Tricks of the Trade

Cleaning latex paint off brushes

We were talking to a painter the other day and he said that you can use household ammonia to clean latex paint off of paint brushes.  We had never heard this before, so we decided to give it a try and guess what:  it works beautifully!  Here’s what you do.

1. Submerge the brush’s bristles and heel (the part that binds the bristles together) in household ammonia overnight.  Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area!  Even though household ammonia is a solution of ammonia and water, the fumes can be intense and toxic.  You can find ammonia in the cleaning isle of your supermarket.

2. Use a wire brush or paint brush cleaning comb to gently brush out the ammonia and old paint from the bristles.  You can repeat the process a few times on really stubborn brushes.

 It’s that easy!  Especially during this hot weather, latex paint wants to dry on brushes and it can be a real pain to clean later.  This trick is helpful during these hot-weather months to extend the life of your brushes.

Speaking of brushes and other sundry, there’s a quick way to charge for extra materials on a specific job:

  1. Select the client.
  2. Select the job.
  3. Select “Materials Summary”.
  4. Click/tap the button labeled “Edit Material Settings”.
  5. Fill in a dollar amount or add a percentage of the labor to cover these expenses as extra materials.

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