How to clean a paintbrush
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Whether you’re painting with water based or oil based paints, it’s essential to understand how to clean a paintbrush. This basic guide will help you when painting signs and large panels.

Remove excess paint

Glide the used paintbrush over the edge of your paint tin or pot. Repeat on all four edges of the bristles until no more excess paint is released from the bristles. The less paint left on your brush, the less there’ll be in the cleaning agent.

With a dry cloth, wipe off paint drips and runs on the ferrule and handle.

How do I remove paint from a brush
Recycle your old T-shirts and dish drying towels

Washing the paintbrush

Using a small clean pot, such as a used food container, pour water (for water based paints) or white spirits (for oil based paints) into the container. The cleaning agent in the container should be no more than half the height of the bristles.

How to wash a brush after painting

Dip the paintbrush into the cleaning agent and press it up and down repeatedly. This action will release paint within the bristles.

How do I wash paint out of a brush

Remove the brush from the container and using the same action in the first step, glide the bristles over the container’s edge. Repeat the pressing/cleaning/rinsing process until no paint is visible in the bristles.

How to clean paint from a brush

Paint will dry within the bristles and eventually ruin your brush. Ensure the bristles are as clean as possible.

Drying the paintbrush

Once the cleaning agent is rinsed off of the bristles and back into the container, it’s time to dry the bristles. Make sure the bristles are not dripping wet or sodden.

Drying a paint brush

Knead the bristles into a dry, clean cloth. Push them back and forth into the cloth until the bristles feel dry.

Air dry the brush by resting on its edge or hanging vertically. The brush can then be placed back into your storage box (for oil based brushes) or container (for water based brushes).

Never stand the brush on its bristles.

Re-use your cleaning fluid

By following these steps, you’ll be able to clean several brushes using the same cleaning agent. When there’s a deposit of excess paint in the bottom of the cleaning agent container, dispose of the cleaning agent and clean the container. Refill with the new cleaning agent to continue washing more brushes.

Always dispose of used cleaning agents by following your local authority’s guidelines. Keep an empty paint tin and secure lid for storing the used cleaners. Never pour the used cleaners into sinks or drains.

Key Points

Remove as much as possible excess paint from the bristles.

Push the bristles into the cleaner until the bristles show no more excess paint.

Dry the entire brush thoroughly.

Store your brush in relevant containers.

Thanks for reading my guide on how to clean a paintbrush. Get in touch if you have any questions.