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Brush care and storage


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I'm reaching the point where I would like to invest in slightly higher quality brushes.  I know all the recommended brands and what not, but before I do so, I'm curious as to the best way to store brushes between sessions.  I typically, rinse out my brushes after each session, clean 'em up with the Masters Brush Cleaner and Restorer, rinse back out, place a little plastic "sleeve" over the bristles and plop them handle down/tip up in a jar.  Anything else recommended?  I've made some brushes that are low in quality and recommended away from last a loooong while by doing this, and some of them are now leaning toward a dovetailed natural state, hooking, and splaying out a bit.  Thank you folks.

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9 minutes ago, Wumby said:

plop them handle down/tip up in a jar

 

4 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:

I store that lying down.

 

Tip up or flat are both acceptable as long as no weight/pressure is being applied to the bristles while in storage.

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@Wumby I store my brushes similar to the way you do, but I don't use the plastic sleeves.  Rather than use Masters every time I use a brush, I rinse the brushes as I use them, so they never get much paint in them.  I use Masters only if they look like they could use it or after at least an hour of using the brush.  Usually, I don't need it.  I sometimes shape a brush tip with a brush soap like Masters, again only if they need it.  My beater brushes sometimes get a dose of Winsor and Newton brush cleaner (a fluid cleaner) to get paint out of the ferrule.  I rarely use W&N on my good brushes.

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@Wumby pretty much the same way. After cleaning with Masters soap, I reapply it and reform the tip without rinsing that soap out, and let it dry; makes a nice hard casing to force the bristles into maintaining a tip. Plastic top always goes on, and stored tip facing down so that none of the soap/water flows into the ferrule and dries; that will cause the bristles to splay out. Once the soap has dried, doesn't matter what orientation it gets stored in.

 

Just remember to rinse the dried soap out before starting to paint.

Edited by ManvsMini
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To @Serenity point, using the Masters Brush Soap after every use is probably overkill, but it doesn't really hurt either.

 

Also keep in mind the Kolinsky Sable brushes are real hair, so using a little conditioner will help keep them soft and pliable.  I generally use Masters soap once every week or two, and then use Pink Soap in between as Pink Soap also has a conditioner as an ingredient.

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21 minutes ago, Clearman said:

To @Serenity point, using the Masters Brush Soap after every use is probably overkill, but it doesn't really hurt either.

 

Also keep in mind the Kolinsky Sable brushes are real hair, so using a little conditioner will help keep them soft and pliable.  I generally use Masters soap once every week or two, and then use Pink Soap in between as Pink Soap also has a conditioner as an ingredient.

 

That's what you'd think until you take a brush that you were using red paint with and you got as clean as you could without soap, then run it across the soap and wipe it on a paper towel. The amount of red that comes out for the clean brush is surprising. 

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Anne Foerster recommends storing the brushes  any direction but! tip up.  Reason being, storing them tip up means the ferrule is down, gravity wants to send whatever Ink / Paint / moisture was in the bristles down Into that ferrule.  
 

Stuff getting down inside the ferrule is a prime cause of brush ruin. 
 

So brush storage: sideways or hanging vertically. 

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I don't do anything much different than the others. I clean my brushes with the Master's Cleaner/Restorer, leave just a bit of soap to reform the tip, and leave them to dry flat on the table.

 

When I do need to store or carry them, I have a flat case that looks a bit like this one:

item_XL_35861616_139470997.jpg

 

Brushes remain snug enough for travel.

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40 minutes ago, TGP said:

Anne Foerster recommends storing the brushes  any direction but! tip up.  Reason being, storing them tip up means the ferrule is down, gravity wants to send whatever Ink / Paint / moisture was in the bristles down Into that ferrule.  
 

Stuff getting down inside the ferrule is a prime cause of brush ruin. 
 

So brush storage: sideways or hanging vertically. 

 

The amount of moisture on a damp brush isn't really going to be affected by gravity. The risk of plonking them on their tip is worse than storing them upright. Best to rinse well, blot them to not be wet-wet, and either tip-up, or laid on their sides.

 

I tend to wash my brushes more on a per-figure basis than per-session. As others have said, you don't need to wash them constantly, but some regularity is good. And leaving a little soap in can help hold a point. Also doesn't hurt to put the cap on them when not in use.

 

My good brushes are in either the BrokenToad box laid horizontal, or a zip-up brush case stored horizontal. More for bonk-protection than the horizontalness of them. My junker brushes are point-up in a rack on my paint cart, risking bonks.

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The other thing is hanging them point down will encourage stuff to come out of the ferrule (if you are a bad painter and let stuff get in the ferrule).

 

(And, good point, capillary action is a thing and not (always) our friend. It’s how paint gets into a ferrule in the first place.)

 

You would really need to trick out a brush somehow to (securely) hang it vertical. 

Edited by TGP
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If you search Blick you should be able to find some solutions for vertical storage.  Like this, except you would likely find it harder to clamp the brush hanger to a mini.  I've also seen spring versions.

 

03377-1002-2-4ww.jpg?q=80&w=500&fm=webp

 

If you want to reuse the plastic sleeves, just keep in mind that you can actually damage the bristles if you aren't paying attention.

 

 

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