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Brushes are the Rolls Royce of my Artist Studio! They can define who you are as a Artist, as well as cost a hefty penny. Some are made of mixtures of Animal Hairs, while others are made from synthetic bristles. I prefer the vegan option! Anyhow, our paintbrushes are investments to our imaginations. So better take good care of them. Right!
Here are some tips to extend the longevity of your paintbrushes!
1. Use cold water when cleaning your paintbrushes.
I learned this tip from my high school Art Teacher Mrs. Rust. She taught me that everyone says to use warm or hot water to clean your brushes, but when you do this, you slowly but surely melt the glue that holds together the bristles of your paintbrushes. So always use cold water to keep your bristles strong!
2. Wash your paintbrushes with a mild soap.
Avoiding harsh chemicals and soaps will help your brushes look and feel healthier, and less fuzzy, and not make the hairs stick out in different directions. Some soaps I like using are your everyday Liquid Dish Soap, The Master Brush Cleaner and Perserver, and Pink Soap.
3. Use hair conditioner to rescue brushes that have hardened.
In the past I've used a mixture of Hair Conditioner and water to soften hardened paintbrushes. I mix the two into a creamy mixture, and then rub it into the brush. Then I stick the brush in the remaining mixture and let it sit overnight. It works most of the time, but it may need more than one night.
4. Us the double dip method that oil painters use to clean your brushes.
Oil painters often use a little metal tray that they fill with the cleaner of their choice. Since I work in acrylics, I'll use this method while painting and cleaning my brushes. What you'll need to do is get two cups or jars of water. Use one jar to swish your dirty paintbrush in, and the use the other jar to swish it again. It's like a clean and rinse, but you don't want to rinse in the dirty water. What this does is get the sneaky paint that's left behind on your brushes.
6. After drying your brushes, store them facing up, not down.
I have to admit. I'm guilty of this one. Store your brushes facing up to prevent that smoochy look, that damages your brushes.
7. Always clean the space where the brush meets the silver part more than once, twice, three times.
The Ferrule is that metal thing on your paintbrush that connects it to the handle, and keeps a grip on the bristles. After you clean your brushes you'll want to check this area again. This area likes to store paint inside the ferrule, and hold onto it. What this means for you, is a hardened paintbrush! So be sure to check once, twice, and three times if you have too!