How to Clean and Store Your Paintbrushes

How to Clean and Store Your Paintbrushes

How many of you have started a new painting project only to realize that your paintbrushes from the last DIY are all stiff and unusable?

Cleaning and storing your paintbrushes properly will prevent you from tossing them out every time and save you some money by not having to go out and buy new brushes. Since most painting projects require good quality brushes, looking after your painting tools seems like a viable option. 

Here are some different ways of cleaning and storing your paintbrushes for short breaks to overnight. 

  • Need to pop out for a minute? Store your paintbrush in your paint tray to keep it from drying out. To make sure it doesn't fall over, you can secure your brush with some tape. You can also buy some paint trays that come with a magnet to hold your paintbrush in place. Don't fully submerge the bristles, 1/3 of the way is usually good practice. Make sure to wipe your brush to remove any excess paint before painting again. 
  • You could store your brushes in a jar in an appropriate solvent for the paint you are using. If you were painting with water-based paint you would use a jar of water and if you were using oil-based paint, you would use paint thinner. Make sure the bristles are fully submerged in the liquid. When you are ready to paint again make sure to rinse the brush out with water and flick it dry.
  • If you are wanting to continue painting the next day you can tightly wrap your paintbrushes in plastic wrap or a plastic bag to keep for up to 2 days. Make sure you seal it up properly to prevent it from drying out. A bit of masking tape or a rubber band around the top will also help seal it properly.  

Cleaning and storing your paintbrushes for a longer period of time   

  • Make sure to scrape as much paint off the brush as possible, you can do this by scraping the paint on the inside of the paint tin, or by painting some newspaper in an X motion to use up the paint. 
  • Wash the brushes in its proper solvent (water for water-based and thinners for oil-based).
  • Wash the brush in some soapy water and use your fingers to loosen the bristles to remove trapped paint. Rinse well to make sure all the solvent and soap suds are removed.  
  • Align the paintbrush bristles to the way it was when bought new. You can do this by flicking the paintbrush a few times. 
  • Store your paintbrush in some newspaper or thick paper towel and hang the brush up vertically 

So, there you have it, some tips for cleaning and storing your paintbrushes to use for future painting projects. Have you got a helpful tip for storing paintbrushes that we haven't mentioned here? Let us know!


Happy Painting!

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