water.

Do not pour the thinner down the drain – follow the manufacturer’s instructions on proper disposal. After cleaning, shake excess water from your brush and squeeze moisture out of your roller. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before storing to prevent rust. 


Store them properly for future touch-ups. Wipe the outside edge and interior rim of the paint can clean. Reseal the lid with a rubber mallet. Here’s a space-saving tip: If you have less than a litre of paint left, transfer it to a clean glass container. Label each container with the date and which room it was used for. Store in a dry, cool location. 


Fold the edges of drop cloths, plastic sheets, or newspapers used to cover and protect the floor and furniture towards the middle to avoid small paint drips and spills. 
Let the paint dry before removing any masking or painter’s tape around window.


Don’t fret if you have some drips and smudges which have already dried out. Use a soft cloth dampened with mild detergent and warm water to remove latex paint. For oil-based paint,use a cloth and paint thinner to soften and removedried spills. For stubborn paint drips on hardwood, ceramic or vinyl flooring, wrap a cloth around a putty knife and gently scrape them off – this way, you won’t scratch your flooring. 


To help retain the shape of brushes, wrap each in wax paper and tie with a rubber band. But don’t leave the tapes on for too long, because some of the paint might come off when the tapes are removed. Gently peel the tape off – never rip it off quickly – to get clean, straight edges.