Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hobby Basics: Clean Your Brushes

One frequent question I get from the newer players in my group is how to clean your brushes and what products do I use. Fortunately, it's really easy as it's all a matter of using the right tool for the job.

Master Brush Cleaner and Preserver

I use this product all the time at my painting table and it’s why my expensive brushes typically last over a year, even under heavy use.   I use it to clean my brushes between every color change or if I’ve been painting the same color for an extended period.  Using this method reduces the chance that paint will dry on the bristles or in the ferrule.  To use apply a small amount of water to the brush and rub the bristles into the soap to create a thick lather.  Rinse the lathered brush in your water and wipe off the excess on a paper towel.  Repeat as necessary until your brush is clean.  You can also restore older by letting the lather on the brush dry for an extend time before rinsing it off.  As with my brushes and rinse water I have two separate soaps for metallics and non-metallic paints to ensure I don’t end up with metallic flake in the wrong area.  You can purchase this product at any hobby or art supply store.  It retails for around $10 but I typically purchase it at Michael's or Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon.

Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer

 I use this product for my semi annual brush cleaning which happens when I’m giving my hobby room a thorough cleaning and I won’t be painting for a few days.  The best way I’ve found to use this is to suspend my brushes in the solution for 24 hours using an aluminum brush holder as show below.  This allows time for any paint on or in the ferrule to be removed and slowly sink to the bottom of the cup.  After soaking thoroughly rinse your brush out with warm water then clean it with the Master Brush Cleaner and preserver.  One word of caution is if you get the solution onto the handle it will destroy the varnish.  I’ve even had it where it made multiple brushes stick together, so take care.  As a side note this product also makes quick clean up of your paint pallets.  This product is also available at any hobby or art supply store so make sure to pull out another 40% coupon.


Rogers said...

Master brush cleaner is the bomb!

Mikeyb said...

I use Master's Brush Cleaner at the end of every painting session, I've had good brushes last for two plus years.

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