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View Full Version : What is the best way to keep brushes wet while not in use?


cliff.kachinske
03-12-2015, 10:45 AM
Right now I'm suspending them in water with clothes pins. I submerge them about half way up the ferrules so the bristles are sure to remain wet.

Is there a better way? Thanks for any input.

Charlie's Mum
03-12-2015, 11:26 AM
I just lie mine in the staywet palette and they stay OK - even for days with top on and moisture retained.
Your way is OK too.
You can buy a special tub with a spiral/spring across the top to do the same kind of job as the clothespin.
This is (http://www.saa.co.uk/aluminium-brush-washer.html) available in UK - but must be also in US:)

Dcam
03-12-2015, 11:38 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Mar-2015/183894-tub.jpg

Mum mentioned this. I like it.
Derek

artrookie
03-12-2015, 05:37 PM
I keep a shallow dish with several layers of cloth next to my water can. I saturate the cloth with water, and lay my brushes on the wet cloth.

I also add a few drops of chlorine bleach to the water used to saturate the cloth. This stops mold and mildew.

Simple but very effective.

JimR-OCDS
03-12-2015, 05:49 PM
I just dip them in water and lay them on my stay-wet pallet as well.


Never had a problem.

However, I clean the brushes with soap and water after each time I use them.


Jim

PattiLou
03-12-2015, 08:47 PM
I lay mine flat on a wet paper towel. If I have to leave (say for lunch or something) I just fold the towel over the top and spray with water. Never had a problem with them drying out.

cliff.kachinske
03-12-2015, 10:16 PM
I also add a few drops of chlorine bleach to the water used to saturate the cloth. This stops mold and mildew.

Simple but very effective.

Do you know that acrylic paint contains ammonia? Do you know that combining ammonia with chlorine bleach releases chlorine gas?

Not large amounts, certainly, but why breathe poison?

cliff.kachinske
03-13-2015, 06:53 AM
Maureen,
Derek,
Jim,
Patti,
Thank you for the good ideas. I will check out that tub with the spring, it looks less fiddly than messing around with clothes pins.

Andrew
03-13-2015, 08:21 AM
The problem with keeping them submerged in water, is that capillary action will continue to draw water up through the bristles and into the ferrule, weakening the brush.

Laying them damp in a sealed container, or wrapped in a damp cloth, or laid damp in plastic is a better option. The life span of the brush will still be shorter, compared to washing them out and letting them dry, but not as destructive as keeping them in water.

Andrew

artrookie
03-13-2015, 09:00 PM
Do you know that acrylic paint contains ammonia? Do you know that combining ammonia with chlorine bleach releases chlorine gas?

Not large amounts, certainly, but why breathe poison?

Cliff, I use this to keep my brushes wet. The brush was previously washed clean with plain water. There is no paint in the brush !

old_hobbyist
03-13-2015, 09:13 PM
The problem with keeping them submerged in water, is that capillary action will continue to draw water up through the bristles and into the ferrule, weakening the brush.

Laying them damp in a sealed container, or wrapped in a damp cloth, or laid damp in plastic is a better option. The life span of the brush will still be shorter, compared to washing them out and letting them dry, but not as destructive as keeping them in water.

Andrew

This is a given. The best way to keep brushes is to thoroughly wash them with soapy water, hang them vertically, bristles down, and allow them to dry that way. You will never be able to completely remove the acrylic paint from the bristles but keeping the bristles partly submerged in water will cause painty water to be drawn toward the drier regions, where it will dry and flare the bristles. As Andrew says, the action is called capillary action. Test it yourself. Put one end of a very thin hollow straw in water and watch the water level rise in the straw. Isn't science wonderful?

Fox_eNova
03-14-2015, 12:51 AM
I have a old 4"x 8" plastic fast food container and keep a sponge in it. I fill the sponge and a little extra water in the bottom of the container. I lay the brushes I'm using with or without paint on it while working. For over night or long breaks, I just put the lid on it and they're fine next day or for a couple of days. The sponge is also great for wiping brushes.

