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Brush health coach needed


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So I'm gradually gaining some confidence with this hobby, but I'm abusing and ruining my brushes.  I just broke out a 1-Reaper Pro Paint brush that I got at my FLGS and was painting some more Zombicide figures.  I was dipping and painting, and dipping and painting, and basically never rinsing since I was using the same color.  Now, I've lost my point. The brush separates at the end which makes it next to useless.  Was this from my failure to rinse?  How often do you need to, particularly when you're not switching colors?

Also, I thought I read someone talk about brush soap, preservatives, etc.  Would they have this at my FLGS?  Please tell me what I need and some brand names so I can stop going through brushes.  Thanks.

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That may have been from not rinsing, yes. 

The brush slowly vicks the paint up into the ferrule and lodges it between the ends of the individual hairs. 

 

It may be possible to fix it with a brush restorer such as the Vallejo Brush Restorer.

 

Here's a few tips about handling brushes:

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73906-77051-orc-stalker-second-ever-paint-job/&do=findComment&comment=1532818

 

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Search on "miniature painting master's brush soap". I prefer to use Pink Soap myself, since it's a liquid and has conditioning properties. Just dip your brush in the soap, clean it in the rinse water, then dip it again to condition the bristles. You can get both with a coupon at Michael's arts and craft store.

 

If you're not using natural-hair bristles, the brushes eventually lose their tip. However, if you're dipping rather than painting details, these brushes still have their use. Myself, I save my expensive Winsor and Newton, and Raphael 8404's for the details.

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5 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

That may have been from not rinsing, yes. 

The brush slowly vicks the paint up into the ferrule and lodges it between the ends of the individual hairs. 

 

It may be possible to fix it with a brush restorer such as the Vallejo Brush Restorer.

 

Here's a few tips about handling brushes:

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73906-77051-orc-stalker-second-ever-paint-job/&do=findComment&comment=1532818

 

So, I'm guessing if I don't store my brushes with the brush up, nor with the brush down, they should be stored on their sides, yes?

I'll look for the Vallejo Brush Restorer.  Thanks.  Good tip about not getting paint up by the ferrule and only using the lower half.  Did not know that.

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Master's Brush Cleaner and Preserver and Pink Soap are both good for cleaning a brush after a session.

 

If the paint has gotten into the ferrule of the brush, you may need some extra cleaning using a cleaning liquid like Winsor and Newton's Brush Cleaner and Restorer.  This liquid can dissolve the paint that is stuck under the ferrule and might get your brush back into shape.  I use it mostly on my beater brushes.  My good brushes get rinsed often and don't get paint under the ferrules unless I really screw up.  

 

Sometimes I'll use some hair conditioner (the kind you'd use on your own hair) on a brush, but it is generally not necessary if you rinse often and use a good brush soap to clean them.

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35 minutes ago, Genghis_Sean said:

So, I'm guessing if I don't store my brushes with the brush up, nor with the brush down, they should be stored on their sides, yes?

I'll look for the Vallejo Brush Restorer.  Thanks.  Good tip about not getting paint up by the ferrule and only using the lower half.  Did not know that.

 

You only need to keep the brush on it's side to let it dry. Once the brush is completely dry it's perfectly fine to store your brushes standing up. I'm a big fan of the Melissa & Doug Spill Proof Paint Cups largely due to the cutouts on the rim of the cups. They are perfect for resting your brushes on their sides while keeping the bristles from touching anything. The no spill design is also nice if you have cats, kids or just a klutz. Different color cups also help to keep metallic paint rinses separate from normal paint rinses. 

 

When using most brush restorers it's important to only soak the bristles, never the ferrule or handle. It can dissolve the paint on the handle. At least that's how the Winsor and Newton's Brush Cleaner and Restorer that I use works. I tend to rinse my brushes very often so I rarely need to use a restorer. 

 

All that said, you really only need to have brush soap to keep brushes in good shape, as long as you rinse them often. Restorer is useful for possible but generally rare accidents (oops I forgot I left paint on this brush yesterday!), special cups and brush holders are nice to have but are not at all necessary. Brush soap is essential. 

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Echo on the brush restorer from W&N

41sJuWh6qkL._SL500_AA130_.jpg.58efc0920bf7cfcb28ad6e85e0a88c0b.jpg

I just ordered a new bottle last night from the river site....

Masters Brush soap....   Get Some...

51DBwP0kf2L._AC_US160_.jpg.715f76ee5e3b4dad1113be9b72e8d793.jpg

 

As for rinsing your brush, that depends on who you ask....

I will paint every scale on a dragon, one at a time, before I rinse when changing colors....

or if I get to much paint on the brush so that it is close to the ferrule...

 

Kuro Kleanbrush, comes by his title honestly, as he rinses his brush after every 2nd or 3rd dip into the paint....

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  • Gravity is far less important in paint movement in a brush than capillary action. The direction you point your brush when storing it doesn't much matter, as long as you're not resting the weight of the brush on the bristles.
  • I'd recommend hitting the rinse water pretty regularly when painting. It reduces paint drying in the brush in the middle of the painting session. When you get used to it, it also helps you maintain a consistent paint thickness.
  • I clean my brush every time I paint and leave a bit of the soap in the bristles between sessions to help maintain brush shape.

With the above, my brushes (W&N, Raphael, or da Vinci) have been lasting me years.

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I'm with Doug, I think capillary action's a bigger factor than gravity. I've always let my brushes dry standing upright and I've never had any problems.

 

I rinse my brush every time before I load with paint again. With this system my brushes usually just needs a final rinse in water at the end of a painting session. I clean my brushes maybe once a month with shampoo then conditioner.

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15 hours ago, knarthex said:

Echo on the brush restorer from W&N

41sJuWh6qkL._SL500_AA130_.jpg.58efc0920bf7cfcb28ad6e85e0a88c0b.jpg

I just ordered a new bottle last night from the river site....

Masters Brush soap....   Get Some...

51DBwP0kf2L._AC_US160_.jpg.715f76ee5e3b4dad1113be9b72e8d793.jpg

 

As for rinsing your brush, that depends on who you ask....

I will paint every scale on a dragon, one at a time, before I rinse when changing colors....

or if I get to much paint on the brush so that it is close to the ferrule...

 

Kuro Kleanbrush, comes by his title honestly, as he rinses his brush after every 2nd or 3rd dip into the paint....

 

Oh, is that why he's called that?  I do that too.  Clean water sort of lubricates the brush and makes the paint behave better, along with keeping the brush cleaner.  Even when using the same color I'm constantly cleaning and testing my brush and paint.

 

In addition to cleaning the brush every few dips into paint, I stroke the brush on a paper towel after every dip to make certain of the color mix and strength and to prevent blobbiness.

 

I keep my brushes sideways while I'm working and they are drying, upright once they are mostly dry and in storage.

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2 minutes ago, knarthex said:

A travel case for brushes can also be useful for storage...

 

A bamboo sushi mat makes for excellent brush storage as it allows air circulation but holds the brushes securely.  Roll the brushes up inside parallel to the bamboo slats, hairs all facing one direction, then tie it all shut with a bit of string.  

 

Be careful not to hold or store the roll vertically, especially with the hairs facing down.  Brushes can slip out.

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