Cleaning paint brushes isn't as easy as you think. We shared the confusion about How to Clean Paint Brushes in part 1 of this series, e.g. In this article we focus on advice from both painting experts like paint brush manufacturers and home improvement experts.
How to Clean Paint Brushes According to the Experts
Article #4 from Purdy Professional Painting Tools looks and feels very different from the first three articles (read part 1) on how to clean paint brushes. They start out explaining that cleaning paint brushes differs for water-based versus oil base paints (follow manufacturer's directions).
- Keep two sets of paint brushes, one for oil-base products and another for water-base products. Purdy's website explained it's much easier to clean the brushes if you not switching between oil and water base products.
- Remember the confusion earlier about using dish soap? Purdy under brush maintenance says “… warm water and mild soap suds are the best cleaning solution for water-base paints.” They explain that you want to dip the brush into the soapy water and work the soap through the brush bristles, repeating the process as needed. They also recommend finishing with a clear water rinse.
- They never mention vinegar. They recommend mineral spirits or lacquer thinner for stubborn water-base paints, followed by warm soapy water and a clear water rinse, and explain you may need to repeat this process several times.
- Additional tips from Purdy include using a brush comb to remove paint residue near the ferrule's edge (metal band connecting the bristles to the handle) and to straighten the bristles. They suggest removing excess water by spinning the brush and storing brushes by hanging them up.
Following the Purdy website, further research into cleaning paint brushes was interesting, yet disappointing.
- #5 had me searching for information about how to clean paint brushes on the Corona website (CoronaBrushes.com), and there's only product information, no how to type of information.
- #6 seemed like a sure thing as I've followed BobVilla.com for years. They cover the topic with a blog post, How to Clean Paint Brushes, but the photograph is an artist's brush and the information is pretty basic.
- #7 was ThisOldHouse.com, and even scarier as the topic was covered under an article titled, 10 Uses for Vinegar, which we already know isn't the right way to clean paint brushes.
- #8 at Painting.About.com was a little better although I felt the Article How to Clean Paint Brushes had too many steps, for too little information. They also didn't address the two types of paint, oil-base and water-base (latex).
At this point I knew I wasn't going to find the information I wanted about cleaning paint brushes. My next step was to ask my network of professional painters to share their best tips, and Colin Baird, owner of Platypus Painting offered some great tips.
… and painting smarter, Painting Smart to Save Time and Money