Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Frugal Artist Tip: Cleaning Oil Paint Brushes

Ten Easy Steps to Cleaning Oil Paint Brushes
  1. Remove excess paint onto palette (if there is a lot) or onto paper or rag. 
  2. Dip or swish in very small amount of solvent- I like weber odorless turpenoid. 
  3. Wipe on clean part of rag until relatively clean.  Repeat until no color shows on rag. 
  4. Now get all the paint out:  Moisten brush with cool or warm water and scrub on a bar of ivory soap    (that's right, "the soap that floats"). 
  5. Now scrub the brush around on the palm of your hand, working soap all the way up to the metal ferrule.  You might wear glove or plastic bag to protect from potential paint toxins.
  6. Wipe off excess lather on cloth or rag.
  7. Rinse with warm water.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until lather no longer shows color.
  9. Shake out water and reshape bristles with fingertips.  I've also used a rubber band or plastic twisty-tie to reshape resistant brushes.  Just wrap twistie-tie around bristles when wet- remove when dry.  
  10. Let dry on side or in a container bristles up/ handles down. Or hang bristles down.  See Best Way to Dry Brushes here. 
Look at BJ's or other bulk store for the 24-pack of ivory bars.  You will save money on cleaning supplies and keep your brushes in great shape for many years.

If you have a tip to share, please click 'comments' below.

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