It's always good to clean your paint brushes after each use but if you forget and the paint dries on the brush you still may be able to salvage the brush. Just soak the brush over night in cleaning solvent for the type of paint you used. If you used water soluble paint, soak the brush in water. If you used oil paint, soak the brush in turpentine. The paint can should tell you what solvent should be used.
I have used Lestoil cleaner to soak my brushes in that were left dirty and they got clean! I also use a wire brush to brush the bristles with.
I have salvaged many brushes (tossed away by co-workers) by soaking them in Lacquer thinner. This is tricky though because if you don't keep your eye on it, the thinner disolves the glue that holds the bristles and the brush will lose it's shape. I just read recently that you can put your brushes in boiling white vinegar and this will remove all dried paint. I'm going to try this instead of using chemicals. The best solution is of course, washing your brushes after each use. As a professional painter, I wash my brushes in warm water using dish detergent. The soap actually 'draws' the paint away from the bristles. After most of the paint is washed out, I use my wire brush to remove the rest of the paint making sure to get down into the ferrule of the brush. This is the area of the brush most people don't clean well and when the brush dries, it's stiff and they can't figure out why. Paint finds it's way down in that area and it's hard to clean but wash your brush until the water runs clear. Paint brushes are my tools of my trade and they are expensive so I make sure mine are clean and in good condition. It just takes a little time to get them clean.
Have you ever heard that soaking paint brushes in liquid fabric softener will soften paint brushes? My friend is a painter and he heard this. Im loaning him some Downey and I was just curious if
anyone here has heard of this? Thanks.
I am answering my own post to let you know the fabric Softener DOES work!! He tried it tonight and VIOLA clean brushes!! Hes
very frugal in his business, these days we all have to be right?! He
was standing there with a big grin as the brush was completely clean! :)
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