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  • Writer's pictureRenjitha Anoop

How To Maintain Your Paint Brush?

Never let the paint dry on the brush

The most important thing to remember while working with acrylics is that acrylic paint dries very quickly, so always keep your brush wet or moist. Whatever you do, never give a chance to let the paint dry on the brush. The longer it is allowed to dry on the brush, the harder the paint will become, which makes it more difficult to remove. Dried acrylic paint on a brush basically ruins the brush (Refer the image). Even if you know how to clean a paint brush, there is really no other option to retain once it is ruined.

What can we do to avoid this ? Work with one brush at a time. When I use more than one, I keep an eye on the ones that are not in use, Dip them in water and clean it, wipe the bristle with a tissue to get rid of the excess water in the brush. And, then I rest them in a flat or horizontal position until it gets fully dried. Always sharpen the bristle flat after washing.

Don’t get paint on the ferrule

Anatomy of a Brush

There are three parts of a brush:

  • The head(bristle)

  • The ferrule

  • And the handle (Refer image)

The silver part that connects the hairs of the brush with the handle is the Ferrule.

Basically, try not to get paint dry on the ferrule. When paint gets on the ferrule, it ends in a large blob of paint between the ferrule and the hairs, and the result is that the hairs will spread apart. So, try your best not to get paint on this part of the brush!

Don’t rest your paint brush with bristles down

This is another important thing to consider. Never leave your brush with the hairs down in a bowl of water - not even for a minutes. This will cause the hairs to bend (Refer the images) and the effect is irreversible, damaging the shape of the brush and making it unfit for painting.

If your brushes are precious to you, then this is definitely don’t do. Another thing is, Even if the hairs don't bend, but the bristle/hair of the brush will spread apart and it will basically never be the same paint brush again!

When using more than one paint brush at a time, one easy solution is to lay them horizontally with the bristles hanging over or lay flat. Another solution is Paint Brush Holder. You can rest the paint brushes in the grooves, keeping the bristles raised.

Methods to clean paint brushes

When you are done painting with a brush, you must clean it right away to avoid the paint from drying on the bristles. Follow this simple procedure for how to clean paint brushes. Before washing your brush, take a paper towel or rag and squeeze the excess paint first.

  • Remove the left over paint using water. You can use deep brush cleaner to remove the paint. (Refer the image)

  • Shake off the excess water (Be gentle)

  • Repeat until most of the paint is washed off.

  • Rinse your brush under running water. Using your fingers, gently squeeze the bristles to take away the left over paint.

  • Use soap ( regular hand washing soap or artist soap for brush cleaning) on your brush and gently wash the bristles with your fingers by applying the soap through the bristles.

  • Rinse off the soap using normal water.

  • You can repeat the process until the brush hair is fully clean.

  • This is an optional method. If the paint is too hard to remove you can use nail polish remover( remember don't use it regularly)

  • Once all the paint has been removed, shake the brush and remove the excess water.

  • Place the bristles in between a paper towel or rag and squeeze out the excess water.

  • Let your paint brush dry in a safe place, preferably lying horizontally.

  • Wait until it full dry.

That's it. Enjoy painting and take care of your precious brush


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Mar 22, 2018

Useful information👍


Shambu J
Shambu J
Mar 22, 2018

Superb and informative..👍


sinu anne Kurien
sinu anne Kurien
Mar 22, 2018

really helpful.. thank you for your valuable informations...


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