We’ve each faced the dilemma: after a long day of painting, you realize you’ll have to return to the task at another time and aren’t sure what to do with your fully saturated paint roller cover. Since dried paint ends the life of a roller cover, you’re left either with the tedious task of cleaning the cover or throwing it away.

But maybe there’s a third way. Many painting gurus have suggested wrapping your paint roller cover in plastic and sticking it in the freezer. As the advice goes, you simply thaw the roller the next day and pick up right where you left off.

While it sounds like good advice and has been oft repeated by everyone from do-it-yourself bloggers to T.V. celebrities, freezing your roller cover is problematic for a few reasons. As painting experts, we’ve found this technique doesn’t work the way you think it might and can actually cause more problems than it’s worth.

One Small Problem

Here’s the problem: When paint freezes, the previously homogenized components separate, leaving a clear resin at the outer portion of your cover and a chunky, grainy substance at the base. This means after freezing and thawing, your roller cover doesn’t distribute paint as evenly or efficiently as a fresh cover and you’re left with a sandy, gritty mess.The finish is compromised, expensive paint doesn’t look like it should, and your time has been wasted, all because you wanted to save $10.

As we’ve found time and time again, the best solution is simply to throw away the old cover and start fresh the next time you start painting. A quality roller cover can be had for around $10 or bought in multi-packs to cut down on cost, which is a small price to pay to ensure you get the perfect finish on a project you’ve invested your time on. Quality paint is expensive, so it’s important to make sure you get the best application and finish from your roller cover.