Painting tips and tricks 9: How to Clean a Paint Brush
'Thank god, finished'. Then you step back, give it a good coat of looking at, and think it's not bad, maybe feel a little tired having just worked non stop for four or five days and that's after you've come home from work.
So your looking at this great job you've done. Relieved everything can get back to normal in the room. Yep your finished, however, the paint brush is still in your hand trying to steel your thunder, sending psychological messages to your brain, your not finished, cleeeeean me.
To tired to clean the paint brush
Your drained, "I'll do it tomorrow."
The paint brush tends to get dumped in the tool room, garage, cupboard under the stairs or under the sink. Now unless you've got to the point in your life where your putting screws in jam jars, when you go for the same brush to start the next job, it's has hard as a rock.
How to bring an old Paint Brush back to life
I know if I was to tell you, I'm going to show you how to transform that brush into one that looks brand new, you would be all ears, yes you would, and it would save you money not having to buy a new one. Now I've got your attention.
Well here we go, are you lessening carefully.
This is going to get a little messy so take it out in the back yard, close to your bin/trashcan, remove the lid for the wast products to go in.
Ok; pick up the brush and holding it with your thumb and forefinger, left or right hand which ever you feel comfortable with. Now with as much strength as you can muster fire it into the bin.
Yep. It's dead. It's not going to happen. It's days are over. It's a dead Parrot.
Cleaning a paint brush after using a water based paint.
There's really no magic formula here, just run it under the cold water tap to remove the excess paint. If you run it under a hot water tap the paint will clog and go stringy like mozzarella cheese. So cold water first; when you think you've got most of the paint out of the brush squeeze some washing up liquid into the center and give it a good wash under the hot water tap, that should do the job
When you buy a paint brush don't buy one that has a flat handle. Purchase one that's a little round, for want of a better explanation, the shape of a woman, a little curvy.
Don't buy a cheep one go for the best in the shop, it'll last for years. The better the brush the better the paint finish.
Why a curvy handle, simply because once you've washed the brush with hot soapy water, hold it between the two palms of your hands and rub your hands together. It's like a spin dryer, the faster you go the more water flies off. Make sure your holding it in the well of a sink or in a deepish container; other wise the water will go every where.
A paint brush that's used oil based paint
Cleaning a brush that's been using an oil based paint is a different ball game altogether. But don't be put off it's easy enough and this time it will save you money. Specially if you have to take that thing that shouts at you with you, because they start buying other things as well, like budgie seed when you haven't got a budgie. "It was on offer".
If your half way through a job and your using the same oil based paint the next day you can put your brush in a container with enough water just to cover the bristles, try not to cover the stock of the brush (the part that holds the bristles in place). If the water gets in the stock it take ages to dry it out, then when you think it's ok, you start painting and water runs out of the stock then it's all stop until you dry it out.
So just enough to cover the bristles, the next day remove it from the water and while still in the confines of the container give it the spin dryer treatment and your ready to go.
At the end of the job pour some white spirits/turpentine in a deepish container (this is where the spin dry treatment come into it's own), just enough so you don't cover the stock. Keep plunging the brush into the white spirits as if your using a sink plunger so the bristles fan out when they touch the bottom of the bottom of the container.
Do this three or four times, give it the spin dryer treatment then repeat the process. This removes the paint from the brush; now wash with washing up liquid, the same as you would with a water base paint, repeating the process twice. Let the brush dry, if your in a rush turn the grill on low and stick it under turning it now and again until dry.
Last but not lease, get your self some kitchen grease proof paper rub it all over with linseed oil, fold it round the stock of the brush, like an envelope, enclosing the bristle, then pop an elastic band on it to keep it in place. This helps to keeps the brush soft and when you come to use it again you don't have to clean off the linseed oil just work the brush into the oil based paint a little and your ready to paint.
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