How to Care for Your Paint Brushes

Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an advanced painter that’s been painting for years, we all have something in common – owning paint brushes. Regardless of how long you’ve been painting, you’ve probably learned that your paint brushes are an investment. Today on the blog, we’re going to talk about how to care for your paint brushes so you can get the maximum amount of life out of them.

What You'll Learn:

1. How to Make Your Paint Brushes Last Longer

2. How to Clean Your Paint Brushes

3. How to Soften Stiff Bristles

4. How to Fix Frayed Bristles

Note: Affiliate links included within this post for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

How to Make Your Paint Brushes Last Longer

The better that you care for your paint brushes the longer they will last, but how exactly do you do that? The best thing that you can do to care for your paint brushes is to leave them in water until you’re ready to clean them. I highly recommend cleaning them as soon as you are done painting. If cleaning them right after painting isn’t an option, it’s okay to wait just avoid leaving the brushes in water overnight.

Once you’ve cleaned your brushes well it’s important to lay them flat to dry. NEVER store your brushes vertically if the bristles are wet. By storing brushes vertically water may run back into the brush handle, loosen the glue, and cause the wood to expand which will make your bristles fall out.

Once your brushes are both clean and dry, you should store them either bristle up vertically, or horizontally.

Cleaning Paint Brushes

How to Clean Your Paint Brushes

Properly cleaning your paint brushes is a big part of how to care for your paint brush and can save you a lot of hassle in the future. First you will want to wipe your brushes to remove any of the residue left behind by the paint. Next wash your paint brushes in water.

While washing in water, I like to use a makeup brush cleaner pad that I got from the Dollar Tree. I linked a similar one on Amazon. This helps to get to the base of the bristles. Scrub them with your fingers to make sure they are clean. Next, remove any extra water and smooth out the brushes’ bristles. Finally, lay the brushes flat to dry and don’t store them until they are completely dry.

How to Soften Stiff Bristles

If your paintbrush bristles become stiff, then I recommend letting them sit about 20 minutes but only if you use the concoction I’m about to tell you. Stiff bristles are a real pain, but with a little but of Murphy’s Oil Soap and Water, you can soften those bristles right up. Be sure to use a 1 to 1 ratio, if you add 1/4 cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap then you need to add 1/4 cup of water. Rinse the brushes well then lay flat to dry. You can checkout this YouTube video to see how I use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean my brushes. 

Using Murphy's Oil Soap to Clean Paint Brushes

How to Fix Frayed Bristles

If your paintbrushes are starting to look sad with fraying bristles, I’m going to tell you how to care for those too. All you have to do is dip them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then lift them out and they’re good as new! Such a quick and easy fix that you’re definitely going to want to use.

With proper care, your paint brushes will last a long time. This blog post was inspired by this post in my free Facebook group called Door Hanger Painting Tips. Be sure to head there for more tips from painters just like you! 

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