Oh, Were We Going To Talk About Cleaning Paintbrushes?

I was perusing through some of my old posts today (can’t believe I started this blog in January and now here it is, July) and realized I promised we’d talk paintbrush cleaning after we shared some tips we found helpful when completing our living room painting makeover extravaganza. Oops.

Things got a little crazy if you remember at the end of March and through April and May. I left my awful job and we decided to go to Asia and stuff…you know, the usual. In fact, I’m BEYOND embarrassed to admit this, but I haven’t even finished painting the trim! Yikes. I still need to paint the trim around doors and windows and in all honesty, the doors themselves could use a coat of paint too. Soon, soon.

Anyway, here are a few tips on how to properly care for your brushes. After all, good ones aren’t exactly cheap, but if you care for them properly, they will last you project after project.

Keep It Moist: There is a very good possibility that you’ll begin painting and have to stop to attend to something else before you’ve completely finished the project. Don’t let paint dry on your brush…seriously. Wrap the brush tightly in plastic or a plastic bag and it should stay wet for a few days. Cool huh? Either way, dry paint on your brush is a pain to remove so why let it get to that point in the first place.

Rinse: Use fresh water to rinse your brushes. Try not to turn the brush upside down to allow water to shoot up the bristles towards the handle and don’t bend the bristles. This can damage brushes. Boo. If needed, you can use a little dish detergent to get things loosened up.

Brush, your Brush: Remember that wire brush I mentioned in our Painting Tips post? A fabulous associate at Sherwin Williams recommended one of these beauties to me. It was an “if you could only have one more random painting tool, have one of these” sort of tip. It really works wonders for raking paint buildup from around the bristles. Just a few gentle passes with the wire brush and our paint brushes were virtually paint free.

Let It All Hang Out: After gently squeezing water from the bristles (I just take my index and middle fingers and gently squeeze the water out) we hung our brushes from hooks over our utility sink to dry. This keeps the bristles and form of the brush like new.

Wrap It Up: PLEASE tell me you didn’t throw away the cardboard wrapper that your paint brush came packaged in?! If you have, no biggie, but next time hang on to those wrappers! Once your paint brushes are nice and dry, place the cardboard around them once again and store flat or hanging from a hook.

Voila, like-new paint brushes each and every time.

Just as an aside, I feel a little silly typing up a “how to clean your paint brushes” tutorial. Especially because, if you ask me, none of the above actually seems like rocket science. However, if you search the internet for “how to clean paintbrushes” there is an endless series of permutations on how the procedure should be performed. Seriously, could it be that hard? Anyway, we just felt like sharing what worked for us and how much it’s NOT a chore to accomplish.


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