Want to know how to clean oil painting brushes? Here's 3 easy steps to clean your brushes.
Clean oil paint off brushes using a cloth rag or good quality paper towel to remove as much paint as possible from your brush.
Possibly the best way to clean oil painting brushes is to dip or swish the brush into a solvent.
Store a small amount of painting solvent in a jar with a lid. Be sure to label the jar as solvents are poisonous and should be used with caution.
You can use Gamsol by Gamblin, turpentine, or an odorless mineral spirits. Dip or swish your brush around in the solvent to loosen and remove most of the paint from your brush.
Gently wipe the brush against a cloth rag. Repeat until the brush leaves little paint pigment on the cloth.
Keep the lid on this solvent jar at all times. Remove the lid just long enough to swish your brush around in it and then put the lid back on. Solvents can be dangerous. Keeping the lid on will reduce vapors, and keep them from building up in your studio.
Use oil instead of solvent for a safer studio.
It is possible to skip the solvents.
If you don't use excessive amounts of thick paint, you can simply dip your brush into oil such as linseed or walnut oil.
Then wipe the brush on a clean rag. Repeat until no color comes off onto the rag. Then clean oil painting brushes with mild soap and water.
This works well with small brushes. Larger brushes that have been heavily loaded with paint often require a bit of solvent to get all of the paint out and get them really clean.
Clean oil paint from brushes by washing with mild soap and water. Once the brush is clean, gently press the paintbrush bristles back into shape with your fingers. Lay the brush flat to dry.
You can also place your paintbrush in a jar with the bristles sticking upward until dry.
When cleaning oil paint off small paintbrushes, I like to use a small amount of Dawn dish detergent. I put a small amount of soap in the palm of my hand and gently rub the brush back and forth across my palm to massage the soap into the brush. Then I rinse with cool to lukewarm water.
Special brush cleaning soaps are available. You can also use a bar of soap. Gently rub the brush back and forth across the bar of soap to massage the soap into the hairs. Then rinse the brush thoroughly.
Author: Sonia Reeder-Jones