Caring for Brushes
Use and clean them properly, and they will last for years
Synopsis: Cleaning brushes is a chore that few people look forward to, but it isn’t all that complicated. David Sorg explains what to do even before you use the brush to make cleanup easier. He explains the best techniques for cleaning for both oil- and water-based finishes.
It seems that most people would rather wash their house cat than their paintbrushes. Whenever I give a finishing workshop, I bring along some paint stripper to try to save the brushes that participants haul in; they’re often as stiff as the last board they were used on. Oh sure, their owners apologize… maybe blame their kids. But I know.
You can start making cleanup easier before you ever open a can of finish. First, choose the right brush. I rarely use natural-bristle brushes anymore. Synthetics are easier to clean, and several manufacturers make synthetic-bristle brushes that apply oil-based and water-based…