Easy Methods to Clean a Paint Brush

Getting the paint off of your paint brush is a very common question. It is very important to remove paint from the brush to let the brush serve you for years. A lot of ways are there out to do this and these methods are proven to clean a brush nicely and perfectly. Peek-a-boo in these 4 methods of how to clean paint brush:

Method 1: Solvent

Rub the paint brush on a towel or a rag to make it absorb as much paint as it can. Removing paint this way makes it easy for you to clean the brush easily in later stages.

Use some solvent to rinse the brush. You can use the dirty solvent which is left over from the painting session. What you need to do is move your brush back and forth into the bucket or bowl which has solvent. It will remove the paint from the brush. Then wipe the brush along the container sides to remove any bits of paint. Types of solvents are:

  • For oil based paints, mineral spirits are perfect.
  • For water based paints like latex, water color or acrylic, water is the best choice.
  • For shellac, go for denatured alcohol.
  • If you don’t know what type of paint are you using, check the product label so as to use the right type of solvent.

Rub the brush once again on a rag to get rid of any remaining solvent. Or if used water as a solvent, skip this step.

Open the tap and rinse the brush thoroughly under running water. You need to use your fingers to rub the bristles of the brush. Make sure to do it very gently and not getting hard with the bristles.

Now the brush is clean. Shake it well to drain out extra water and adjust the bristles to their original form.

At last, store the brush in a container in an upright position to ensure that the bristles don’t get malformed after drying.

Method 2: Fabric Softener

Rub the paint brush on a towel or a rag to make it absorb as much paint as it can. Removing paint this way makes it easy for you to clean the brush easily in later stages.

Take a gallon of warm water and mix it with ½ cup fabric softener. It will remove the excess paint from the brush by loosening it up. The paint will immediately slip off of the brush.

Roll your brush in this solution few times until you see the paint getting off.

Shake the brush after taking it out from the solution to remove excess fabric softener.

Adjust the bristles and store it in upright position to dry.

Method 3: Use Vinegar (For Hard Paint)

Take some vinegar and keep the paint brush into it for an hour. Then check the bristles if they are bending. If not, soak the brush for another hour.

Put the brush in a pot and cover it with enough amount of vinegar which doesn’t leave any bristle out of it. They should be completely covered.

Keep the container on stove and let the vinegar boil for few minutes. While this process, the brush should be inside the container.

Get the pot down from the stove and let the brush cool. Don’t touch the brush as it will be very hot.

Once cool, use your fingers to comb the brush. Combing will get the loosened paint out of the brush. Keep on combing it until the paint has come out properly. Other than fingers, you can use an old comb too. Keep the comb at the base of the brush and pull it through the bristles.

Wipe the brush under running water to rinse off all the paint.

If the paint is still in the brush, perform the vinegar session again to remove paint.

Reshape the bristles and store the brush in upright position to let it dry.

Method 4: Liquid Dish Soap (For Oil Paint)

Rub the paint brush on a towel or a rag to make it absorb as much paint as it can. Removing paint this way makes it easy for you to clean the brush easily in later stages.

Pour some liquid dish soap into your palm

Rotate the brush onto your palm while warm water is running through. You may have to do this at least 3 times to make sure no bit of paint remains in the brush. Repeat the process until all the paint comes out.

Adjust the bristles of the brush and keep it upright to let it dry. But before shake the brush well to strain excess water.

Some Tips to Clean a Paint Brush

If you are using water based paints or some dark colored paint like black, red or green, you may feel some greasiness in the brush even after it is cleaned. To get rid of this grease, use mineral spirits to clean the brush thoroughly.

Never leave the brush in water. Instead, wrap it up in a towel and then lay it flat or upright to let it dry. And put a rubber band around the bristles to keep them trained and in shape for the next paint session.

For acrylic paint, acetone and denatured alcohol are perfect choices to put life back in the brush. Soak the brush in any of the solutions for 2 minutes and rinse off with soap afterwards. Repeat the process till you get soft and clean bristles free from paint. To remove frizzy bristles, use tweezers.

If you paint every day, then cleaning the brush with above methods may seem time consuming to you. In this case, wrap the brush in plastic wrap and store it in sealable plastic bag.

Try these tips and enhance your paint brush life. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks. Have a good day!!