Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to keep paint brushes clean
I have ruined so many brushes.  I now take very good care of them and have a very regimented routine. 

You can probably tell these are badly cared for brushes.  You can see where I went wrong.  The bad part is, its like painting with a boom.  You really need a nice edge to make a brush work for you.  However, I never throw them out because you never know when you might need one for something. 
By the way these were not cheapo brushes.  It's brands that I really like, Silver and, I can't read the label on the top one because the handle is so covered with paint.  I confess in the past to leaving them with gunked on paint overnight. 
I've had these awhile and, so far, they are like new.  They keep a nice edge and you can use even  big brushes for tiny things, because the corners are good, as well as the edges.  These are Silver Brand and Monarch, terrific brushes. 
My routine:
1.  Pull of excess paint by swiping across sock.
(If you read a recent blog about how I attach an old sock top to my palette, you will know what I mean)
2. Then I dip the brush into the odorless mineral spirits, next use a paper towel to remove even more excess paint. 
3.  Use soap and water (I use Ivory Soap because it is white and you can see the paint coming off the brush).  Use a circular rubbing motion until there is no more color coming off the brush.  Use your fingers to squeeze the soap and water and maybe paint, from the brush ferrule to the edge of the brush.  (Now I wish I knew how to put a video on my blog)
4.  Dry the handles, then put on a flat surface to dry. 
What I like about this routine is that you have nice clean professional looking brushes when you start to paint the next day.  It feels good.  

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