How to Clean Paint Brushes After Use

Painting can be a messy activity. It can leave the paintbrushes covered in an array of slippery paint colours. Cleaning paint brushes well after a painting session is important for prolonging their use and life. When the paint is left on for long, the brush bristles become weak and lose their fine stroke.

Cleaning paint brushes is not a difficult task, as long as it is done on time when the paint is still fresh. The cleaning differs for water based and oil based paints as both require different solutions to clear.

Things Required:

– Old rag
– Soap
– Water
– Container
– Thinner/cleaning solution for oil based paint
– Old comb


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    The first thing to do after painting for any kind of paint is to wipe off the excess paint with an old rag. The wipe  help in getting off the excess paint and leaving lesser to clean. Dispose of the rag after the cleanup. This same rag can be used to clear painting smudges and drips around the workplace.

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    Water based paints:

    If the paint is water based, it can be cleaned without any use of thinner or cleaner solution. Paints which say Latex on the outside of the can are water based. After painting with such paints, take the brush to the dish wash sink. Make a solution of warm water and soap and wash the brush thoroughly with it. Rinse the brush very well and make sure that it is clear of all the paint. Leave it to dry by hanging or laying it down with the bristles flat and straight. After you clean the brush, wash the sink to remove paint stains.

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    Oil based paint:

    If the paint is oil based, it will have to be cleaned with a thinner as simple soap water cleaning will not do the job. Most paint cans instruct on the specific thinner to use for cleaning the paint brush. The common solutions used are paint thinner, lacquer thinner and mineral spirits.

    Pour the solution in a container, enough to cover the paint brush. Now dip the paint brush into this solution. Swirl it around to get the paint out of the brush. Throw away the solution and fill the container with some more. Repeat the same procedure until the brush is clear of all paint. Lay the paint brush to dry with the bristles flat.

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