How To Clean Artist Paint Brushes

On April 15, 2014 by tanya

Take care to properly wash and clean your artist paint brush, especially if you own expensive genuine sable artist paint brushes. This will save you money in the long term because you won’t be replacing them as often. Perhaps you purchase cheap artist brushes and throw them away after a few uses; gummed up and frayed.  Maybe you’ll feel more justified in investing in good quality brushes if you can trust yourself not to wreck them. These instructions are for artists who use acrylic paint or watercolour paint. Since I don’t use oil paints I don’t feel qualified to comment on their processes.

Step One:

The first step is to wipe off any paint onto paper towel or a rag. Rinse the brush in a container of water. Then, squirt a small amount of diluted liquid dish detergent onto the bristles. (I keep a reusable/refillable  pump bottle next to the sink filled with 1 part liquid soap and 2 parts water).

Step Two:

Holding the brush by the handle in your right hand (if you are right-handed),  firmly grasp the bristles with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Now, rotate the brush in circles with your right hand, without letting go of the bristles with your left hand. This will foam up the soap and cleans paint out from deep in the bristles, even down into the ferrule. (The ferrule is that metal sleeve that joins the bristle part to the handle part)

Step Three:

Then use your fingernails to separate the bristles and scrape away any remaining paint.  Rinse the brush in warm water and carefully reshape the bristles back to their original shape.

Step Four:

Lay the brush flat to dry. I dry them laying on a piece of paper towel (a.k.a kitchen roll) or you can use a washable fabric towel. Take good care of your brushes and they will reward you with years of service.

Comments are closed.