Oil Painting Lesson - Cleaning Your Brushes
Environmentally Safe Oil Paint Brush Cleaner
Most artists working in the medium of oil paint, usually use turpentine as a brush cleaner. Vegetable oil is a cleaner, cheaper, safer and odor-free alternative. Not only is it safer for the environment, it is also good for people who have skin allergies to turpentines and turpenoids. It is also much safer for women who are pregnant that continue to use oil paints.
It is always a good idea to find a metal barrel at a factory to dispose your old paints and thinners.
Cleaning Oil Paint Brushes
How To Use Vegetable Oil as a Brush Cleaner
It is easy to use vegetable oil as a brush cleaner.
1. Wipe the excess paint off of your oil paint brush onto a newspaper or dry cloth.
2. Dip the dirty bristles of the paintbrush into a cup of vegetable oil and move it around.
3. Push the bristles against the edge of the cup to help squeeze out extra oil. Repeat as much as necessary until the majority of oil paint has been removed from the brush.
4. Dry off brush on a newspaper or on a dry cloth.
5. Wash the bristles of the paintbrush with soap and warm water.
6. Store your brushes so the bristles are up in the air to avoid crushing or mis-shaping them.
If your bristles are stiff because you forgot to wash them out from a previous painting session, let them stand overnight in fabric softener - this will help loosen paint from the bristles.
It is also a good idea to condition your bristles every once in a while by letting them submerge in fabric softener and then rinsing it out prior to use.
Vegetable oil is not as strong as turpentine. You may find it takes a tiny bit longer to clean the paint from the brushes, but, it is so much better for the environment, it's worth it!
If you don't like vegetable oil, the second best thing is odorless turpentine.
More by this Author
The difference between paint brushes
Learn the basic theory of glazing in oil paint
I've been teaching oil painting classes for about six years now. Every student has their strengths, but one thing that most of them have in common is they get stumped when it comes to which colors to use. This is a...