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Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

Cleaning a paint brush

Posted by admin
October 17th, 2019

Paint Brush

Cleaning a paint brush

Whether you are a professional painter and decorator, a hobbyist or DIYer you will need to clean paint brushes at some point. Brushes range hugely in prices depending on size and quality from just a few pence to several pounds. You may prefer to simply throw them out when you are done, but is that really cost effective? If you spend the best part of £20 on a brush do you really want to throw it away after just one use?

You could store them in a storage product, but this is OK if you intend to use the brush again in the short term and in the same colour. If you are not going to use a brush say within 3-6 months and use a different colour your best bet is to clean out the brush and store it correctly, this way your brush will last for far longer and be in tip top condition giving a good finish every time you use it.

Cleaning and storing your paint brush

Before you clean or store your paint brushes you need to be aware of the type of paint you have been using, either water or oil based, as this will determine how you clean or store your brushes.

Whichever type of paint you have used, remove as much paint from your brush as possible.

Cleaning brushes – water based paints

Run the brush under a running tap, have the bristles facing downwards to prevent washing paint further in the brush where it could dry and go hard. Wash it out until the water runs clear, you can use some mild soap to help remove colour from the bristles and a brush comb to remove any stubborn paint.

Once all the paint has been removed, store in the original package or sleeve or wrapped in kitchen towel or paper to prevent the bristles from splaying out.

Cleaning brushes – Oil based paints

Oil based paint requires a slightly different approach to cleaning than water based paints. Oil based paints need a solvent to break down to oils in the paint allowing it to come out of the brush, unlike water based paints that can simply be removed with water.

To clean oil based paints from brushes, remove as much paint from the brush as possible by wiping it on the edge of the paint can. Then you will need to use white spirit or a brush cleaner to wash the brush in, this will dissolve the paint within the brush. You may have to do this a couple of times with clean white spirit or brush cleaner to get the paint out. Once the paint is removed you can use a brush comb to remove any hardened paint from the bristles, then wash in warm soapy water and once all the white spirit or brush cleaner has been washed out you should store the brush in its original packaging or paper towel to keep the bristles straight and in good condition, ready for it’s next use.

Paint brush and paint brush in cover

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My review of the Paint Soap brush cleaner

Posted by admin
June 28th, 2017

Cleaned paint brush

My review of the Paint Soap brush cleaner

I recently followed a company on Twitter (@PaintSoap) and I was asked if I wanted to try some of their product. Me, not being one to turn down the opportunity of trying out products I said yes. Paint Soap is based in the USA but were happy to send me some samples to the UK. They currently do not sell in the UK but they are hoping to start selling in the UK by the end of 2017.

About a week later a package arrived with the samples of Paint Soap for me to try. I was keen to give it a go and used it a couple of times on my next job. I liked the idea of being able to leave the brush to ‘clean itself’ as it soaked in the product, leaving me time to carry on with what I needed too.

After a few minutes of soaking I returned with anticipation to see how well the paint soap did, I removed the brush from the Paint Soap and rinsed it out, it was clean, and used a lot less water than I normally would have.

So what do I think of Paint Soap?

Paint Soap worked well and I like the idea of what is stands for, it saves time, saves money and your brushes, it is also eco friendly and the residue that is left can be disposed of safely as it is non toxic.

This product will only work on water based paints, such as emulsions, so no oil based products, and will not clean out dried paint as it reacts with the wet paint. So you can’t leave your brushes to dry out before cleaning them, but that goes with all paint tools.

So this product can save you, and your client water if you wash brushes out on the job. It can save you time as you can leave brushes to soak whilst carrying on with your work. And it cleans out the paint from your brushes easily and effortlessly.

My video review of me using Paint Soap


To see the rest of my videos, visit my channel on YouTube.

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How to clean paint brushes

Posted by admin
September 2nd, 2015

Paint Brush

How to clean paint brushes

Once you have used your paint brush you have three options, option one is to simply throw it away. This is costly and if you have spent out on a good brush it is a serious waste of money! Option two, store the brush in a brush storage container or similar. This is good if you will be using the same brush with the same colour again in the future. Option three, clean your paint brush.

Depending if you are a professional painter and decorator or a DIYer and how much you have spent on your brushes will determine what you will do with your brushes. For professional painters we like to look after our brushes as we tend to buy good quality brushes that aren’t cheap so keeping them for as long as possible requires they are looked after and cleaned out.

Cleaning your brushes

If you are using water based paints then all you need is some water and soap and maybe a brush comb. Once you have finished with it and ready to clean the brush, get as much out of the brush as you can by wiping it on the edge of the paint can. Then run the brush under warm water, have the bristles facing down so the paint runs out of the bristles rather than up them and into the ferrule where it can dry and go hard.

Once the worst is washed out you can use a little soap to help wash any colour out of the bristles. Once you have done this you can use a brush comb to remove any stubborn and dried paint for the bristles, then give it a final rinse and shake out the water.

You should now store the brush either in it’s original packaging or wrapped in kitchen towel to help keep all the bristles straight, ready for it’s next use.

If you are using oil based paints, you should start the same way and remove as much paint as possible, then use a brush cleaner or white spirit to wash the brush out in, you may have to use clean brush cleaner to make sure all the paint and colour is removed. You can then treat the brush as you would one you have used in water based paints, so wash in warm soapy water, use a brush comb if required and store in its original packaging or paper towel.

Storing clean brushes

Storing brushes

If you are going to use your brush again in the not too distant future you can buy a brush storage container, there are several on the market. By using these storage containeryou can quickly and easily come back to your brushes, they will still be soft, in the colour you want and ready to go. So they are well worth the investment if you use your brushes a lot or are a painter and decorator.

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