Explorer45
03-14-2015, 03:59 AM
.

DMSS
03-14-2015, 06:12 PM
The problem with keeping them submerged in water, is that capillary action will continue to draw water up through the bristles and into the ferrule, weakening the brush.
Andrew
Is this a problem if you are only keeping them submerged for 2 hours? Does it make a difference whether the brushes are natural or synthetic?

Andrew
04-19-2015, 11:06 AM
Is this a problem if you are only keeping them submerged for 2 hours? Does it make a difference whether the brushes are natural or synthetic?


Depends. Clear as mud right?

Most natural hair will wick up water faster than synthetics. Most. But the glues used to make higher end natural hair brushes tends to be be of a stronger nature than that used in the production of synthetics. And the quality of the bristles will effect the outcome. Even clearer . . . right?

In general, keeping natural hair brushes wet (not moist) will suffer damage faster than synthetics. And cheaper brushes will become terminal significantly sooner than a good quality brush.

There are of course exceptions. I have some El Cheapos that I picked up years ago at a taxidermy supply shop (of all places) both natural and synthetic blends that I have abused the crap out of them and they are still standing (so to speak). I swear they were assembled with a welder and super glue. I have also had some real expensive (professional acrylic brushes) of a blend of natural and synthetic fibers that started to fall apart after a couple thorough washes.

That is why I encourage exploration with brushes. You just don't know until you run them through the paces.

Andrew

DMSS
04-19-2015, 01:12 PM
Depends. Clear as mud right?

Most natural hair will wick up water faster than synthetics. Most. But the glues used to make higher end natural hair brushes tends to be be of a stronger nature than that used in the production of synthetics. And the quality of the bristles will effect the outcome. Even clearer . . . right?

In general, keeping natural hair brushes wet (not moist) will suffer damage faster than synthetics. And cheaper brushes will become terminal significantly sooner than a good quality brush.

There are of course exceptions. I have some El Cheapos that I picked up years ago at a taxidermy supply shop (of all places) both natural and synthetic blends that I have abused the crap out of them and they are still standing (so to speak). I swear they were assembled with a welder and super glue. I have also had some real expensive (professional acrylic brushes) of a blend of natural and synthetic fibers that started to fall apart after a couple thorough washes.

That is why I encourage exploration with brushes. You just don't know until you run them through the paces.

Andrew
Thank you, Andrew.

joelaidler101
04-19-2015, 01:25 PM
I just leave mine lying around, maybe thats why i paint abstract art. I'm too lazy for precise work.

Cindy Schnackel
04-19-2015, 06:08 PM
For short term I wrap the brush in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The cold can keep the paint from curing as much as keeping air out. After leaving a brush and a sealed container of acrylic glaze in the 'fridge this way for 3 days once, it was still fine, but was just beginning to change, so I would definitely not leave it longer. Try it on a brush you're not in love with. I'd never do it to a favorite brush unless I was somehow without any better option at the time.

oramasha
04-19-2015, 07:17 PM
I always rinse my brushes when I'm done with a section. I swipe the excess pigment off on an old phone book page. Rinse the brush in water bin 1. Rinse again in another water bin 2. Sometimes I'll swipe again on a phone book or paper towel to double check that the paint has been removed. This process saves on trips for fresh water. Yes, it is laborious, but I guess I just accept it and am used to it. At the end of a session, I'll take them all to the bathroom to double check that they are all "clean" and free of pigment. I let them dry flat on a paper towel.

Brushes are just too expensive for me to risk ruining them.

Bill Linn
06-01-2015, 09:46 PM
Jerry Yarnell's method.. rinse and place in a plastic bag.

Aligator
06-01-2015, 10:37 PM
Let see if I can explain what I do. I use a house painter roller tray with enough water to fill the deep end but not the whole pan. I rinse my brush and place in the roller tray, the handle stays out of the water but the brush is in the water. Each night, after I paint, I take the pan in and wash all the brushes and stand them up in my jar. I posted a photo of this a while back but can't find it. One other thing, I use a plastic liner in the roller pan and when they get real dirty I replace it.