Q. I started using Liquin medium and I love it. But soon after I began using it I started having problems that may or may not be related to its use. First, my brushes are getting ruined. I paint large and use large brushes, and now Im going through about 10 of them a session. I use odorless mineral spirits or Turpenoid and Ivory soap to clean up afterward.
Im also having trouble with brush hairs falling into my paintings. Ive just recently started using housepainting brushes for the blending because my more expensive 2-inch brushes are getting ruined. What am I doing wrong?
A. You dont describe how the brushes are being ruined, but I cant think of a reason why Liquin (or any other brand of alkyd painting medium) would have a ruinous effect on them. Ive used several brands of alkyd medium for years without seeing bad things happen to my brushes, and mineral spirits or Turpenoid dont seem to be the culprit either.
The only problem I can point to might be the paintbrushes themselves. Even though you say theyre more expensive brushes, it could be that for their size, they arent the best brushes you can get. But even top-quality brushes can lose a few bristles now and then.
The problem could also be your technique: Do you scrub the paint on in a vigorous, heavy-handed way? Ive had plenty of brushes that were worn down by my physically active application techniques, but none that have suffered from the use of various mediums. Maybe you should investigate your technique and see whether a lighter touch solves your problem. If that doesnt work, then Id suggest buying higher-quality brushes.
Katherine Mesch is an assistant editor for The Artist’s Magazine.