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Video:How to Clean Paint Brushes

with Marco Cutrone

Washing your paint brushes is essential to maintaining their quality. Watch this About.com video to learn how to clean paint brushes properly so you don't damage them in the process.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Clean Paint Brushes

Hi, I’m Marco Cutrone from Marco Cutrone Fine Art. I'm here for About.com and today I'm going to go over some techniques on how to clean your paint brushes. 

Wiping and Rinsing Excess Paint

When you are done using your paint brush, make sure you wipe off any excess paint. You can use a painting rag or a soft tissue. Gently squeeze the bristles and pull outward from the base of the bristles to the tip of the brush. 

If you are using oil paints, rinse the brush in turpentine. Some artists will instead use oil to rinse their brushes, some artists will use turpentine like myself, and others will use other cleaning solvents. If you are using a water-based paint, rinse your brush in lukewarm water. Make sure the water temperature isn't too hot because it can damage the brush. When you've rinsed your brush, go ahead and wipe off the excess paint again using the rag. 

Soap on Paint Brushes

Next, you'll need mild soap, nothing too abrasive, or mild dishwashing detergent. Carefully dab the brush on the soap. Gently rub the brush on the palm of your hand, or if you are working with toxic paints, you can do the same in a small container. Go ahead and rinse the brush in lukewarm water, and repeat as many times as necessary. 

Shaping, Drying and Storing Paint Brushes

When you are finished, you can work the brush back into its original shape by using your fingers. If your brush is in really bad shape, you can wrap a bit of tissue paper around the brush itself. You can re-shape the brush using your fingers and wait for it to dry. 

Allow your brushes to dry at room temperature. Avoid extreme temperature. Also, if you are going to allow your brushes to dry standing, make sure the tips are in the air. Otherwise the bristles can be damaged form the pressure. If you are working with toxic paints or solvents, you can wear gloves. This help will protect your hands from the chemicals. You can also wear gloves to keep your hands from drying out over time. 

If you are working with water-based paints and oil paints, please be sure to have separate brushes for each medium. 

Be sure when you are washing out your brushes not to use too much pressure as it can damage your brushes. 

Cleaning your brushes thoroughly can take a lot of patience, but it's very important to do. If you don't remove all the paint and it dries in your brushes, the bristles will stiffen. Being thorough about washing your brushes will help them last a lot longer. 

Thank you for watching. For more information, please visit: hobbies.about.com.

 

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