Cleaning and Caring for Brushes

How Do You Care For Your Brushes?

How do you care for your brushes?

Carolyn Lord: “I don’t take care of them, other than to make sure that they always dry with the bristles straight and true, whether they have been rinsed out before or still loaded with paint. There’s nothing worse than accidentally storing them upside down so they dry bent, like a bad case of bed-head. Unfortunately the Goliath has a “memory” and the bristles will stay bent even after wetting them, and never quite straighten up all the way. That’s why on the side of my Millard Sheets palette that has a brush storage area, I drew “up” arrows on the lid. After I close my palette I know that when I slip it vertically into my pack, the brushes are bristle side up.”

Chris Saper: “I use two products to clean my brushes, and I love both of them. One is Goop, which you can get in a large grocery store or a hardware store. The other is Jack’s Linseed Studio Soap made by Jack Richeson and Co. Sometimes I just drench my brushes in the soap or Goop and let them sit overnight in some plastic wrap; then rinse and blot dry.”

Frank Francese: “After each painting session I always clean my brushes with cool, clean water and soft soap. After cleaning the brushes I’ll use a cloth or paper towel to blot the points and then reshape the points to dry.”

Robert Liberace: “I generally use Gamsol to clean my oil brushes after each day, and periodically I’ll wash them in soap and water to keep them from getting too hard. Sometimes after a demo I will forget to clean my brushes and I find the paint has hardened on the brush. When this happens I use a little citrus-based paint stripper (fewer fumes) to remove the hardened paint, and then I clean with soap and water. After this treatment the brush will lose a little of its spring but as long as it can leave a mark I’ll keep it in the studio.”

To read the article “A Bevy of Brushes” in the November 2010 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, click here for a digital download.


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