Paintbrush Maintenance

I’ll be the first to admit, I treat my paintbrushes very badly. I buy cheap and hammer them until they are no longer usable. It’s a bad habit that I really need to change.

Then while glancing through YouTube I came across a video on repairing brushes on a a Channel called Midwinter Minis and thought I should really give that a go. Fellow club members had mentioned ways to clean brushes before but I needed something for poorly treated ones.

The first surprise was in digging out all my paint brushes I discovered no less than 57! This is what they looked like.

The Used and Abused of the Paintbrush World

The method for cleaning was very simple, first was to apply some washing up liquid. While doing this stage I started off just swishing the paintbrush in the liquid but then found myself massaging the liquid into the brush more which seemed to work better.

Washing Up Liquid then Hot Water and Vinegar, Finally Drying on a Cloth

Then the brushes are put into boiling water that contains vinegar to wash off the soap. Finally to then dry the brush by drawing it across a cloth. While doing this I rotated the brush to help a new point form.

Before and After Using this Technique

I took a before and after photo of a selection of my brushes to see if this cleaning method made any difference. As you can see I had a degree of success with this. I managed to get a good point on quite a few of the brushes while for others it made absolutely no difference.

I’m being somewhat unfair with the flat brush in the middle as it did clean up nicely, but there were still lots of bristles that didn’t straighten.

Rescued at least Half of my Brushes

The end result was at least half of my brushes improving back to a point or close to. The technique did also suggest using a hair wax to get a point but I didn’t have any of that (or hair!), but I might revisit that idea at some point.

Here’s hoping cleaning my brushes will restore my lost painting mojo at the moment.