How to clean a paint brush

To clean your paint brush is an easy task.

There are two types of paint, oil based and latex/acrylic. Oil based paint needs turpentine for brush clean up, whereas latex/acrylic paint is water based clean up.

Water based paint brush clean up

First scrape off as much paint as possible from the brush into the paint tin. A paint scraper or a 5 in 1 tool is a good tool for this. Then wipe your paint brush with some toilet paper, squeezing out any left over paint.

When you have got as much paint off the brush as you can, you then wash the paint brush. Warm soapy water in a bucket is the best method. Work any paint left in the bristles with your hands and a brush comb or wire brush.

Rinse your paint brush and check for any paint still present on the bristles. If the bristles are paint free, spin the paint brush between your hands. This will get rid of excess water.

Wrap your brush in the original wrapper if available, if not, wrap it in a paper towel and store flat.

Oil based paint clean up

As with latex/acrylic paint, scrape off excess paint from the brush. Then use toilet paper to wipe and squeeze excess paint from your brush. This may take several wipes to get as much paint out of the brush as possible.

Now put a small amount of turpentine into a glass or tin container about 1/2″ or 10mm and dip your brush into the turpentine. Swill the brush around in the turpentine and then use toilet paper to squeeze out the paint from the brush.

Empty the turpentine into another container and wipe out the brush container with toilet paper. Refill the container with another 1/2′ of turpentine and do as before, swilling the brush around in the fresh turpentine.

Again empty the turpentine into your other container and wipe it out with toilet paper.

Continue doing these steps until the turpentine you use in the first container is no longer becoming tainted with paint.

Give your paint brush a spin between your hands to remove excess turpentine and store the brush in it’s original container, or flat in a paper towel.

The turpentine in the second container that is full of paint should be left for a couple of days. After 2 or 3 days you can recycle the turpentine for future clean ups as the paint will have settled to the bottom of the container.

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