Paintbrush Cleaning Tutorial

Paintbrush Cleaning Tutorial

Originally written by Virgil Romero.

Hey guys! It’s been a while since Otakuthon, I was having technical issues from my GPU and was having problems in my private life ever since I got back. But we do our best to provide you (Our favourite readers in the entire universe ^_^) content.

Back on  track, and yes, you got what this article is all about…PAINT BRUSHES! When I was new to the hobby, I did not know how to take care of my brushes until someone told me how easy it is to clean paint brushes. Once I knew the method to the madness, the longest my artificer brush lasted me 5 years. Now that I have matured, I take care of my brushes a lot more. I use acrylic paints all the time, if you use enamels or lacquer paint, you will have use this method every time you paint.

 Here we have three brushes, from left to right: my round tip wash brush, base layer citadel brush and citadel medium layer brush.

Clean dish soap

 Clean water

And toothpicks to clean out the bristles

 This is all you really need to clean your brushes, every few days to keep your brushes in tip top condition, get it? Tip top. Moving on…

Start by putting your brush in water and getting it nice and moist…wet, this step will help get the dish soap to lather and thoroughly clean the bristles.

 Step 2 is to put your brush into the dish soap, make sure your the bristles absorbs a lot of soap to get good results.

 Now this step can take some time depending on how dirty your bristles are. To clean the brush, all you have to do is simply move your fingers from the bottom of the bristles to the very tip. Repeat this until your brush is clean. If needed, repeat steps 1 and 2 and continue to run your fingers along.

Now if you are brave, gently use a toothpick to pick out the paint that has dried on the bottom of the brush, yes there is a correct term but bear with me.

 And that’s it, brush is cleaned!

I did this with my base brush and the bristles are now clean. Make sure your brush is clean and paint doesn’t dry. Rinse your brushes in clean water frequently, not only will this avoid uneven layers, but also keep your bristles clean.

Most people will throw this brush out, but it has its uses. I use this brush for washes since the body will retain the wash easily, with the added volume.

This is a round tip brush with synthetic hair, so this brush needs more care and attention. As a matter of fact, all the brushes shown here are synthetic hairs and not sable hair. What’s the difference? Well quality of the bristles, synthetic hairs do not last as long but is great for beginners and even intermediate hobbyist. Sable hairs (Artificers and Series 7) are by far an upgrade to their lower-tier brethren brushes. They maintain their points very well, but still require the same care as regular brushes.

 My secret weapon to a long lasting tip: Brush Restorer, after cleaning my brushes I let my brushes soak for a few minutes, take out the brushes, and then let the bristles air dry.

A few more tips on keeping your brushes alive:

  1. 1. Keep clean water as you paint. Change it as soon as your water is dirtier than a clogged toilet.

  2. DO NOT leave your brush in the water, this ruins the brushes and their tip. This is a fast way to waste money.

  3. Water down your paints, watering down your paints not only ensures smooth surfaces, but it makes cleaning your brushes 10x easier to clean.

  4. Use the correct brush for the type of effect you want. Need weathering? Use a dry brush. Fine lines and small details? Use a XS fine detail brush. Base coat? Base coat.

  5. Clean your brush as you paint. Keeping your brushes dirty as you paint isn’t ideal not only for the finished result, but also negatively affects the life of your brush.

  6. Make sure there is ABSOLUTELY NO PAINT except the bristles on the brush. Specifically on the tip, anywhere else is going to ruin your brush.

  7. This isn’t a cleaning tip, but if you spend the money on good quality brushes, you will enjoy it.

I hope these tips (hehe) have helped you guys out, take care of your brushes and they will, in turn, take care of you!

Thanks for reading and hope to see you guys next time! If you have any tips on brush care that I may have missed, or tips, comment down below.

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