This is truly a do as I say not as I do- I ruin many brushes by not taking care of them properly and good brushes are expensive. The tips here I have been told many time by other teachers and they will extend the life of your brush and make painting much easier.
Buy the best brushes you can afford and take care of them !
Remove the packing "goop" out of new brushes before using with water.
Rinse brushes often when paintingUse old brushes when painting a rough surface.
Do not let your brushes stand in water- this will ruin the tips and will also break down the glue that holds the bristles. It is very difficult to do liner work with a brush that has a hook in it which is what happens if a brush is left resting against a surface. Chisel edges will be ruined making them hard to float with. Carefully press your brush down on bottom of the container flaring the bristles like a fan and move back and forth several times removing the paint. Blot on a dry paper towel and lay flat.
When you are finished painting give them a thorough cleaning.
Try not to get paint down into the ferrule (metal part of the brush) and remove promptly if you do. Paint stuck here will cause the bristles to separate not allowing for a good tip or chisel edge to a brush.
Never put your brushes in hot water - use only cold or luke warm, hot water will set the paint into your brushes.
When finished painting take the time to clean your brushes thoroughlybrushes can be either cleaned with cake soap or liquid cleanerCleaning with cake soap- I prefer ivory soap for cleaning brushes. Stroke the brush back and forth over the cake of soap then work into a lather in the palm of your hand. Repeat as many times as necessary to remove the paint ( the lather will no longer turn color but remain in its original color).
Cleaning with a liquid soap is the same method except that instead of stroking the brush back and forth over the soap you need to place a small amount of the liquid soap in your hand ( I use shampoo for liquid soap remember bristles are hair if you are buying good brushes).
Reshape the brush- I reshape brushes by placing them in my mouth( that's right) bringing liners and round brushes to a fine tip and flat brushes to a chisel edge. Spit makes a great brush shaper!
Store you brushes so as to protect your tips from bending. Brushes should be store flat. Brushes stored upright may eventually has loose bristles.
Just remember to take good care of your brushes and they will last a long time and be a good investment !
Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved—Written By Debbie Hainline on her "Two Old Crows" Blog. For more crafting tips and techniques visit Two Old Crows (http://2oldcrows.com). Two Old Crows is the web home of folk artist "Debbie Hainline" - "Teaching my knowledge about painting is as much a passion as creating".