How to Clean Paint Brushes 

A quality brush is important for a silky smooth finish.  A premium price tag is often paired with said brush.  Knowing how to clean paint brushes will ensure many years of use and minimize unnecessary waste. 

A silky smooth finish is especially important when painting your outdated furniture.  Our Plush Synthetic Bristle Furniture Painting Brushes fit the bill by providing the flawless painted finish we all long for. 

Related Reading: How to Paint Furniture without Brush Marks

Best Way to Clean Paint Brushes

The easiest way to clean your paint brushes is using a product you may already have at your house.  Dawn liquid soap.  

Yup, that’s right.  Your everyday dish soap can also be used to clean up your paint brush bristles.  

Simply run the brush bristles under warm (not hot) water, squeeze some Dawn soap in the palm of your hand, then rub the wet bristles in a circular and/or back and forth motion.  

Rinse and repeat as much as needed to remove all the paint. 

Best Way to Care for Paint Brushes

How to Clean Dried Paint on a Brush  

Uh-oh, you waited too long and now the paint on the bristles has dried. 

Frustrated and kicking yourself, you wonder if your investment has been tossed down the drain.  Yup, I’ve been there too!

Have no fear, there is a solution that works most of the time.  I say “most” because if the paint has been on the brush for too long, it may be a goner.

But before you toss your paint brush, try the method below before throwing in the towel.

Pour Mineral Spirits into a glass jar.  You want only enough to soak the bristles and not the metal part.  

Allow the bristles to soak until the paint starts to break apart.  You can dab and swirl it around against the glass bottom if it helps break up the dried paint. 

You can take the brush out of the Mineral Spirits and follow it up with the same Dawn soap cleaning mentioned above, if you notice it is helping to break up the paint.

Go back and forth between Mineral Spirits and Dawn soap cleaning until all the dried paint is gone.

Once the dried paint has been removed from the paint brush bristles, follow up with a gentle soap that will help restore the bristles conditioned state.  Pure Castile Soap is good for this. 

Note that over time, Mineral Spirits can rust metal and weaken the bond between the adhesive and the bristles.  Just keep this method to a minimum and only soak the part of the bristle that has dried paint and you should be good to go. 

Clean Dried Paint From Paint Brushes



 

How to Soften Paint Brush Bristles 

If you just read how to clean dried paint from paint brush bristles, you’re familiar with what I’m about to recommend.

The two best products that help condition and soften paint brush bristles are Lye Soap and Pure Castile Soap.

First, use Dawn liquid soap for a general cleaning (see above under “Best Way to Clean Paint Brushes” for the method).

Then, finish off the bristles with the same method as the Dawn soap but using the Lye or Pure Castile soap.  

How to Store Paint Brushes 

This next tip is more of a “do as I say, not as I do” scenario.  I am horrible at following this tip but promise it makes a noticeable difference. 

After your paint brush is clean as a whistle, wrap it in Kraft Paper and hang it to dry. Even a brown paper lunch bag works. The Kraft Paper helps it keep form. 

If you don’t have Kraft Paper on hand, it’s not a complete deal breaker.  Just be sure to hang it until it is dry.  This will help all the water to slide off the bristles and prevent it from feeling crispy once it’s dry. 

Recap: The List of Four Best Products 

Below you will find the list of four products mentioned in this post,  including when to use them.

Enjoy! 

  • Dawn Soap: For general clean up directly after your are done using your paint brush  
  • Mineral Spirits: Breaks up dried up paint. Use if the paint has dried on your bristles (also great to use to remove wax from wax brushes)
  • Lye Soap or Pure Castile Soap: Conditions the bristles. Use after a general cleaning and when you want to restore your paint brush bristles to keep them feeling soft and fluffy

 

Keep in mind that these products and tips have been tested and proved to be effective with our Plush Synthetic Bristle Paint Brushes.  They have also been tested on a variety of paint brush bristle styles with the same success.  However, please use caution when trying these products on different styles of paint brushes as they may not respond in the same manner.

 

Have another tip or a question?  Leave it in the comments below!

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How to Care for Your Paint Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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