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Cleaning a paint brush :: Posted by: Admin on September 27th, 2015

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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