A good-quality paintbrush can be quite expensive and there’s no point investing in one if you aren’t going to care for it. Even if you don’t spend much money on paintbrushes, you should still care for them so they last longer. The good thing is that caring for a paintbrush is very easy to do and doesn’t take up a lot of time. You can take good care of your paintbrushes by…
- Not damaging them
Take care of your paintbrushes when handling and using them. Try not to damage them in any way. If you do end up damaging them, you’ll have to spend time fixing it and you’ll probably have to spend a bit of money too, depending on how much damage has been done. Be gentle with them and don’t paint too aggressively.
- Cleaning them immediately
Whatever type of paint you’re using, it’s important to give your paintbrushes a good wash as soon as you’ve finished using them. Paintbrushes can become unusable if you don’t clean them – dry paint can bend bristles and can be very difficult to wash out. If you can, clean your paintbrushes a few times during your painting session.
- Cleaning them properly
Before cleaning your paintbrushes, get as much of the paint off them as you can. Use a cloth to get paint off and thoroughly wash your paintbrushes under running water. Rub the bristles with your fingers to get any extra paint. If you put your paintbrush in a glass of water to see if there’s any paint still to get rid of. In between painting sessions, give your paintbrushes a good cleaning with a cleaning substance. Warm soapy water will do the trick, so will shampoo, washing-up liquid and, of course, brush cleaners. Make sure you rinse and dry your paintbrushes thoroughly.
- Storing them properly
Always make sure paintbrushes are dry before storing them. If you’ve got the original packaging, store them in that. This way, your paintbrushes will keep their original shape and they’ll be protected. If you no longer have the original packaging, wrap them up thoroughly with newspaper or a similar material. Paintbrushes should be stored horizontally or vertically – if vertically, make sure the head is facing up and that there’s nothing that could misshape the bristles. Make sure there’s plenty of space between them as well.
- Keeping them out of water
It’s surprising what can happen to your paintbrush if you keep it in water for a while. The pressure on the bristles can cause them to become misshapen to a point where they can’t regain their original shape. The solvents in paints can cause the glue holding the ferrule to dissolve and water can cause the wooden handle to swell and crack, which can cause further damage.
- Taking special with bristles
Bristles are one of the most important parts of a paintbrush, if not the most important. You should try to keep them in as good a condition as you can. Don’t pull them out, don’t bend them and don’t stand your paintbrush vertically with the bristles facing down. It’s hard to reshape them once they’ve become misshapen.
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