Taking care of your brushes means that you want the right quality products to go into maintaining them. After washing them down so the paints do not dry up, you should lather them up and clean up the brush quickly and thoroughly. This means also making sure to get to the base of the brush bristles and get out all the buildup that tends to get ignored there. Once dry, you can get right back to painting without worrying about cross contamination.
Different paint brush cleaners use different types of formulas to make sure that the pigment and medium comes off easily. A latex paint brush cleaner will need to break up the strong polymers of a latex medium, while an oil medium may simply need a painting brush cleaner that will break up the oils effectively to be rinsed down the drain. Find the right kind of mix, so you can take care of your brushes and rinse out the mediums easily.
Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer
Best bottled cleaner
The Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer will clean and strip your brushes without damaging the brush itself. The painting brush cleaner can handle both natural and synthetic brush bristles while keeping them intact. It is a nontoxic formula that is water-soluble, nonflammable, and biodegradable. It will keep your brushes clean and clear of pigments and other solutions, so you can keep reusing your brushes without cross contamination.
The Masters Brush Cleaner & Preserver by Darice
Best brush shampoo
The Masters Brush Cleaner & Preserver by Darice will clean and condition your brushes to keep them cleaner and healthier for longer. It removes all types of paints and solutions — acrylics, stains, varnishes, you name it. It takes care of your brushes not just by stripping off the different materials that could have built up over use, but it conditions the brushes, so they stay softer and keep a smooth brush stroke over different surfaces.
Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits
Best for oil paints
The Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits is a great solvent for the specifically tricky medium of oil paints. Oil mediums may need more work to thin out because of its nature to repel from water, so the bottle contains the strong petroleum distillates you need to thin out the oil paints and get your brush clean again. The mineral mix will clean your brushes quickly and can also be used as a blending medium for things like watercolors.
Now that you see all of the possibilities when cleaning your brushes, nothing is stopping you from getting this precious tool for your painting utensils. Keep your brushes squeaky clean and make it a habit to use the right cleaners to get rid of your choice of medium. Whether buying a small bit for the mediums you do not access much to buying in bulk to get ready for the amounts of painting you are going to do, keep some around for your convenience and for the health of your brushes.
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