What's a safe (for brushes) way to save them for a day without cleaning them, when using water based (latex) paint?

I've heard:

We’re in the middle of painting the entire inside of a two-bedroom house right now, and thought we would share one of our favorite painting tricks. If you’re using latex paint, brushes and rollers can be frozen overnight, saving you the arduous task of cleaning them until you’re done with the project.

Simply put the brush or roller into a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer. When you’re ready to start painting again, all you have to do is take it out and let it thaw. We’ve successfully re-frozen and re-thawed the same brush several times, the trick is not to forget about it when it’s thawing – too long out of the freezer and the paint on it will start to dry.


2 Answers 2


I do freeze brushes and rollers, and paint pots as well. But only with 2-part epoxy or LPU paints since it slows cure. They are uncleanable; it would take more of their $30/gal solvent to clean them than the brush is worth.

Also, we have a freezer dedicated to this, the fumes are pungent. I have successfully used a sealing Rubbermaid container for that purpose.

On latex/emulsion paint, it makes less sense to me for a couple of reasons. First, the paint base is water, which not only freezes in the freezer, but expands when it does. I do not see how the paint in the brush would not be degraded. Second, cleaning up after latex is so crazy easy that I don't see it saving much time.


I haven't frozen my brushes or roller covers before so I can't speak on the effectiveness of that.

I typically wrap my brushes, roller covers and even my buckets in plastic. I have an 18" roller cover that is wrapped in plastic right now, I've been using it off and on for the last week or so. When wrapping brushes I make sure to wet the brush well and then wrap it tight, not so much that is deforms the bristles but enough to keep the air out.

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