How to clean paint brushes

Every artist needs good, clean tools. Learn how to clean paint brushes with our simple guide to give let your inner artist out again and again.

Updated

a colourful painting of a rocket next to pencils and an artist palette

Key steps:

After you’ve learnt how to wash paint brushes, follow these steps to dry them:

  • Rinse excess water with a paper towel.
  • Store vertically in a brush holder.
  • Make sure the brushes have been moulded into shape.

Whether you’re redecorating your home or painting on a canvas, knowing how to clean paint brushes is useful for everyone! It helps to keep them in good condition, so they’ll last longer and save you from having to buy new ones each time you need to paint. To help you look after yours properly, we’ve got a complete guide to paint brush cleaning.

 To make cleaning a paint brush easier, rinse it as you switch colours – this’ll stop the paint from drying on the brush before you finish your work.

Best solutions for oil paint brush cleaning

Cleaning a paint brush after you’ve used it is essential to making it last, so if you’ve just used yours then be sure to follow our tips on how to clean oil paint brushes:

  1. Rinse your brushes in paint thinner before wiping the paint off with paper towels.
  2. Use a bar of soap and work your brushes on them, getting deep into the bristles (don’t push the bristles into the soap as this could damage them, but move in the same motion you would paint).
  3. Mould the tip and rest the brushes, keeping them in a brush holder so the bristles aren’t leaning against anything as they dry.

How to clean acrylic brushes

Acrylic, water-based paint dries incredibly fast, so, unlike cleaning oil paint brushes, you need to clean these as soon as possible. Oil paint brushes can usually be left for a little longer without ruining the brush. You should even rinse acrylic paint off before switching brushes while you’re working to stop it from drying. You can then follow the same directions for how to clean acrylic paint brushes as you would when using oil paint.

Now you know how to clean your brushes, it’s time to get painting! If you’re painting your walls, make sure you read up on how to properly prepare them and get some last-minute wall painting inspiration if you’re feeling creative – we have plenty of good ideas on Cleanipedia! It’s also a good idea to make sure you know how to get paint out of your clothes – things can get a little messy when the brushes come out!

Originally published