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How to Clean Pain Brushes

When cleaning your paint brush, the most important thing that you need to have is the virtue of patience, especially when you are the meticulous type who is very particular with details. As a painter or even as an individual who loves painting, one’s brushes become an investment. Cleaning them thoroughly and appropriately at the end of each painting session ensures that the paint brushes last longer.


There is a common procedure on how to clean paint brushes. The first step is to wipe off any excess paint using any cloth. If no cloth is available, a soft tissue would do. Then gently squeeze the bristles from the ferrule edge outwards using one’s fingers, or with the use of a cloth. This process will help remove excess paint from the paint brush. It is important to keep in mind to be careful to avoid pulling on the bristles because this will damage the paint brush.

Next, rinse the brush in turpentine or oil if you’ve been using oils or lukewarm water if you’ve been using a water-based medium. Never use hot water as it can expand the ferrule, causing the hair of the paint brush to fall out. Wipe the paint brush again using a cloth to remove the last of the excess paint, if there is any. To further clean the paint brush, wash it using mild soap, rinse and repeat this process until there’s no trace of any color coming out and there is no more paint left. One must remember to not use a lot of pressure in order to force the remaining paint out of a paint brush. One should be patient and rinse the paint brush several times until no trace of paint is left on it. Take note that if the brush used is made from natural bristles, soften it by dipping it in clean oil once it has been cleaned properly.

Once the cleaning is through, shape the brush head into its correct shape. Then leave brush to dry at room temperature. There are various steps on how to clean paint brushes but the key idea is to make sure that there is no paint left and that the brush is shaped correctly until it is dry.

There are a number of tips on how to avoid damaging your brushes from too intense cleaning. Taking necessary precautions like using separate brushes for oil painting and water-based medium helps segregate the different kinds of paint used, allowing the user to use appropriate cleaning materials intended for each. Also, using separate brushes for varnish, gesso, and masking fluid would help make cleaning paint brushes a lot easier.

It is always important to take care of the things that we use be it for our personal care or for work and other purposes. The same goes for paint brushes; taking care of them by cleaning them properly will help preserve them longer for better and long-lasting use.

About the author

Nilda Nora

I love writing about interior design.