How Do I Clean a Paintbrush? Interior Painting Tips for Gloucester and Camden

In the past we’ve discussed the importance of choosing a quality paintbrush and the value it can bring to an interior or exterior painting project.  Regardless of its initial quality, however, a dirty and messy brush will quickly become ineffective.  Too often they are given a quick, cursory rinse after the job is done, then wrapped up and left on a shelf in the garage or basement.  Whether you’ve just bought your first brush ever, or are a professional painter, it is hugely important that you take a couple extra minutes to maintain your brush properly.

Why Should You Clean Your Paintbrush?

Oftentimes, when you’re done with a project that you’ve poured yourself into for hours, the last thing you want to do is clean your paintbrush well.  It can seem like a tedious and messy process!  In reality, though, a good scouring is an investment in your next project.  Dirty bristles or ones that look a hair-do from the 1970’s will leave an uneven application of paint, and sometimes even shed stray bristles that stick to the wall.

Chunks and globs also will form and harden, tucked away inside your bristles. Those little beauties will leave nasty streaks and marks, taking the fun out of an interior painting project very, very quickly.

So, How Do You Clean a Paintbrush?

After that final, gleaming topcoat was been put on your walls, here are some tips for keeping your brush in optimum shape:

–          First, squeeze and wipe any extra paint on the bristles back into your paint container.  It saves paint, and also shaves down the time it takes to clean up.

–          Using a garden hose (or a sink that you don’t mind getting paint in), start cleaning your paintbrush by running the bristles under the water.  Note: rinse from the bottom of the bristles (by the handle) to the top.

–          While rinsing, squeeze the bristles and comb through them with your fingers.  You can also use a wire brush for this.  It will eliminate those hidden chunks we talked about earlier!

–          Once the paint is gone and the water flowing through is clear, use liquid dish detergent and massage it through the bristles.

–          After this is done, hang your brush upside down and let it thoroughly dry.  Then, ideally you would use a storage sleeve to keep the bristles in their proper form.

The above method works well for latex-based paint, but if you’re using oil-based you will need something a bit stronger (turpentine, mineral spirits, or paint thinner) to clean your brush.

A Professional Painting Service Can Help!

If you are thinking of tackling a project that you need some help with, we hope you’ll consider contacting us at Brennan’s Custom Painting.  We have over 30 years of experience with residential and commercial painting (interior and exterior), serving Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and other regions in Southern New Jersey, Northern Delaware, and areas of Philadelphia.  We’d love to help!

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