by Jeremiah Seip | ALLIED /  

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations.
-- Richard Feynman


(See also: 

How to get all paint out of the food-chain, right now:


and or drop me a line.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


BASIC (Long-Term) Kit: 

Basic D.I.Y. Paint Waste Water Roller Kit (An 18 inch 'Roller Can', a 'Spin Shield', a standard spinner, a large funnel, and a 'Puller')
(Described left to right)  A  toggle-bolt 'puller' (for removing roller sleeves; see Puller, lower right and left, this page), a large funnel, a paint spinner, a  2" x 22" abs pipe 'roller can' (for storing 18" rollers, wet) and a DIY sono-tube 'spin-shield' (for catching 18" spin-out).
Plus [pictured lower on the page, and in the links]: A wired 'brush can' for hanging brushes (pictured lower left); Two empty 5 gallon pails (standard pails one for spinning out rollers, with the shield -- without having to run outside or clean a sink -- and one to hold 6 or 8 roller cans); And, last but not least: A dozen (or two dozen, etc) extra large dollar-store aluminum roasting pansfor evaporating the wastewater. (SEE 'WASHING-UP... WASTEWATER' on the lower middle of the page.) [Just let the water evaporate and the coatings air-cure for safe, non-toxic disposal.]

(btw: You can attempt to reuse the trays by spraying on tons of non-stick cooking spray --- before the first coat of wastewater / cured film. (So you can attempt to peel them out down the road.) Or you can just throw them out when, after a couple of years, they get about 30% - 40% coated with cured paint. (Again, see 'Washing-Up...' lower middle.)

NOTE: Plan on 2 to 3 dozen trays and 4 to 6 pails for every busy dedicated 1 to 3 man production crew. (B.t.w.: Once you get a disciplined handle on it, you'll be surprised how little water is actually required to clean your brushes, rollers, and sprayer(s).)

[WARNING! See paint fumes, lower right, this page.]

'SPIN SHIELD': The trick to working with 18" roller sleeves (now an integral part of most journeyman painter tool-sets) and one of the tricks to making 'wet storage' easy, is an adequate 'spin shield'. (You want enough height so you can spin-out into a standard 5 gallon pail --- in a finished room --- with no splatter.) Pictured above: approximately 18 inches of sono-tube, with a simple leg of pine attached (to raise the top 12" or so above the top of a standard pail.)..

FUNNEL: (1) PRO TIP: Placing a large funnel [as pictured above] on top of the 'roller-cans' to catch and drain some of the roller's waste-water back into the can (first thing) before you spin it out, ensures there will still be enough water in the can when you're done. 

(2) IMPORTANT FUNNEL TIP: Make sure your funnel's tapered nozzle fits nicely (snug) inside the roller itself -- i.e. it's taper is large enough, and it's slant shallow enough, that it forms a temporary seal with the roller's edge. Because you want to be able to use the funnel to push the roller in, and catch / re-drain the surge of the can when you're done. (It takes an empty -- scraped-out -- roller about 3 minutes to fully soak, i.e. wick itself fully wet; hence the water in a full can is initially displaced -- i.e. it surges out the top -- and, more water needs to be added to the can, once the nap is finished wicking. But with a properly fit funnel nozzle, the water surge floods into the funnel, and gets sucked back into the nap, on it's own, while you work on something else.) [See wet roller storage, upper right]

Paint roller can (pipe) toggle bolt puller. Roller Sleeve PULLER
 Inside a standard 2" abs pipe can. (Description: middle right, this page)

(and to the lower left)


Storing Rollers in reusable 'cans':  
(pictured upper and lower left)

[NOTE: 90% of the time 'Siran'/plastic-wrap' will provide enough of an air barrier to keep roller-sleeves at the ready, but when there's substantial down-time (between units, or phases...) It's hard to beat a good DIY 'roller can' for saving time and keeping your nap in perfect, like new condition; (***See Footnote Re: 10mm nap.) i.e. capped ABS drain / vent (plumbing) pipe* 3" to 6" longer than the roller sleeve (6" for an 18" production sleeve) allows bottom clearance for the puller [lower left], the settled solids, and some top clearance for water surge. (FYI: When a dry roller is canned, it takes the air about a minute to bubble out of the nap; and an 18" sleeve displaces about 4 inches of water.)

[*use 2" pipe for 10mm nap (and under) and fatter pipe for fatter naps.]

CAN CAPS: (1) Bottom Caps: Sturdy plumber's clean-out caps (black rubber with a threaded clamp -- covered in white paint in the upper left photo) are a great choice for bottom caps. (They never leak, and can be easily removed when and if a sleeve gets inadvertently shoved to the bottom...) 

[TIP: Apply a little vasoline, no-stick cooking spray, or vegetable oil to your caps to keep them from getting permanently stuck-on.]

