Paint Brush Care
Seems simple enough. Paint brush care. I chat about this at the beginning of every single workshop I teach. Its important because our brushes are important, They are the tools we need to be able to create what we want to. I have had some of my favorite brushes nearly 10 years. (everyone OooOoo's and awww's when I say that) It seems like a very simple concept, brush care..... but rarely one that people do properly, resulting in brushes that dont last. Paint brushes are one of those things that you can either spend $5 on 5 times and have it do a frustrating job laying your paint down with a rough finish, brushes strokes, shedding bristles etc. Plus, you need to buy a new one(s) for each new project. OR, you can get the best quality brush that you can afford and have it do an amazing job over and over again! Plus, with proper care, it will last and last and last. I prefer the latter.
Now, watch any artsy movie, or music video (usually with a starving, angry, very angry artist ??) and chances are you'll see a beautiful jar of water over flowing with paint brushes. It looks beautiful, its inspiring and its romantic. Dont.Ever.Do.That...that is actually the worst thing you can do to your paint brushes. (probably why that Artist is so angry...someone soaked his brushes)...Bristles, real hair or synthetic, are little wicks. Letting them soak in water has them absorb it and swell up. It does that right up into the ferrule, (the metal band around the bristles and handle) Once water is up there, it's up there for good. It softens the epoxy and your brush will start shedding. The ferrule will rust (possibly tinting your paint with every dip) and your handle will soon crack. Your good quality brush is now a hunk of junk and your angry like the Artist in the movie....I always just rinse mine in a bucket of warm water in between coats and colors. (keep that ferrule out of the water!)
Once Im done painting for the day, then I wash it, condition it, style it and dry it
Let me show you.
** I am using Miss Mustard Seed's photos, because she takes beautiful, stunning pictures and I dont**
You get your brand new brush and the bristles look so perfectly shaped and soft…(and your really excited, because who doesn't love new brush day!)
Then, we use it. I always have a bucket of warm water beside me and rinse my brushes out in between coats and colors. A good quality brush will allow you to pull and tug and squeeze on it pretty hard to get the water out each time.
When we're done painting, we wash and condition.
You can use our 100% natural brush soap (my favorite) or a degreasing dish soap (you will need the extra step of conditioning the bristles every so often as degreasing dish soap can really be drying) Cleaning a brush should take a few minutes. It’s not a quickie process to rinse all of the paint and then the soap out of the bristles. Continue to shampoo it in your palm and gently, with your fingers, alternate with rinsing and squeezing until the water run clear.
ReVived Vintage "Paint Brush ReVival Soap" was the inspiration for Miss Mustard Seed's Brush Soap...all of it handmade here in BC. This is our favorite because it naturally cleans and perfectly conditions our brushes all at the same time!
After our brushes are clean and conditioned and the excess water squeezed out...we style! This is the step that most people don't do because this is the number one paint brush complaint I get from customers. They dry all fanned and splayed out and their brush is really just a hot mess when they go to use them again.
Splay: verb (used with object)
1.to spread out, expand, or extend.
2.to form with an oblique angle; make slanting; bevel. direction
3 to flare
Now, wrap the brush in brown paper, or paper towel. (I can use the same sheet quiet a few times) This absorbs the water and styles the bristles so it dries in the proper shape. (like when we comb our hair when we get out of the shower)
Paint Brush ReVival Soap is fantastic at cleaning and conditioning paint brushes for all mediums...but, I also use Fusion™ brush cleaner. Its made from naturally refined linseed oil, a derivative of flax seed and its perfect for cleaning and conditioning my brushes that I use for oil based paints, tints, pastes or topcoats. Oil cleans oil didnt you know? I also love to use it to clean my stencils, embossing trowels and other tools since it squirts perfectly in my hand.
(and when I splatter,spill paint on myself, a little squirt to pretreat my favorite plaid shirt makes sure it comes out later in the wash)
Another product I use for cleaning my brushes: Odourless Solvent.
I use it for cleaning my wax and oil brushes. Then, I follow up with the puck revival soap or the linseed soap to remove any remeaining solvent and to condition the bristles too
( this baby also removes sticker sludge, price tags and other goo from items all over the house) I then wrap the brush and let it dry.
See. Easy and worth every step to maintain the quality of your tools and to have them last for years, just like mine.