Proper acrylic paint brush cleaning is the best way to get the most life from your brushes. I have used many methods to clean acrylic paint brushes and this one has been the best for me. I use inexpensive yet good quality brushes but they only do a great job as long as I care for them properly.
Acrylic Paint brush cleaning isn’t hard, time-consuming, or expensive. How to clean paint brushes well is simply a matter of a few steps while you are painting and once you are done.
I have tried many brands and styles of brushes. One thing I have learned is they do not need to be expensive but they do need proper care. I confess I have ruined a few. Not intentionally… but from lack of proper cleaning of the paint brush on my absent-minded days.
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I ordered some from Amazon back when I started referring folks to them for the brushes as I wanted to be sure the ones sent were of the same quality I had been using for a long time. I can confidently say they are and if you give them the TLC they deserve they will serve you well.
Paint Brush Care while Painting
One trick to keep in mind when painting with acrylics is to dampen your brush before you load it with paint. Not dripping but just damp. Starting with the bristles damp prevents the paint from drying in the bristles too quickly and building up making you lose your chisel edge while painting. It won’t stop it, but it will lengthen the amount of time you have before you need to completely rinse your brush out to get rid of too much paint in the bristles.
Paint Brush Cleaning Tools
My go-to tool that I love and would not be without while painting is my brush caddy basin.
As you can see my brush basin is well used. The ribs on the left side are wonderful for getting paint out of the brush thoroughly.
When I need to clean my brush I start in the ribbed (left) side of the basin and run my brush up and down the ribs, not hard but enough to work out the paint.
Next, rinse in one of the right side sections, dab on a towel (paper or cloth), and continue to paint.
For the final clean of the brushes for the day, use a brush cleaner. I have tried many including just plain dish soap but I always come back to this one.
The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver
How to Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes
Rinse the paint from the brush as listed above then stroke the brush onto the brush cleaner. Masters Brush Cleaner is solid, like bar soap. Work the brush into the soap, brush back and forth.
Then take the brush back to the basin and repeat the rinsing on both sides. The ribbed side of the basin has gotten dirty, but the water in the other side should be cleaner. (replace water as needed in the basin)
After rinsing stroke the brush back and forth on a white absorbent towel or paper towel.
If there is paint still in the brush it will leave color on the white towel. If that is the case then repeat the above procedure, lather up in brush cleaner, rinse in the ribbed side of the basin, then rinse in the clean water and stroke on the towel. Repeat until there is no color left on the white towel.
Pay particular attention to the ferrule of the brush. Paint drying in the ferrule is the fastest way to ruin any good brush. (Ferrule is where the bristles meet the metal part)
Final Step to Preserve
The final step is to lather up the brush with the The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver and reshape the brush with your fingers. Do not rinse out, let the cleaner dry in the brush.
(Sorry for the blur but you get the idea)
Lay brushes flat to dry.
And that is basically it. Your brushes will last you a long time using these methods. A clean brush is a happy brush.
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Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping brushes in tip-top shape? I would love to hear them.
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