Looking after paint brushes
It is always best to clean your brushes out as soon as you’ve finished with them. But to keep them fresh for use later in the day with the same paint, wrap them in cling film. This will exclude the air and prevent them drying for a short time.
Removing paint from brushes
Remove excess paint, either by working it out on a piece of newspaper, or by running the edge of a scraper along the bristles.
Cleaning vinyl emulsion from brushes
Water-based paints like emulsion or vinyl emulsion can simply be rinsed out under a running tap, but by working them in a bucket of water first, much of the paint build-up can be removed. This makes rinsing them under the tap quicker and easier. Make sure the water running through the brush is clear before finishing.
Cleaning oil paint from brushes
Brushes used in oil paint should be worked in a kettle of white spirit first. Next, shake out the excess then repeat in brush cleaner, which is water soluble.
Rinse under a running tap. Wash in soapy water and finally rinse again under running water.
Drying the paint brush
Shake out the excess water by spinning the brush handle between your palms. The brush should then be wrapped in paper to retain its shape.
Removing dried paint from brushes
Paint which has dried into the brush can be removed by soaking first in brush restorer. Really dried paint can be removed using a wire brush after soaking, but take care as the brush will damage the bristles if used too harshly. Always brush in the direction of the bristles, working away from the handle.
Brush cleaning solvents can be harmful if used incorrectly. Always ensure adequate ventilation and protect your skin and eyes. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions and safety guidelines.
When storing brushes, their shape can be better retained by wrapping in paper.