How can I reuse or recycle water from washing out paintbrushes?

paintbrush-waterWe had a water week – a week of water themed posts – in honour of World Water Day back in March but I’ve had a run of water-related questions recently so I thought we’d have another wet week. “Water Week 2: This time it’s personal damp.”

A couple of weeks ago, Tyler asked a question on a random old post:

What should I do with the water I use to wash of my paint brushes?

It’s a good question because it uses a surprisingly large amount of water to get paintbrushes clean – and even more if you’ve been using a roller for large scale decorating.

Can anything be done with the very, very watered down paint – particularly the first rinse which is really quite paint-y?

Do you have any tips for reducing the amount of water used to clean them? I try to squeeze out as much paint as possible before washing – old newspaper works well as a wrapping material but quickly gets soaked, plastic bags is less absorbent but you’ll be able to squeeze it for longer.

(Picture by basheertome)

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3 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle water from washing out paintbrushes?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    I’m a little bit off the subject, but you can reduce the amount of water you use in between painting sessions by placing your unwashed paintbrush in a plastic bag and sealing tightly. The next day you can continue as usual.

  2. Lizzy says:

    If you had a bucket or so of pale paint water it may be good to chuck over a slightly discoloured patio? Just make sure it doesn’t run off into any beds or plants etc.

  3. If you use a milk paint with a natural pigment, I think the water is okay to throw in the compost.


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