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Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

Cleaning a paint brush

Posted by Adrian
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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How to store your paint brushes

Posted by Adrian
March 3rd, 2012

OK, so you’ve been nagged into doing some DIY at the weekend and have to get out your paint brushes, you head of out to the shed to get them, but when you get there and look at the brushes they look as if they have seen better days. The bristles are all splayed out and it looks like it’s have a ‘bad hair day’!

So how could this been avoided?

Simply put you need to store your brushes, and all equipment for that matter, correctly.
When you have done your decorating and have washed your brushes out you need to store them correctly until the next time your ear is bent to do more decorating 🙂

How to store your paint brushes

Once you have finished painting, remove as much paint as you can from the brush by scraping it on the edge of the tin, if your using water-based paints next wash the remaining paint in clean water. If you are using oil-based paints you will need to wash the brushes out in white spirit, turpentine or a brush cleaner before washing in clean water. Once you have ensured you have all the paint out shake the water remaining water out of the bristles. Now take a piece of dry kitchen towel and lay the brush at one edge, now wrap the kitchen towel tightly around the brushes bristles, finally fold the end of the kitchen towel over at the end.

Paint Brush

Now you can store you brush away knowing that when you come back to it, your brush will be in good enough condition to use.

A simple but effective way both DIYers and professionals alike can store brushes. Happy decorating!

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