How to Extend the Life of your Paintbrushes with Proper Care

So you have your Pop of Color Paints and you have your fabulous brushes. You are ready to create amazing things but are wondering how to properly take care of your equipment. We want you to get the most out of your brushes so today we are explaining how to extend the life of your paintbrushes with proper care. 

The main tools in an a painter’s tool box has to be their paintbrushes. Many of us have a fairly large collection of brushes that we love for different reasons. (Want to know which paintbrush is right for you project? We have a post for that too!) And we want to keep them in good shape so that we can continue to use our favorites. So let’s talk about how to extend the life of your paintbrushes with proper care!

Recently we asked you how you care for your brushes to ensure they have a long and happy life. We got some great tips from you including artist Shay Livenspargar letting us know that she tells her brushes everyday that they are loved. While this advice made us all giggle, it is actually more true than you might think. Showing your brushes love through daily affirmations may not actually help much but when you combine that with a solid care routine, your brushes will be with you for a long time!

How to Extend the Life of your Paintbrushes with Proper Care

Proper Brush Care while Painting

How to Extend the Life of your Paintbrushes with Proper Care

Tip One: Don’t let the paint dry on the brush; especially acrylics. While our chalk based paints are super easy to clean from your brushes we know it is not the only type of paint that you use for your art. And, even though our paints come right off in water, you still don’t want to let them dry on the brush. A brush that is left to get crusty will never be the same again.

Tip Two: If you notice that a brush is starting to dry out, get it rinsed out STAT. You can either swish it around in a cup of water a few times and dab it off on rag or, if you know you are done with the brush for now, take it right to the sink and rinse it out. While you are painting you don’t need to take the time to deep clean your brushes. But do keep them free from drying paint, slightly moist, and laying horizontally if possible.

Tip Three: Don’t let your brushes sit upside down in water. In fact, they should never be allowed to rest on their bristles. This will bend and fray the bristles which will make anything you paint with them a little wonky. We are all for wonky in other situations but we know that your heart and soul pours through your brushes. Keeping those brushes pristine will allow for your flow to go on uninterrupted by wonky bristles!

How to Clean your Brushes Properly

How to Extend the Life of your Paintbrushes with Proper Care

At the end of each painting session be sure to wash your brushes thoroughly. Run your brush under a light stream of warm water and gently use your fingers to squeeze out the paint. Using a light stream of water when rinsing will prevent bristle damage that could result from a heavy spray.

There are several paint brush soaps on the market that are designed to prolong the life of your paintbrushes. They  are mild and often have special conditioners in them to help preserve your bristles. We love paint brush soap but it isn’t an absolute must. You can also use a mild hand soap to wash your brushes. Just stay away from dish soap because the ingredients in them (designed to help cut grease etc.) are too harsh for your delicate bristles.

Using whichever soap you have chosen, gently wash your brushes. Then dab them on a rag or paper towel to remove excess water. If you can, allow them to dry while laying horizontally. If you don’t have the space or set up for that you can stand them up on their ends. Just remember not to let them rest on their bristles.

How to Store your Paint Brushes

How to Extend the Life of your Paintbrushes with Proper Care

In a perfect world we all have a permanent and spacious painting space. In that case we would be able to simply lay out our brushes horizontally and let them rest comfortably until our next session. For many of us, however, that isn’t an option. We are either short on work space or storage space. But we still have options!

Standing containers allow you to store many brushes in a compact space. You can use something you have on hand or you can purchase stands that are designed specifically for paint brushes. These are great because they have individual spots for each brush. That can help reduce damage that can come from the brushed brushing up against each other or being jostled when other brushes are removed.

There are also some great options if you need to store your brushes flat and out of the way. Regular storage bins or boxes can work for this purpose. Or you can check out options designed for storing brushes. Check out your favorite craft or art store to see what they have available. The main thing is just to keep your brushes stored in a way that is safe but also works for your situation.

The Finishing Touches

And that is just about everything we know about paintbrush care and maintenance. Being kind to your brushes (whether you give them daily praise or not) will ensure that they will be your loyal sidekicks for a long time to come. Our brushes won’t last forever but there is a lot we can do to prolong their lives. And, when they do wear out, don’t throw them out right away. You may be surprised by the different ways to can use old brushes.

Each will fade in a different way which can give you interesting abstract painting effects. Artists are some of the most creative people there are and we know you have probably found some uses for your old brushes too. We’d love to hear your tricks for taking care of your brushes and how you use your old ones. Leave a comment below, tag us on social media, or drop us an email to let us know!

How to Extend the Life of your Paintbrushes with Proper Care

 

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