Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Paintbrush Preservation

I have a secret.  My last paintbrush was 9 years old!  The only reason I had to replace it was because I loaned it to my parents when they were painting my brothers house, and it was not cleaned properly.  I figure a tutorial on my technique is pretty important because good brushes can be expensive.  First, the secret to successful restoring, are good paint brushes.  Inexpensive brushes tend to leave those nasty bristles behind in the fresh paint...ugh...I hate those.  So get good brushes, and make them last.  It is an investment.
Step #1:
Rinse the paintbrush with water until the water runs relativley clear, and most of the pigment is rinsed off of the brush.  Be gentle on the bristles throughout this whole process.  I drag the brush back & forth on the bottom of the sink very gently.

Step #2: 
Put a couple of drops of soap - I use Murphys oil soap, or in a pinch I use a good dish soap - on the brush, and lather on your hand gently. 

Drag the brush back & forth on your hand gently.  You will notice the lather will have some color to it from the paint left in the brush.  Keep lathering up on your hand.  Rinse thoroughly, and repeat the lather up step until the lather seems clean.

Step #3:  Rinse the brush thoroughly, until there is no more soap in the brush. 

Step #4:  Gently dry your brush on a clean, lint free cloth.
It will still be damp, and that is OK

Step#5:  If you are not going to be using your brush for several days or more, this step is for you only.  Just take a bit of the soap, pure, put it on the brush, and shape it so the bristles are perfectly in place.  Leave the soap in the bristles until your next use.  Keep your brushes wrapped in a clean cloth, or in the original package so it will not get full of sawdust.  Just remember to rinse the soap out of your brush before you use it the next time.

If you follow these steps, your brushes will last a really long time.

1 comment:

  1. And, here's another tip...a little moisture worked into the heal of your brush before you start painting makes it sooo much easier to clean...I often do this with a stray bottle.