Extend the Life of a Natural-Bristle Brush
I just invested in a nice natural-bristle brush to use with oil-based polyurethane. What’s the best way to maintain it so I get a lot of life out of it?
Ed Nelson, Spokane, WA
The key to a long brush life is to clean it well after each use. Swish it in mineral spirits for about 30 seconds, then in lacquer thinner for the same. The lacquer thinner really cuts the oil from the brush. After that, shampoo the brush at the sink using The Masters Brush Cleaner (left) until it’s squeaky clean. I like this cleaner because it breaks down oils and varnishes, and unlike dish detergent, conditions the brush as you clean, leaving the bristles feeling new and soft. After washing the brush, flip out most of the water and wrap it in brown paper to keep the bristles from getting frizzy.