(2) Top Caps: Fast 'n' cheap poly-vinyl pressure test caps are a good choice for top caps (pictured upper left in blue)

[TIP: (Because pressure test caps are inherently air-tight there's a little trick to putting them on efficiently:) Carefully stick a narrow tool up the edge of the top cap when you slam it on to allow the air pressure to escape the can / pipe (i.e. a flat screw driver, a hook blade tool, and a painter's 5-in-1, all do the trick.).. ]

'PULLER' -- [pictured lower left, just inside the edge of a standard 2 inch abs roller can] 
A properly sized toggle-bolt head on a 30" length of threaded brass rod; takes just 15 seconds to make at the hardware store, and is a perfect fit for any standard sized roller.  PRO TIP: IF YOU'RE A PRO, be sure to buy a small bulk-pack (of 12 or more) to keep spare toggle-heads on hand. (They last a long time, but over time, the paint film builds, the spring looses it's spring, and they start to gum-up and rust...)

STUBBORN CAN TIP: From time to time you'll run into a roller that's really stuck --- the paint partially dries, and the roller's edge gets stuck to the inside of the pipe (from the cap having been left off, and the water level too low.).. No problem: First, put the puller in place; Then (instead of trying to pull it free) break the bond by pushing it downward -- with the can on a good solid floor; If need be, just use a little 1"x2" (spf strapping) off-cut as a punch (carefully set square and flush), and whack it with a hammer to shear it free. [ ps: If the edge of the nap is crusty, just cut it off square (VERY VERY carefully) with a sharp blade on a [powered] mitre saw.** Then soft bevel the edge (of the nap) with some sharp scissors. [**WARNING: plastic tubing -- like roller sleeves -- can be surprisingly vicious and wreak havoc on a careless [power] saw operator. (Cut really, really slowly; Keep your hands well clear, and use next to no downward pressure; i.e. give the blade plenty of time to chew it's way through.)]



My Ugliest (super fast & super cheap) BRUSH CAN, with one lonely brush.

BRUSH CAN TIP: When you're storing multiple brushes, products and / or colours, long-term (long weekends, project delays, etc) hanging your brushes usually beats plastic siran wrap (and washing-up) in terms of productivity; i.e. the
solids soften and settle to the bottom,
And you can easily fit a half-dozen brushes in a single can and seperate them from one another with a tiny wrap of siran wrap if you like... And, with enough w
ater and bottom clearance, the brushes are cleaner and straighter when you come back to them... ALSO: Washing brushes on-site, in tupperware -- rather than a customers sink -- is easy, efficient and effective enough to be readily adoptable as standard practice by all but the laziest of half-assed painters..

When you're storing multiple brushes, products or colours long-term (long weekends, project delays, etc), hanging your brushes (wet, with bottom clearance) usually beats plastic siran-wrap (for keeping brushes top-notch) and washing-up (for saving time).

Sashes are kept straight, and semi-cured paint solids soften-up (and settle to the bottom -- so cleaning is faster when you're ready to go).  

[ note: High quality nylon bristles will keep their form for years; needing only an occasional trim (of warped bristles), and very basic maintenance (of wooden handles and steel ferrules); the'll pay for themselves over and over and over.  


 I personally used (and recommended) 2 old laundry sinks [from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store]; One set ten inches higher (its legs are elevated on 4 paint cans, to make working brushes clean, on the sink's bottom, easier on the back), and the other at normal height, with a spin-shield, for spinning-out. Both sinks drip straight into extra-large aluminum roasting pans which are/were shelved for drying
once they're half to two-thirds full.


DRYING TIP: Spraying the inside of the pans with a thick layer of non-stick cooking spray allows the cured paint/coatings to be peeled out down the road.



Be smart & work safe. (Create a sealed and conditioned work space --- which vents directly outdoors. Use a good mask with frequently changed, and properly fit, activated carbon filters.) Monitor humidity levels, and guard against mold and bacterial growth. Error on the side of caution. And support high-performance low-VOC products.

WASHING FOR INEXPERIENCED DIYers: Use just enough water to saturate the tool and work/dissolve the coating. Work it  in thoroughly (putting some elbow grease into it). Then, spin it out into a shield, pail, or what have you.
For decent roller sleeves a spinner is a must. (It'll pay for itself over and over and over, and, if 
it's oiled every now and then, it'll
 last a lifetime..) But for spinning brushes, just dry the handle and use your palms (rolling it back-and-forth to generate a fast back-and-forth spin; boyscout fire-starter style.) Repeat until it's free of paint and ready for re-use; Typically 5 reps (saturation, elbow grease, spin-out --- give or take) gets the job done.  

When you're finished with your project (and want to store your tools long-term), use a little detergent soap and warm to hot water for the final clean. (Separate the soapy water from the rest of the waste-water so it doesn't ruin the cure of the treated paint solids.)

***RE 10mm Sleeve-Nap: I know that brand new 15mm nap back-rolls to a nice smooth finish, but for high quality work, personally, (all things considered) I generally use and recommend premium 10mm nap (e.g. Wooster 'Pro-Doozie') for walls. (For higher quality, better control, and much, much longer working life of the sleeve...) If you're married to you're 15mm nap you might want to shop around for a slightly looser fitting 2" pipe**. (i.e. Because 10mm's just fit in standard 2" ABS...  [And -- when if you have a chance -- let me know what you settle on. I'll post a link to it here.)]

** And if you come across or jerry-rig a reasonable pipe-reeming tool / method, godspeed and god bless. Send me a link.    

(Thanks for your interest.)

Copyright Jeremiah Seip (llc) 2007-2014.ALLIED / | Guelph, On. Ca.