Either you have forgotten some brushes, cleaned them part way, or are just cleaning them improperly. At some point an artist ends up looking at many dollars worth of art brushes that are caked with dried paint, “crunchy”, or just overly stiff because of old paint remnants. It doesn’t matter if you work with oils, acrylic, or watercolor, it happens to the best of us. And when ONE good sable brush can run up to $100, it becomes important to the business end of art to try to salvage these brushes.
Have no fear there Is an answer
The obvious answer is to clean brushes properly. This can get time consuming with oils. We should be wiping paint off, then removing paint completely with thinner, then hitting them with warm soapy dish detergent water before rinsing, reforming the tip and letting them dry.
Acrylics can be a similar process, but gets tricky if you are at the easel for a long time. Acrylics dry fast and pulling off chunky dried paint can remove bristles and mis-shape brushes.
Watercolors are used out in the field alot for their ease of use. and they might not always hit a thorough cleaning before coming back to the studio. Scrubbing around with delicate sable fibers can bend, kink, or break the hairs. It’s hard enough to think we’ve trapped a mink-like weasel for fur to paint with, but let’s not throw out these valuable tools because we ran out of water in the field.
Here is the miracle you’ve been looking for. Windsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer! very simple to use.
I grab my crusty brushes that were previously headed to the garbage bin. Doesn’t matter if they are caked with Oils, Acrylic, Watercolor, Guache… I pour a little of this in the bottom of a glass jar and drop my brushes in bristle first. It is important not to fill the jar over the bristles. this will remove the paint from the handles even!
Let those bad boys soak for an hour, then I like to muck around, flex the bristles and make sure the old paint and bristles are thoroughly saturated. Let those brushes soak for a good 3-4 hours in there, remove them and wipe thoroughly on an old rag. Then proceed with a dab of dish soap on each brush and wash them thoroughly with water (Even oil based brushes).
They are like BRAND NEW brushes. really, it’s a miracle. Yes this little bit of liquid is over $16, but what is that? one student grade brush that you are about to throw away? You can get many treatments with one small jar of this stuff.
you also MUST dispose of this chemical carefully. it’s a serious stripper. ;)
but it will save you HUNDREDS of dollars in a hurry once you see how amazingly your brushes are restored.
Try it out – the direct link to purchase is below: