Paint Brush

Paint Brush Cleaning an taking care of paint brushes is very important in painting.New brushes usually have a few loose bristles. To remove them, be­fore dipping the brush in oil or paint, roll the brush handle rapidly between the palms of the hands and the loose bristles will drop out.

A new brush should be suspended in linseed oil overnight before being put into paint. This makes the pig­ment less difficult to remove from the bristles later on. When ready to use the brush, the oil should be squeezed out with a wood strip and the brush swirled in a container of mineral spirits or turpentine to wash out the remaining linseed oil. The brush handle can then be rolled again in the palms of the hands to evaporate the thinner in the bristles. Brushes that are well broken-in give much better service than those that have been given careless treatment.

More Paint Brush Cleaning Tips


Don't paint with side of brush. This is one of the chief causes of fingering.

Don't ever soak brushes in water. Bristles lose elasticity, become soft and floppy.

Don't use a wide brush to paint pipes and similar surfaces. Your brush will "fishtail."

Don't let a brush stand on its bristle end. The weight bends and curls the bristles. Painting will be difficult.

Don't paint with the bristles of your brush pointed sideways. Your brush will "curl."

Don't dip brush too deep into paint. If paint hardens in heel, it will swell the ferrule.

Don't permit bristles to become matted and snarled. If allowed to "set" in this condition, brush will not paint smoothly.


Do use a narrow brush to paint narrow surfaces; a wider brush for wider surfaces.

Do condition brushes in linseed oil before using. (Recommended for brushes of hog bristle only.)

Do use the right size brush, a sash or trim brush, for painting pipes, 'and gift-Mar sur­faces.

Do suspend brushes so that bristles don't rest on bottom of container; or lay brush­es on a flat surface.

Do make sure your brush is correctly loaded and carefully clean after every use.

Do comb bristles thoroughly and frequent­ly with a metal comb before painting, after cleaning. Be sure bristles are dry, then comb.


Care of Brushes

When doing paint brush cleaning a paint brush should not be al­lowed to stand on its bristles or left to soak in water. It should be cleaned after each job by using the proper thinner. Turpentine followed by naphtha or mineral spirits should be used for oil paint, enamel, varnish, or oil stains; alcohol for shellac or alcohol stain; lacquer thinner for lacquers. The brush should be soaked in the proper thinner and worked against the side of the con­tainer, squeezing the bristles to force out the paint, working from the ferrule to the end of the bristles. Repeat this several times, finally rinsing the brush in fresh thinner. If paint has hardened, the pigment may be loosened with a wire brush. An ade­quate amount (2 quarts) of thinner should be used. It can be saved in a sealed container and used more than once. The brush should then be washed with mild soap and warm water followed by rinsing in clear water. After the water is squeezed from the brush, comb the bristles lightly, so that the inside bristles are straight. It can then be wrapped in absorbent paper, such as a paper towel, and allowed to dry. After the brush is dry, it should be wrapped in several thicknesses of paper and stored in a cool. dry place.

When paint brush cleaning is in progress also remember neglected brushes full of hard­ened paint can sometimes be sal­vaged by soaking them in turpentine or in commercial liquid brush cleaner for a day or two, working the bristles occasionally to loosen the paint. A scraper may be used to re­move hardened paint, after which the brush can be soaked for several hours. in hot, soapy water.

If this treatment does not clean the brush, sprinkle soap powder on an old washboard and rub brush across it, using the same motion as for washing clothes. If bristles remain stiff, add sand to the soap powder. Finally, the brush should be rinsed in warm water until all traces of soap and paint have been removed from it. More basic carpentry tips are coming in the near future thank you. Thanks for reading this page on paint brush cleaning