It's my first time using paint rollers, and I have a problem. How do I store a paint roller cover for 2 hours so that I can use it for a second coat?

  • 2
    Please stick to one question per post.
    – AndyT
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 15:39
  • 1
    I strongly encourage you to hit "edited X hours ago" to see your original post, and cut-and-paste your second question into a new question. The proper use of a roller tray is very important. Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 0:11
  • Indeed, the general community approach to this sort of thing is to await the original poster actually asking the second question separately before "helpfully deleting it" in the multi-question post. Doing so in a hurry is likely to be perceived as being needlessly harsh on the original poster and may discourage them from ever bothering to ask the second question separately.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 0:22

4 Answers 4


Wrap the roller in aluminium foil. Or in cling film. I've stored rollers this way for 2 weeks, though you do risk it getting a bit dry and crusty at the edges for that sort of longer period. For 2 hours you'll be fine.

The point of wrapping it is to stop air getting to (or getting away from) the paint that's on the roller. Solvent paint (i.e. most paint) dries by evaporating the solvent into the air - if there's no air it can't easily evaporate.

(If you're in the US, feel free to use aluminum foil or saran wrap instead...)

  • Okay I will do that now. I take it I wrap it without cleaning it, with paint still on it?
    – Altoban
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:06
  • @Altoban - Yes. If you clean it there's no point wrapping it. The whole point of wrapping it is to leave the paint on the roller, without allowing air to get to the roller, and hence stopping the paint from drying on the roller.
    – AndyT
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:25
  • Use the cling wrap, if the paint is still on it, foil allows air into the covering.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:55
  • make sure to never let the roller sit in the base of the pan, soaking in extra paint, ever. this will avoid the heavy roller syndrome you mention. You can also store the roller, wrapped, in a bag in the fridge
    – noybman
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 20:37
  • @noybman - What is the relevance of that to my answer? It sounds like a complete answer on its own, rather than responding to any point within my answer. Consider writing it as an answer, as it certainly has no place as a comment here!
    – AndyT
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 9:17

I simply load the roller (to keep it moist), lay it in my tray, along with the brush, and wrap it with a kitchen trash bag. Squeeze most of the air out.

This works well for 24-48 hours. Longer than that and you'll start to get drying on the edges of the roller and the brush. Tools should be cleaned for longer storage.


I have stored rollers for many days by taking a shop towel or paper towel and getting it wet, i ring it out so it is damp and not dripping. I then spread it out flat, take the roller and place it on the edge of the towel and roll the roller so that the towel rolls up around it. I then roll that up in plastic or place in a Ziploc type bag. The damp towel allows it to keep longer than in just plastic alone.

I did pick up some wet roller zip type storage bags at a locally owned hardware store in the paint section that worked great, they are exactly the right size for a roller. I still use the damp towel for long term and to avoid the mess of fitting the roller into the narrow zipper opening. I do not know the brand name.


For latex paint (you fail to specify, but it's what's common) the supposedly quick & easy option is to wrap in plastic wrap, then seal in a bag, then put in the freezer.

I don't actually bother with that, as the standard cleanup is hardly any more difficult and does not involve finding freezer space for a non-food item. Wash the roller and pan with a hose until it seems basically clear, then wash with soap and warm water, then rinse throughly, and finally let dry (clean off all paint residue.) 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 years, this method works...

Oil-type-paints are more of a pain due to the solvent not being water.

Your second question should be a second question (i.e. delete from this one and ask it separately) but probably has most to do with "dipping paint roller in bucket of primer" rather than using a proper roller tray. Inexperienced painters often think they are saving time and trouble by painting right out of a can, rather than using a roller tray. This could not be further from the truth. The small loss of paint in cleaning the roller tray is trivial, and results are much improved when the roller is properly loaded. When dipping it in a bucket, you overload the roller, at least on the side you dip; if you dip the whole thing you also get paint where it should not be in the roller bearings & interior, and overload the whole thing. Too much paint on a roller causes it to slide like a wheel in mud, rather than rolling.

  • I don't know how you achieve it, but my rollers are never dry in two hours. I'd need a second roller if I wanted to put the second coat on and tried your method!
    – AndyT
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 15:42
  • They can be damp (not sodden) without it being a problem. indeed, some folks prefer to load a roller or brush with solvent (water in most cases these days) and then get most of it back out (via slinging, spinning, and rolling or brushing onto absorbent paper) before loading with paint at the start of a job.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 15:48
  • 2
    The standard cleanup is much more difficult (or rather time consuming) than simply putting the roller cover in a zip top bag. In fact, it's usually much easier to just throw the roller cover away when I'm done with that color than try to clean it.
    – mmathis
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 15:52
  • I don't have a tray, it's a small job and didn't want to buy a ton of stuff. Maybe I should use a brush then? For roller what house item can I use temporarily instead of a tray? Can I use aluminum foil for example? I tried cleaning the roller cover by soaking it in soap water mixed with paint thinner.will the primer I put on wall cause me problems?
    – Altoban
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:04
  • this! best answer
    – noybman
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 20:38

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