Taking proper care of your paint brushes goes a long way in keeping them in stellar condition and extending their lifespan. This applies to any kind of paint brush used on any medium and with any kind of paint.
A thoroughly cleaned brush will not get stiff and loose bristles nor get all wonky and warped. Instead, it is sure to give you better quality results for whatever it is you are painting.
So, no matter how tempting it may be, you simply can’t leave your brushes lying around soaked in drying paint, or pass off a quick rinse as a proper cleaning- especially if you’re painting with oil paints, as they take a long time to dry.
I will teach you how to clean oil paint brushes in these simple and easy steps, so you can start taking better care of your brushes!
A few tips…
Regardless of the paint you are using, it is important to clean your brushes immediately after using them.
Cleaning agents more often than not have chemicals that damage the glue binding the paintbrush together. If your brush is dry, paint will be harder to remove, hence you will need more cleaning agent, and you’ll soon see your brush is falling apart (not to mention the bristles going stiff and askew).
Also, these cleaning agents may also be harmful not just to your brushes, but to you as well. When working with strong substances like paint thinners, take ample precaution from toxic fumes and spillages.
Ready to start cleaning those brushes? Here are the things you will need:
- Rags, scratch paper, and/or tissue napkins
- Paint thinner
- Mild dish soap
For a faster and smoother workflow, make sure that you have all these things ready before you begin. Cleaning the brush takes just a bit of time, but running back and forth and all around is what will take forever.
Once you have all your materials ready, just follow these simple instructions on how to clean your oil paint brush:
- Wipe off excess paint
Using an old rag, or a piece of paper or tissue, wipe off all the excess paint on the brush.
- Dip the brush in paint thinner
Only pour enough thinner in your cleaning cup to cover the bristles part of your paint brush.
- Wash with dish soap
Using mild dish soap and water, make sure to remove any remaining clogs of paint sticking on the bristles.
- Rinse thoroughly
Rinse the brush with running water until all the paint and soap are washed off.
- Wipe and pat dry
You can either use a new piece of paper or tissue, or find a clean and dry area on the rag you used earlier, as long as you gently pat dry the brush.
- Store the brush upright
Finally, for properly shaped bristles and long lasting brushes, store your paint brushes upright with the bristles at the top.
Remember, a clean brush is a happy brush!