Our experienced team of editors and researchers contributed to this article and tested it for accuracy and completeness.
A team of content managers carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that each article meets our high quality standards.
By cleaning the brush properly, you can use it the next time. There are many ways to clean a brush from paint. When choosing a brush cleaning method, the type of paint used should be considered. Clean brushes thoroughly after each use. Thanks to this, you can use the brush for a long time.
To clean the brush from paint you will need:
- Solvent (white spirit, acetone or kerosene),
- Hand brush made of metal,
- Small capacity (you can take any can)
- Gloves (polyethylene or rubber),
- Some paper (for example, old newspapers or waste paper).
First we need to pour the dissolve into a pre-prepared container. We fill it by about one third. It is best to choose a universal solvent. For example, kerosene or acetone is suitable. Unlike white spirit, they are not toxic and do not emit a pungent odor.
In order not to get our hands dirty, we put on gloves on them. Now we take a brush with dried paint on it and place it in a container with a solvent. To improve the dissolution of the paint, constantly stir the liquid with a brush. If you notice that the solvent has stained, simply pour it out and fill in a new one. The bristles are best cleaned with a metal brush. It must be held several times on the bristles of the brush, each time lowering it into a container with a solvent.
If you don’t have a metal brush at hand, you can wash the bristles with your hands. In this case, gloves must be on hand. After you have cleaned the hairs from the paint, pour out the solvent, and rinse the brush thoroughly in a stream of water so that the remaining solvent is washed off from it.
The washed brush must be dried. We take paper or a rag and wipe it dry. Now you can remove the brush into the bag until next use. In conclusion, I would like to note that solvents are highly toxic, have a pungent odor and are highly flammable. Therefore, when working with them, all safety rules should be strictly observed.
We keep brushes during a short break in work
No work can last forever, and therefore, during the production of painting, it may be necessary to take a short break for 1 to 2 hours.
But we know that many paints set quickly enough and this time will be more than enough for the brush to become covered with a layer of sticky mass, which then cannot be shaded on the surface or removed mechanically.
Many advise leaving a brush in a jar of water. This, of course, will save her from the complete drying of the paint, but at the same time the brush becomes stiff and the hairs stick together, which reduces the quality of subsequent painting work.
In such a situation, it is better to just wrap the brush in a plastic bag. It is important that air does not enter the bag. This method will save it for 1 to 2 hours and after that you can start painting again.
Sometimes you can find recommendations to use thin food aluminum foil instead of a bag.
How to save a brush during a long break in work
If today the painting is finished and until tomorrow the brush is not needed, then for its preservation it will be necessary to clean it completely of the paint.
Some people leave the brush in a jar of water or solvent, but this leads to the fact that under the influence of its own gravity, the brush sinks deeper, while the bristles are bent and the brush loses its original shape. This, of course, leads to the loss of its functionality, because it will not be possible to straighten the bristles later.
Therefore, without options - the brush must be thoroughly cleaned. To do this, you will need:
- rag or paper towel
- soap (better - household),
- a container into which you can immerse the brush deep enough.
Cleaning takes place in the following order:
Pour the solvent into the container, lower the brush there and carefully “soak” the pile.
- Then remove the brush and wipe it well with a rag or towel.
- Next, thoroughly soap the bristles with soap and rinse under running warm water.
It must be borne in mind that each paint needs its own solvent. If, for example, glue or water-soluble paints are easily removed with water, mineral oils are necessary for oil. Information on them can be found on the paint can label.
Solvents usually have a very pungent odor, so brushing is best done outdoors or at least on the balcony.
After cleaning, the brush must be set to dry with the bristles up or hang it loosely with the bristles down (usually there is always a hole on the handle of the brush).
Other brush cleaning methods
There are other brush washing methods that are not used often, but also lead to good results.
Washing the brush with a fabric softener is used when the paint has not yet completely dried. To do this, you must:
- Wipe off excess paint with a brush using paper or a rag.
- Mix warm water with a small amount of conditioner - this solution weakens the adhesion of the paint to the bristles.
- Rinse the brush in the solution until you see that the paint has begun to slide away from it.
- Then you can rinse the brush with warm water and evaluate how well it cleansed.
- If necessary, repeat the steps until the result is achieved.
- Then wash the brush with water and set to dry.
There is a way to clean old dried paint with brushes. To use it, you will need ordinary table vinegar:
- Vinegar is poured into a container and a brush is placed in it for about an hour. Check if the paint is soft. If not, then leave the brush in vinegar for another hour.
- Then pour the vinegar into an old saucepan, put a brush there and bring to a boil on the stove. Boil for a few minutes.
- Then remove the brush, cool slightly and comb it with a steel brush or an old frequent comb.
- Repeat the action until all the paint is behind the bristles and removed with a comb.
- We wash the brush in running water and set to dry.
If the brush is stained with oil paint, then you can use a dishwashing detergent to clean it:
- Wipe the brush with a cloth or paper.
- Pour some funds into your palm.
- Then turn on the warm water and, substituting a palm with the product under the tap, twist a brush on it.
- Rinse the brush and, if there is still paint on it, repeat all the steps until the desired result is achieved.
It’s clear that you can’t wash a big brush like that, this method is good for small brushes, the paint on which has not yet completely dried out.
What else can you wash brushes
To clean brushes from oil paint, you can use not only solvents, but turpentine, white spirit, kerosene acetone. When using all of these substances, gloves should be used to protect the skin of the hands.
In order to wash acrylic paint, you need to use a special tool - a wash for paint. Rinses are both universal and intended for use with any particular paint. You can buy them at a hardware store. When using a wash, it is necessary to protect not only the hands, but also the respiratory organs, and preferably the eyes.
In the arsenal of cleaning products for brushes there is one more thing - “Universal cleaner”. It can be purchased at departments selling radio components. It is intended for degreasing surfaces, but it also copes with acrylic paints, as it contains alcohol and gasoline.
After the brushes are washed, it is necessary to soften the bristles. For this, various cosmetic lotions or hair conditioners are used. They are simply applied to the fingers and gently rubbed into the hairs of the brush. After that, the brushes become almost like new and are ready to work again.