Seems a simple thing, but I have started having problems cleaning paint brushes after using oil/solvent based paint. In the past I have always used white spirit, followed by warm running water and washing up liquid. But lately the bristles never seem to come clean. They always feel a bit "greasy" and when dry are quite stiff, so that I have to bend them back and forth to break them apart. But they never seem to be as soft and flexible as when new. Have they changed white spirit in some way so that it isn't so effective? Should I use a specific paint brush cleaner? I always thought this was just another way of getting more money out of the unwary. I would be really grateful for any advice.
I clean oil-based paint brushes with the emulsifier from the emulsion. Work out most of the oil based paint and then work in some emulsion. They can then be washed in Water. I now use the "Wash A Way" cleaning board at under £5 it cleans in under 30 seconds, emulsion, oil, acrylic etc. I also learned from signwriting this method looks after the softness of bristles much better and it translates to any sized brush. The use some lanolin before storing really softens. Washing up liquid is also an emulsifier though not as strong as that in the emulsion, it can be used instead but I prefer to add some to the bristles before storage as I can shape the brush before drying and know it will come back to life the moment it hits the paint. I hope this is useful as I have been painting for 49 years and thought it about time I shared some tips. note: the Wash A Way also cleans rollers faaaast
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