How to Clean and Care for Your Paint Brushes

Every home needs a good set of paintbrushes, especially if you’re planning on tackling any DIY decorating or trying to spruce up your home for sale. It’s especially important to clean and care for your paintbrushes so they’ll last you for a long time. Here’s how to clean and care for your paintbrushes so you can get plenty of use from them.

For cleaning water-based and latex paint out of brushes

Start by wiping as much paint as possible back off the brush into the paint can. Blot it on newspaper after that to remove even more paint. Once you have as much paint as possible off the brush, wash the brush in warm, soapy water. Work the suds through the bristles to get every bit of paint out. Use a brush comb to get to the innermost bristles without damaging the brush, then rinse the bristles in clean water.

Spin the newly washed brushes in a pail of water, then shake the excess water out. Wrap the brush carefully in paper to help it keep its shape for future painting.

For oil-based paints and varnishes

Remove as much paint as you can, then rinse the brush in paint thinner. If you use your fingers to work the paint from the bristles, make sure you wear gloves to protect your skin. Use a brush and roller spinner to spin the brush in the paint thinner, then remove the brush and inspect to make sure all the solid pieces of paint are gone. Next, spin the brush in a clean container of paint thinner for several minutes.

After the paint thinner, finish off by spinning the brush in lacquer thinner in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. Wipe the excess liquid off on newspaper and then wash the brush in warm, soapy water to remove the lacquer thinner residue. You can then spin the brush to remove excess water and wrap it in paper to preserve its shape.

Reviving petrified brushes

If you find that you weren’t quick enough cleaning your brushes and you now have stiff, petrified ones, revive them by soaking the bristles in a special solvent-based cleaner (found in most hardware stores). You might be able to revive your brushes and save yourself some money.

For tips on decorating and prepping your home for sale, contact Prep’N’Sell today.

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