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Brush Cleaning Refresher Course

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That being said, would anyone NOT be opposed to giving a few brush cleaning and maintainance tips. I really enjoyed the article on "Thinning Paints".

This topic, too,. could possibly be done on the The Craft section or here.

I'll accept any tutelage offered. I seem to lose brush-tip "pointyness" fairly quick.

So far I've learned paint in the ferrule (sp?) is bad for a brush as well as dry brushing (so use older brushes).

Any other hints you wanna try to teach me will be well received and appreciated.

Thanx all.

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Ichabod -- If you're using synthetic brushes, you could be fighting a losing battle. I'd first recommend that you get yourself some sable hair brushes, preferably Kolinsky sable, if you can manage it. Red sable is fine, if not. It just doesn't hold a point as well as Kolinsky. Reaper carries Kolinsky brushes (hooray!), although many here, myself included, prefer Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes.


Next, get yourself some brush cleaner/conditioner. You can find it in any art supply store. I use the Master's brand. It comes in a small shoe polish-type tin. Wash your brushes with it, using warm water, working the brush back and forth on the surface of the soap until you get a fine lather. You could also work the hairs with your fingers -- gently, and never twist. Rinse. When finished, take a bit of the lather from the cake of soap and shape your point gently. Do not rinse. Allow the lather to dry on the brush. This will help to condition and train the point of the brush. When ready to work next, simply rinse the conditioner off. This will maintain your brushes -- possibly forever. I've yet to wear one out.


You can also shampoo and condition your brushes with whatever shampoo/conditioner you may have, using the same techniques above. The brush is made of hair, after all. If it's good for you, it can't be bad for it... although I may shy away from medicinal dandruff type shampoos and so forth and stick with baby shampoo... you never know...


I suppose in the future an article could be written on this subject. It's not on the docket at present, but I'll add it to my list and run it by Kit when I've the time.


Thanks for the kind words about the thinning article. I'll pass a psychic note of thanks on your behalf on to all the painters who've taught me over the years... *poof*



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Yep, that is pretty much what I do, only I use regular hand soap, and only recently, I began to use regular hair conditioner on the brushes. Too soon to say if it works, so, I'll get back to you in a couple of years, to report how my brushes fare.

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In addition to what the Whiz said if you already have paint dried in the ferrule the best product I've found to get it out is Winsor Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer. This liquid is sold at most art stores now. Don't get it on the brush handle as it will strip the paint off.

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Another good choice for a brush cleaner/conditioner is "Pink Soap" from Mona Lisa Products. It is a liquid soap that you can use the same way the Whizard posted. It is good for conditioning/reshaping brushes between painting sessions.


(It also worked really well for cleaning Reaper Saphire Blue ink out of the carpet).

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