A Quick Tutorial
Taking care of your paintbrushes is important. They can be expensive to keep buying new ones, so cleaning your used paint brushes so that you can reuse them is vital to your painting experience. If you know how to take care of them, they can last you much longer.
Cleaning your brushes at the end of each painting session can take some time but it is always worth it. So here are some easy ways to clean the paint right out of your brush.
Clean your brush immediately after use. The more time the paint on it has to dry, the harder it will be to clean out of your bristles. This is especially true if you paint with acrylics and watercolors as they dry faster. Even with oil paints, if you neglect cleaning them well or thoroughly, even the nicest brushes will be ready for the ole' trash can.
If you're going for a quick clean, use SoHo Studio Wipes (pictured above). They will work especially well with acrylics and watercolors. They have a gentle, effective cleanser that can easily pull the paint right off of your brush. They are disposable and easy to use for a quick cleaning.
For a more thorough cleaning, Jerrys offers many solvents for cleaning brushes and palette knives. However, one of the best ones has to be our new Chelsea Classical Studio Lavender Brush Cleaner. It is a non-toxic alternative to turpentine that works just as well, just without all of the harmful odors and harsh chemicals.
To clean your brush thoroughly, take your brush and rinse it under warm water for acrylics or watercolors. For oils, you definitely want to try the lavender brush cleaner or mineral spirits. Take the solvent and work it into the brush head with your fingers rubbing the paint out of it. Do not apply too much pressure or you may lose your bristle on the brush. Work with the solvent in your brush until you are rinsing it without any paint coming out with it.
It is important to really use your fingers and squeeze at the base so that there is no build up of paint hiding in the base of your brush. Holding your brush in a SoHo Studio Wipe or paper towel as you squeeze the paint out will help keep your hands clean. Make sure you do this a few times to get all the paint out, just to be sure. Remember, you don't want to neglect cleaning your brushes so that they will last longer and you will get your money's worth.
A good tip for when you finish washing your brush out with solvent is to take some liquid soap in your hand and scrub the paintbrush back and forth in the soap in your hand to let the soap soak into the bristles and pull out any extra pigment that is hiding in there. Then just rinse with warm water.
Finally, to dry the brush, store the brush head-side-down or vertically in a brush washer drying rack to let it dry and let any remaining water or solvent fall back into the container. This action will help keep your brush heads in shape and longer lasting.
It seems like a simple task, but remember, it just might save your life.