Paintbrush Maintenance

Paintbrush Maintenance

The art of painting means a great many things to various people who practice the skill. Whether it is to simply relieve stress and escape to a world all your own or it is your profession, painting is an enormous creative outlet. Yet with this creative getaway source, it is essential to maintain the upkeep of your painting tools, such as your paintbrushes. These tools can become costly to replace, especially if you are unknowingly adding to the wearing of them.

Paintbrushes are vital in traditional painting. Without them, it would be like a body without an arm; tasks can still be completed, but with much greater difficulty. Thus, it is imperative that regular maintenance is kept. It can be a tedious ritual; however, one worth committing to that will save you time and money down the road. Neglecting to properly cleanse your brushes will ruin them. Case in point, if you let your acrylic paint dry on a paintbrush, it will harden and become water-resistant making it impossible to continue using.

First of all, you want to remove as much excess paint as possible, and to do that, simply wipe away the paint using a cloth of soft tissue. You will to gently squeeze the bristles from the ferrule edge outwards. However, by doing this, you must be careful to avoid pulling on the bristles too much.

Now if you were using oil paints, then you would rinse the brush in turpentine. For water-based mediums, simply rinse the brush in lukewarm water. Avoid rinsing the paintbrush in hot water, the temperature can cause the ferrule to expand allowing the bristles to become loose and fall out. Wipe the bristles again in a cloth to help remove more of the paint.

Using a mild soap (stay away from dishwashing liquid), wash the brush by dabbing it and work into a lather in the palm of your hand. Rinse it in water again and repeat if paint is still remaining in the paintbrush. Over time, you will notice that your brushes will become stained. There is no harm in this and that does not mean that they are too worn to use. As long as the bristles and shape are still in tact, the brush is fine to work with. Once you are finished rinsing, shake off the water. With your fingers, gently reshape the brush back to its natural form. You could consider wrapping the brush in a piece of tissue; once the paper dries it will contract, pulling the bristles back into shape.

Leave the brushes to dry in room temperature. When you put them away, be sure to keep them standing upright, in a cup perhaps. If they are leaning on the bristles, it will misshape them.

When working with different mediums, it is imperative that you separate your bushes according to the medium you used them for. If you work with a paintbrush on an oil painting, the oil from that brush could soak on to a brush you were using for a water-based painting. While oil repels water, your water-based paintings could potentially be ruined.

At, we have a great selection of paintbrushes if you find yourself in need, such as the Everett Raymond Kinstler portrait brush set . For whatever your reason may be to create beautiful paintings, do not neglect your paintbrushes, or any other painting tools you have. You want them to last as long as possible to save you time and money.

Art Studio Furniture & Equipment
Art Instruction DVDs & Art Education
Drawing  Supplies
Painting Supplies
More Art Forms
Children's Art