Tips for Cleaning Acrylic Paint Brushes
Don't Let Acrylic Paint Dry on Brushes
Acrylic paint is easily washable with soap and water while wet, but it becomes extremely difficult to remove once dry, and it can definitely ruin paintbrushes if allowed to dry on the bristles.
It’s important to remove any acrylic paint from your paintbrushes to keep your artist tools fresh – and your creations beautiful. Read below how to promptly removeall paint from your brushes, ste-by-step.
Thorough cleaning habits will help extend the life of your brushes, and in the end, save you a lot of money in supplies.
Keep Your Paintbrushes Moist
Throughout your acrylic painting session, make sure your brushes stay wet, so that no residue of paint dries on them.
Remove excess paint and rinse brushes thoroughly when you change color paint or you switch to another brush, and lay the wet brush flat.
Do not keep your brushes soaked in water, because this can damage the handle and lose the ferrule. Also, in general, you should never leave a brush standing on its hair for a long time, in water as during storage, because it can bend and lose the bristles shape.
How to Clean Acrylic Paint Off Brushes
At the end of a painting session, don't forget to clean your brushes right away.
Start by getting most of the paint off your brush with a paper towel. Squeeze off most of the paint, rub the brush on the paper to get as much pigment as you can off the bristles. Then you can start washing.
Acrylic paint is not good for the environment, so avoid washing big amount of paint down the drain. It is much better for the water system if you wipe off excess paint with a paper towel and throw it in the trash can.
How to Wash Acrylic Paintbrushes
Once you squeeze most of the paint out of your brushes with a paper towel or a rag, wash them with a mild soap and warm water, and rinse thoroughly, until water runs clear.
You can use any non-aggressive soap. Many people like to use Murphy’s oil, the household cleaner.
I often use hand soap, or my favorite: The Master's Brush Soap and Preserver, made specifically for artistic brushes.
How to Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes
Acrylic paint dries very fast. To preserve the health of your paintbrushes it is extremely important to:
- Keep the bristles moist at all times while painting.
- Clean brushes promptly at the end of each painting session.
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How to Wash Your Brushes, Step-by-Step
- Load you wet brush with the soap.
- Rub the soapy brush on the palm of your hand, in circles.
- Create enough foam to take off all residues of paint.
- Massage the bristles with your fingers to get all the paint out from the middle of the hairs.
- Rinse and repeat until foam does not show any trace of color.
- Dry excess water with a rag, being gentle on the bristles.
- Flat dry, making sure that hairs are not pushing against any obstacles that may bend them.
Massage the bristles with your fingers to get all the paint out from the middle of the hairs
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Tips on Washing Paint Brushes
- Use Mild Soap. Avoid dish detergent or other types of aggressive soaps.
- Use Soap Sparingly. Not to be cheap, but because even the mild soap could dry and affect the brush bristles, plus it takes longer and more water to rinse.
- Rinse Well. Make sure there is no soap residue whatsoever at the last rinse, or your first paint-stroke with that brush will be "soapy".
- Absorb Excess Water with a rag, being gentle on the hair of the brush.
- Lay Wet Brushes Flat. Flat is the best way for a brush to dry.
Store Your Brushes Properly
© 2013 Robie Benve
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