How to clean a paint brush?
Updated: Feb 5
You might have finished your painting project and now thinking of cleaning and storing your expensive paintbrushes for future use. It doesn’t matter if oil-based or water-based paints have hardened your brush. You can restore any type of brush and bristles with a simple soaking in a brush cleaner.
Cleaning your brushes properly will help you to keep the bristles in good shape for your next project. So invest the extra 5 minutes to correctly do the job and follow our complete guide on cleaning paintbrushes.
Step By Step Guide To Clean the Paintbrushes Properly
Step 1: wipe the brush on a newspaper or paper towel. Use paint’s container edges to remove as much paint as possible, and then wipe the brush on a newspaper to remove even more pigment.
Step 2: Wash the brush in an appropriate solvent
Fill a small pail with one of the following paint thinners/solvents and gently run your brush back and forth through it. Read the instructions on the product’s label for what solvent to use.
· Mineral spirits are used for oil-based paints.
· Denatured alcohol works best for shellac.
· Use hot water for water-based paints such as latex, acrylic, and watercolor.
Step 3: immerse the paintbrush in multiple solvent cans.
Stir the solvent with the brush for about 1 minute and try to get as much of the paint off the brush as possible. Then repeat the same process for the second and third cane. By the time you are done swirling the brush, most of the paint should be removed.
Step 4: wash the brush’s bristles in warm soapy water.
Once the paint has been removed from the brush, rinse it under running water and add some dish soap to the bristles. Gently rub the bristles with your hand and rinse the brush until you have removed all of the soap. After that, wipe the brush with a clean towel.
Step 5: Spin or blot out the excess water
Shake the brush to remove all of the water from the bristles. You can use the top of the bucket to shake and then blot the brush dry with a clean towel or newspaper. Reshape the bristles to the exact shape, and then store the brush upright in a bucket to avoid bending when dry.
Step 6: Store the Brush
Once you have removed as much water out of the brush as possible, make sure to completely dry the brush and store it in its original packaging. When storing, hang the brush up or lay it flat to maintain the shape of the bristles.
Other Useful Ways to Clean Your Paint Brushes
· Use vinegar
You can also use hot vinegar to clean your brushes, either right after painting or the next morning. It helps to make your brush ready for the next painting project.
Boil vinegar and pour it into a container. Now, soak your brush in the hot vinegar for at least 20 minutes. Then use your fingers to remove all the old paint. When the paint is soft, wash the brush in running water and place it upright in a container to let the brush air dry.
· Use Dish Wash Bar
A dish wash bar can give you the same effect that paint solvents have on pigments and oils. Take a bucket of soapy water and add a little liquid dishwashing detergent. Swirl the brush in water and repeat until the brush is clean.
· Use fabric softener
Mix a bucket of water with ½ cup of fabric softener. This solution will also help loosen the paint from the bristles. Swirl it around for several seconds until the paint coming off. Squeeze excess water and let the brush dry.
An investment in expensive paintbrushes is wasted if they are not properly cleaned or stored after use. From now on, you don’t need to throw away your unusable or dried up brushes. With the above step by step guide, you can reuse your brushes as many times as possible.