Tips on the care and Maintenance of brushes
Safety precautions for cleaning and maintenance are listed at the end of this article.
Over the years, one may find themselves using a brush to paint something in or around the house. Areas of paint concern could include where the weekly vacuum leaves black marks on baseboards, or those typical 4′ tall handprints on walls that young parents are all too familiar with. Other examples of using a brush might include painting a closet door on a Saturday afternoon, but being called off duty for some larger family event or need, not actually wanting to paint the item in the first place. Whatever the reason, the brush deserves your attention and care, kept in pristine condition, just like a favorite old tool from Grandpa’s Shop, it deserves your cleaning and care. Regardless of the quality of brush you choose to buy (the best is recommended for the number of bristles per square inch), the techniques listed here will match all brushes.
These techniques will help both the lesser quality brushes and the better ones, making your experience with the tool that has been around for centuries an enjoyable one. Before you open a gallon of paint, the brush should be next to you, next to the can. Holding the brush by the handle, fully submerging it in clean tap water before dipping it into the latex paint (soaking in mineral spirits if using alkyd or oil paint) will improve brush cleanliness later on. Getting excess water or mineral spirits out of the brush is going to be the next question, as mine would be,
if I didn’t know. When using latex paints, hold the brush firmly by the end of the handle, gently tapping the brush head on the toe of your shoe or boot, giving a few sharp strokes. Paint Brush is dry enough to dip in paint, but wet enough for even paint flow and easier cleanup later. This can be repeated if the Paint Brush shows signs of drying before the paint job is complete. If you’re using alkyd paints, try wiping them dry with a clean rag, as hitting the end of the boot will cause some splattering.
Tip 1. Let’s say I was using a 4″ fine china bristle brush on some alkyd enamel paint. And let’s say the paint didn’t cover in 1 or 2 coats, being such a dark tint that many don’t cover in one What Might Be Nearby A good disposable container in the newly formed 2lb-7oz Maxwell House blue plastic coffee container with snap-on lid Cut a small X in the center of the lid, filling the container up to 2- 3″ of Painters Mineral spirits or lacquer thinner. Place the brush in the container, thread the handle through the X on the lid, close it when not in use and after each paint application. This will keep the brush moist and ready for the next use, no need to clean it in between, just dry it with a clean rag next time. The Maxwell House Container is also a perfect chopping bucket, as it has an easy handle built right into the container, for easy brush handling and care.
Tip 2. Well, okay, you don’t drink coffee and the Maxwell House Coffee container wasn’t available, so you need to go to the next step. This is where some of that extra plastic wrap and duct tape come in handy. Take a loaded brush, full of paint and wrap it up like a burrito. Using a bit of masking tape, folding over all the open ends, taping around the brush head so there are no leaks, ready to unwrap for the next paint application. If you store the brush for a longer period, once clean, do not shake off excess solvents, wrap it, which will improve the shape of the brush, keeping its original shape and form.
Tip 3. The plastic liner and masking tape weren’t available at the end of the painting project for some reason, I have no idea, but you have a brush that if not taken care of will eventually dry out. The last solution that works well is to take a soaked rag and wrap the brush like the burrito you didn’t wrap earlier. This will buy you some time until you can use the brush again or can clean it properly.
Tip 4. Another idea for keeping the brush wet until the next coat of paint is applied (but not leaving it for long periods of time) is to leave the brush in a container, wrap the top in plastic, remove the handle and tape around it. From the can. This resembles the Maxwell House coffee container mentioned above. If plastic and duct tape aren’t available yet, and the time between coats isn’t too long, take that soaked rag and lay it over the top of the paint bucket with the brush still inside. This technique works best when using water-based latex paints.
Tip 5. Steps to follow if the brush has hardened. Don’t try to use a wire brush on a hardened dry brush without softening the paint first, as this will damage the bristles and won’t remove the paint properly anyway. Soak in that Maxwell House container using Lacquer Thinner, even if the dried paint was latex. Take a long handled barbecue like a steel wire brush, brush paint after paint as it begins to loosen on the bristles. Getting dried paint off the bristles is an important step in brush care and maintenance and knowing how to properly remove them. when not in use. Lacquer thinners act as paint removers for latex and alkyds. This may require multiple applications and soak time, depending on how much paint has dried on the painting tool. Once clean, store it properly by wrapping it in the plastic mentioned above. This cleaning should be done outdoors on a thick canvas cloth that can also be left to dry. Once clean, keeping the brush clean will add many more paint applications for years to come. If the bristles have “bent” from drying that way, say at the bottom of a paint bucket, once cleaned, storing them by wrapping them in the plastic described above will straighten the bristles back to their original shape and form, which I’ve found very beneficial. in care and maintenance of brushes.
Important Note: Safety Precautions
Remembering Job Security #1
- Adequate ventilation must be available, never use solvents in a confined area
- Eye protection and respirator with carbon filters are a must.
- Rubber latex gloves prevent contaminants and chemicals from being absorbed into the skin.
- All rags used should be laid flat, wrinkled rags are a fire hazard and could easily catch fire.
- All open flames, such as pilot lights for water heaters, stoves, and ovens, should be turned off, even at different levels of the workspace.