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Author Topic: Keeping your brushes in good condition  (Read 240 times)

robynann

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on: October 06, 2019, 08:11:54 PM
I've got a question. How do you keep your brushes in good condition. I clean mine almost every time I use them and within two month's of buying them their all splayed and damaged... This time I bought good Rosemary and Co. brushes and the same thing happened. Anyone have any good tips
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liz

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Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 11:04:08 PM
Hi


I don’t know what you’re using to clean your brushes, but you need to get ALL of the paint off of the bristles.  I do the following after oil and acrylic work.


I use a cloth to clean as much paint off the bristles before putting them in the cleaning fluid and swishing the brush around until there’s no paint residue on them. Wipe with rag. Next would be a warm wash with mild detergent, change water as needed, until water is clear. Then dry with soft rag, pressing bristles to squeeze water out; large flat brushes can be tapped on the rag to dry them further.  Last step is very important is to RESTORE SHAPE of your brush head with your fingers and DRY FLAT.  If you do the above, you will not have have anymore splayed or ruined brushes.


If you don’t want to clean your OIL brushes and paint the next day, wipe excess paint off and wrap the brushes in plastic wrap. I do this often. ~Liz



Annie.

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Reply #2 on: October 07, 2019, 02:11:20 AM
Robyn Ann,

I am surprised by your questions.  I have the same brushes for acrylic and oil, and a different set of brushes for WC since 2015.  I never lost one brushes.  Of course I probably paint les hours than you do.

Are you "ruff" on your brushes?

You must clean them after each sessions and never let paint dry on them.

Otherwise, nothing magic.  Liz described well how to clean them.

Did you buy good quality to start with?

Best to just buy a few brushes of good quality than a bunch of cheap ones that you need to replace all the time.  If you are on a buldget, start with two brushes... in a very short time you will be saving money.

Hope this helps.


robynann

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Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 12:52:22 PM
Maybe it's the substrates I use. I can't afford the really good canvas... I basically do what you said Liz and my last brushes were good brushes from Rosemary and Co...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 12:54:18 PM by robynann »
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nolan

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Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 07:19:06 PM
I find the biggest culprit when it comes to damaged brushes is to use soft hair brushes for large blocking in. The soft brushes can't handle the scrubbing.
The bristle brushes can, but also not for long so I always buy the cheap bristle brushes so I don't care if they only last a month or three.


liz

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Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 07:22:28 AM
ROBYANN,


What Nolan said about soft hair brushes is very true; they can take a beating and are ruined in no time at all.
But your CANVAS texture could also be rough on brushes, too.  I use inexpensive canvas, too, but even though it says ‘pre-primed’ I use cheap hardware store 1-3” bristle brushes to apply a ground of tinted gesso to smooth out the grain on the canvas, usually straight from the container with a damp brush.  A dry canvas can be hard on good brushes also.  Underpainting and blocking in with color help using large bristle or synthetic brushes help to prepare the canvas for painting as well.  ~Liz


robynann

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Reply #6 on: October 08, 2019, 12:15:40 PM
Thanks Nolan and Liz... Liz I didn't know there was tinted Gesso. I'm going to buy some and some Bristle brushes for blocking in and give that a go. I have to buy some good brushes all over again too...
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liz

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Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 02:34:11 AM
 :painting: Hi RobyAnn,
Besides white, I know gesso comes in black, too, but you can make your own tinted gesso.  If you’re using acrylic gesso, you can tint with a very small amount of tube acrylic paint, e.g. yellow ochre or burnt sienna are popular. My cheap brushes from Ace Hardware have lasted for years; they cost about a dollar a piece.  I never buy good brushes and they last forever because of good cleaning.  Sometimes I buy brushes of the same size and use them for light paint colors or dark.  I don’t clean the oil brushes as I paint, but just wipe them on a rag.  HAVE FUN! ~Liz


nolan

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Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 03:16:00 AM
some fabulous advice from Liz :yippee: :yippee: :yippee:


robynann

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Reply #9 on: October 13, 2019, 08:57:57 AM
Thanks again Liz...
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liz

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Reply #10 on: October 27, 2019, 05:43:31 AM
RobyAnn,
As Annie said, cleaning brushes properly after every session is important, especially after painting with acrylics.  I told this young man (a senior) in the Rehab art group that he has to do a better job cleaning his brushes because a couple of his good brushes had stiff bristles.  He took note also that the paint on some of the handles was cracking and peeled off.  The reason was that he left the brushes in water too long and water got into the wood, swelling it and destroyed the layer of paint on the handles.  And if you use the damaged handles sometimes slivers of the paint from the handles can fall into your art work. ~Liz