HOW TO CLEAN PAINT BRUSHES?

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Having a fresh and clean paintbrush is the best start you can have to creating beautiful artwork. As the saying goes; “A good tool improves the way you work. A great tool improves the way you think.” A clean paint brush enables you to translate your ideas and thoughts into an exquisite art piece. Owning good quality painting supplies is necessary to be able to create great art. This includes having paint brushes that are in proper shape and form. That is only possible if you keep them clean. In contrast, a dirty paint brush can hinder your true artistic potential.

You pick up your favorite paint brush and it looks like a sticky colorful mess. There is dried paint smudged all over your paint brush and you can’t use it. Yes, you may have stumbled at the very first step, but don’t worry not everything’s lost. We all learn from our mistakes and you can start by learning how to take care of your paint brushes. In that regard, we can guide you towards some helpful techniques that you can use to clean, maintain and store your paint brushes.

If you need help with regards to selecting and buying best paint brushes, read our guide.

Why cleaning paint brushes is so important?

After an exhausting day of painting, many of us slack when it comes to cleaning paint brushes after using them. But it’s important that we clean them timely, so they can last long and you don’t have to bid farewell to your favorite set of paint brushes. Cleaning  gets difficult as the time progresses, so it’s our advice to clean your brushes before the paint dries. As paint dries, it forms a thick layer around the brush. It severely affects the ferrule and bristles of your paint brush. Bristles get hardened, lose their shape and eventually break. Whereas ferrule gets damaged as well, rendering the paint brush unusable. This means that you would have to replace your paint brushes often. Therefore cleaning your paint brush should be the the first post-painting ritual. Below we provide you a simple step-by-step guide that you can use to clean your paint brushes.

Cleaning Paint brushes

cleaning paint brush

Follow these steps carefully to clean paint brush: 

  1. You can by brushing off excess paint from your paint brush by striking your brush against a clean paper towel or a rag till the paint stops coming off.

     

  2. Add some solvent in a glass jar or tupperware. There are different kinds of solvents available from dish washing soap to specialized paint brush cleaners.

     

  3. Dip your paint brush into the solvent and twist and swirl your brush until the paint comes off.

     

  4. After you take out your brush from solvent, rinse it with water so that excess solvent washes away.

     

  5. Now roll your paint brush bristles with a clean paper towel or rag to dry off water.

     

  6. Let your paint brush rest on a flat surface as it dries. 

Maintaining Paint brushes

Simply cleaning your paint brushes isn’t enough. Despite following a proper cleaning routine for your brushes, you may still run into broken bristles or swollen ferrules. Paint brushes require routinely maintenance to be in the best shape and form. There are few practices that you can do to maintain your paint brushes. Following tips can help you keep your paint brush in perfect shape:

  1. Always gently reshape bristles after washing them and let them dry on a clean paper towel. This helps in keeping the bristles in shape, otherwise they would break
  2. If your bristles are broken, you can reshape them by wetting them and wrapping a piece of paper around them using tape. Let it sit for few hours before you take off the tape.
  3. Don’t let your paint brush sit in water for too long. It will cause ferrule to loosen up and bristles may fall out. 
  4. Using the tip of bristles to paint can help you avoid getting paint on ferrule. This would prevent you from having to wash the ferrule unnecessarily which might cause damage to it.

Storing Paint brushes

Proper storage of paint brushes is equally important to increase their longevity. It depends on whether you intend to keep your paint brushes in the workplace or whether you want to transport it. If you intend to keep them at the workplace, you can just simply let it lay horizontally on a clean surface till next use. However you can also buy paint brush holders or bags. Mostly they are sold together with the set of paint brushes, but if you dont have it, you can buy them separately. They are specially equipped to maintain your brush. Having a paint brush bag is a must, if you have to transport your brushes.

We hope that our tips can help you extend the life of your favorite paint brushes and you can use them for many more paintings to come. 

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