Home Decorating Tips

Painting 101: Proper Care for Your Brushes

Home Decorating Tips

Painting 101: Proper Care for Your Brushes

Posted on July 31, 2015

Quality brushes are expensive, but they are also a wise investment if you’re planning on doing a series of paint projects. With proper care and maintenance, your paint brushes should last you a good long while. Here are some pointers on how to give your paint brush some TLC.


Start with removing excess paint. Wipe or scrape the bristles on the inner rim of a paint can. Let as much excess paint drip from the brush, before squeezing out the leftover using a scrap cloth or a newspaper. If there’s hardened paint, brush with a wire comb.

Get a pail and fill it with a few inches of water. Dip and clean the bristles of your brush by stirring the water or swishing briskly. Replace the water once it becomes cloudy in color. Repeat this rinsing method until the water stays clear.

Cleaning water-based paints off is easy! All you need is soap and warm water. Cleaning brushes used for oil-based paints, however, will need a solvent or paint thinner in its cleaning solution. Considered a hazardous waste material, remember to properly dispose of the thinner after use. One tip from the experts is to use fabric softener in your solution. From brush to the tips of its bristles, the softener coats all of the brush and allows for paint to slide off easily.

To dry your brush, put the handle in between the palms of your hand and spin. To be sure that you’ve gotten rid of the water, gently press your brush on a paper towel or tap lightly on the rim of your pail. Removing the water and excess moisture helps keep your bristles and ferrule in shape.


The important thing to remember is to keep your brush’s bristles straight and free from damages. Suggestions from the experts range from individually encasing your brushes in newspaper, to wrapping your bristles with a cling wrap. One of the simpler ways is to put your brush back in its original case before returning to your toolbox.

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