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How To Store Your Paint Brushes

Storing paints correctly

There are a few painting aids now on the market which allow you to fasten your brush, via a magnet on the brushes ferrule, to a metal paint pail (this comes in very handy when you wish to break for lunch or have a nice wee tea break). Using this method, the brush is positioned so the tip of the brush bristles is submerged in paint keeping it moist. If however you are working from the paint tin, just find a way to leave the brush bristles semi-submerged in the paint. Just remember not to place it too far into the paint and overloading it – so only place approximately 1/3 of the bristles in the paint.

Storing during longer interruptions

For longer interruptions of several hours or overnight, you can keep the brush fresh by wrapping the bristles and ferrule in kitchen plastic wrap. Don’t use foil as it not airtight and does not make contact with the bristles properly.
Another method is to use a glass jar or paint bucket filled with the appropriate solvent. For a latex paint this would be water, and for oil-based paint this would be paint thinner. The brush should be taped upright against the inside of the container and in the solvent, ensuring the bristles are fully immersed

Storing the paint brush for extended periods

If you are finished your paint job and want to store your paint brushes for an extended period of time, here’s a few tips to keep them in good condition and primed for use:-

• First clean the brush and bristles removing the excess paint by scraping the brush against the edge of the inside of the tin to remove the larger amounts of paint. The remaining paint can be removed by painting sheets of newspaper back and forth until as much of the paint is removed as possible from the bristles.

• Any paint left on the brush should be removed by cleaning it thoroughly with the appropriate solvent. This would mean water in the case of latex paint and paint thinner for oil-based paint. (Please dispose of any solvent in a responsible and ecological manner)

• Once the paint has been removed, you can then wash the brush with soap and warm (not too hot) water to clean off any remaining paint and solvent, rinsing well.

• To bring the bristles back into alignment, slap the brush against your hand or leg a few times, and then reshape the brush to its original shape. Now wrap the brush in a paper towel or a sheet of newspaper and secure with a rubber band or tape.

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