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Video:7 Tips to Maintain Paint Brushes

with Marco Cutrone

Preserve the life of your favorite paint brushes with these About.com video tips on how to clean, store, and maintain your paint brushes.See Transcript

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Transcript:7 Tips to Maintain Paint Brushes

Hi, I’m Marco Cutrone here for About.com. Today, I have 7 tips on how to maintain your paint brushes. 

Regularly Clean Your Paint Brushes

Tip 1: Make sure when you finish painting that you clean all of the paint out of your brushes. Whether you have expensive brushes or simply want to make your brushes last longer, it is important clean all of the paint out of the bristles. If you don't clean all of the paint out of the bristles, the brush will stiffen when the paint dries.

Tip 2: Don't leave your brush in liquid over extended periods of time. When you finish painting, be sure to clean your brushes. Leaving brushes in a jar of water, medium, turpentine, etc. can damage the bristles. It can also loosen or slowly dissolve the glue that holds the bristles in place.

Don't Scrub with Your Best Brushes

Tip 3: Avoid using the your favorite brushes to "scrub" paint onto your canvas or painting surface. This can damage the bristles, causing the brush to lose its shape and even loosen the bristles. 

It's helpful to keep a few older or less valuable brushes when scrubbing paint onto a canvas so you can keep your favorite brushes in good shape. 

How Store Your Brushes

Tip 4: Once you've cleaned your brushes, if you want to store them upright, be sure not to store them bristle-side down. This can put a lot of pressure on the bristles, damaging them, and causing them to lose their shape over time. Be sure to store them handle-side down. 

Tip 5: Once you've washed your brush, re-shape the bristles back to into their original shape. You can simply do this with your fingers. If you have difficulty re-shaping your brushes with your fingers, you can use a paper towel or tissue and gently wrap it around the brush, still sculpting it back into its original shape. If you allow it to dry this way, it can help re-train the brush to take on its original shape. This technique may not work with severely damaged brushes, however. 

Tip 6: Make sure you don't allow your brushes to dry out while you are painting. Use medium, water, etc. to keep the paint from hardening and drying into the bristles. 

Tip 7: Don't store your brushes in an extremely warm area, such as near a heater. This can cause the wood to warp over time. Also be sure not to store the brushes in an area that is overly damp, this can cause the brushes to mildew. 

 

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