The Secret To Keeping A Paint Roller From Drying Out Overnight Is A Simple Household Staple

As you are doing a paint job, you may need to stop in the middle for a variety of reasons. You'd hate to throw away the roller when you are only halfway through, especially if you selected a specialized roller for your painting project that may have cost a bit more money. And if you have to stop suddenly, you may not have time to properly clean the roller and tray for future use. The good news is you don't have to toss it or clean it, because you can use it again the next day by just tightly wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in a cool place.

It's not necessary to take the roller off the handle, but the process of wrapping it up tightly often is easier if you do. You can be more certain that the plastic is covering the roller's entire nap when it's removed from the handle. You may want to also use painter's tape to secure the plastic, but plastic wrap usually sticks to itself, so this is another step that isn't always necessary.

If you end up taking a long time to restart the project, this should allow you to reuse the roller for up to a week. However, for the best results, you should attempt to restart the project within 24 hours. You cannot keep the paint roller like this indefinitely, as it will eventually become too hard or too sticky to use efficiently to paint.

Keeping a roller from drying out when taking a break

If you are in the middle of painting and you need to take a break for a few minutes, you want to make sure the roller doesn't dry up and the paint in the tray doesn't begin to set. Make sure the roller is wet before you cover it in plastic wrap, as described above. The same method can be applied to using a paint brush. Additionally, pour a little extra paint from the can into the tray, as the deeper level of liquid should prevent it from drying out. If you are working outside, move all your tools into the shade, so the sun doesn't affect them.

If the break will be shorter — closer to 20 or 30 minutes — you may want to use a sheet of plastic wrap to place over the top of the roller and tray. This prevents dust and other particles from falling into the paint, which could cause a problem later. Another option is to take a small garbage bag and place all your wet items into it, which keeps air from reaching them and causing them to dry out, even during a short lull in your DIY job. You could also place all the items underneath the tarp or drop cloth, too.

Additional options for keeping a paint roller moist

If you don't have plastic wrap available, there are a few other hacks you can try to keep the roller viable when you need to come back to the painting project the next day. Some people will make use of aluminum foil to wrap the wet paint roller. Be sure you tear off a large enough sheet of foil to cover the entire nap. Because the aluminum foil does not stick to itself like the plastic wrap, you will want to secure it with tape. 

Another option is to use plastic wrap from a loaf of bread. Place the wet roller into the bag, squeeze out the excess air, and use a twist-tie to secure the bag. If you have a Ziplock bag that's large enough to handle the size of the wet paint roller, you can use that as well. Another option is to use the plastic wrapping that came with the roller in the first place — just slide it back into the wrapping and secure it with tape.

When you store the wet roller this way, understand that it will be messy both to cover it and to remove it from the plastic before placing it back on the handle. You probably will want to wear gloves when handling it, or you will end up with a lot of paint on your hands.