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How To Clean Paint Brushes?

Getting yourself a few premium paint brushes can do wonders for the quality of your painting projects.

However, there’s no point in investing in high-quality paint brushes if you aren’t going to clean them thoroughly between uses, as they will dry up and quickly deteriorate in quality if you don’t take care of them.

How to clean paint brushes

In this article, I will cover some of the best methods to clean your paint brushes, so you can keep them in the best condition for longer.

Keep reading to find out more.

There are a variety of different cleaning methods you can use to clean your paint brushes, and which one you opt for will be determined by the type of paint that you’re using.

For instance, if you’re using a water-based paint, then warm, soapy water can be used to clean your brushes.

However, if you’re using a solvent-based paint, you will also need to use a solvent to clean your paint brushes sufficiently.

How To Clean Brushes With Warm Soapy Water? 

Step One – Remove Any Excess Paint From Your Brushes

To begin, you will need to scrape off any excess paint from your brushes to make the cleaning process as easy as possible.

Step Two – Fill A Bucket Full Of Warm Soapy Water

Once you’ve cleaned the excess paint from your brushes, you will need to fill a bucket full of warm soapy water and allow your brushes to soak for a minimum of two hours.

Step Three – Rinse Your Brushes

After your brushes have been allowed to soak in the warm soapy water, you will need to rinse your brushes under warm water in the sink. 

Make sure that you are getting between the bristles with your fingers to ensure no paint is left over, and continue doing this until the water begins to run clear.

Step Four – Dry Your Brushes Properly

Before you place your paint brushes in storage, you will need to make sure that they have dried completely. 

Dry each of your brushes with a clean cloth, and swing them around to ensure the bristles are free from moisture. 

This will ensure that your brushes aren’t going to cause a mold or mildew problem in storage.

Step Five – Store Your Brushes 

When you’ve finished drying your brushes, you will need to make sure that you store them suitably so that they are in the best condition the next time you paint with them.

How you store your brushes will come down to personal preference. However, you should either lay your brushes flat or store them upright hanging from a pegboard to ensure that they remain in the best condition.

Top Tip

After cleaning your paint brushes, you can also apply conditioner to the bristles for 10 minutes. This is good to do every once in a while, and helps to make your brushes feel like they’re brand new!

How To Clean Paint Brushes With Solvent?

Step One – Remove Excess Paint

To begin, you will first need to remove any excess paint from your paint brushes. 

Step Two – Choose The Appropriate Solvent 

Once all of the excess paint has been removed from your brushes, you will need to pick a solvent to aid the cleaning process. 

Solvents such as turpentine or mineral spirits are the best to remove oil-based paint.

After choosing the solvent, fill an old bucket full of the solvent to clean your brushes.

Step Three – Submerge Your Paint Brushes In The Bucket Of Solvent

Following this, you will need to fully submerge your paint brushes in the bucket filled with solvent, being careful not to to submerge the handle of the brush.

Ensuring that you’re wearing gloves, stir the solvent with the paint brush for around 10 seconds.

Wipe and squeeze the brush bristles on the side of the container, and work the bristles between your fingers continuously until no paint remains.

If the paint has dried and is stuck onto the bristles of the brush, you may need to leave it to soak in the solvent for a longer period of time.

Step Four – Wash Your Paint Brushes In Warm Soapy Water

Once you’ve cleaned your paint brushes in the solvent and thoroughly removed the paint from the brush, it’s time to wash them in warm soapy water.

This step will clean the brush bristles, ensuring that there is no solvent residue left over.

Step Five – Thoroughly Dry Your Paint Brushes 

Next, you will need to thoroughly shake or spin your paint brushes so that they dry.

You can do this by shaking the paint brush above the cleaning bucket before blotting the brush bristles with a clean cloth to remove any water.

Alternatively, if you have a lot of brushes to clean, you could opt for a brush and roller spinner. This tool works to speedily dry your paint brushes with centrifugal force.

Simply attach your brush to the tool, before pumping the top a few times to spin all of the water off it.

You should never put your paint brushes away wet, as this can affect their quality.

Step Six – Store Your Paint Brushes Suitably

After you’ve dried your paint brushes, you will need to store them suitably so that they’re ready to grab and use the next time you want to paint.

You can either lay your brushes flat or hang them from a pegboard if you’d prefer a more organized way to store your paint brushes.

You can also place your brushes in their original packaging to ensure that they remain in the best condition for longer.

Top Tip

Always avoid pouring solvents down the sink after cleaning your brushes. This comes down to the fact that solvents are toxic, and this can lead to a variety of issues and even cause bad blockages in your pipes.

In Summary

Hopefully after reading this article you know how to clean your paint brushes and have a few cleaning tips to apply to your own projects.

Happy cleaning!

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About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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