Care for and clean paint brushes
Spend a little more on quality paint brushes that will provide a professional finish to your painting projects. With care and proper cleaning these brushes will last a long time. Here are some tips for using, cleaning and storing your paint brushes:
There is a way to achieve a perfect finish:
- Before you start your painting project, prep the brushes for use. If you are using water-based paints, dip the brush in water before dipping into the paint. For oil-based or enamel paints, dip the brush into lacquer thinners. This helps to slow down the drying process of the paint on the brush and prevents paint from drying quickly on the bristles. Be sure to allow any excess water or thinners to drip off the brush before using.
Conditioner for paint brushes Warm up some white spirit vinegar and soak paint brushes in this for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash the paintbrush in warm soapy water. This methods also works to soften and loosen paint when you forgot to clean before the paint dried.
- Always have a damp cloth handy when painting with water-based paints. When you need to take a break, wrap the paintbrush in the cloth. When using oil-based or enamel paints, wrap the brush in clingfilm. This ensures that the paint on the brush stays fresh until you return. If you need to cover a roller tray, put it inside a plastic grocery bag. Note: Never leave brushes for longer than two hours.
After soaking paint brushes in warm, soap water for a few minutes, rinse them well under running water.
Don't stomp the bristles, but rather gently separate with your fingers as you rinse clean.
- Water-based: To clean paintbrushes, rinse them under warm water to wash away paint on the outside of the bristles. Fill a can or container with warm water and dishwashing detergent. Dip in the brush and rapidly move it back and forth without scraping the bristles on the bottom. This should remove the majority of paint on the brush. Any remaining paint can be removed by rinsing again in warm water.
- Oil-based: To clean paintbrushes, have two jars handy. Fill both with lacquer thinners. Move the brush bachwards and forwards for 2 minutes in the first jaw and then put the brush into the second jar and do the same. Screw the lids on tightly and store in a safe place until you need again. When the thinners in jar one become too dirty, replace with new solvent. Don't pour solvents or paints down the drain.
- Dry your brushes by hanging them up and allowing the water to drip off.
Hang 'em high
A magnetic strip holder - or knife rack - is a great way to store paint brushes.
It not only allows them to drip dry after cleaning, it also ensures that the bristles stay in perfect shape
[via martha stewart]