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chamisa
11-27-2018, 07:22 AM
Have any of you used just oil successfully to actually clean oil brushes?
There are some You Tube videos showing the use of baby oil and safflower or linseed oil to clean them.
Iíve been experimenting with wiping brushes with paper towels and then dipping my brushes in linseed oil and reusing them the next day, sometimes for a whole week. It works pretty well, and I donít have to spend so much time cleaning brushes.
But havenít tried to actually clean them thoroughly with oil.

chamisa
11-27-2018, 07:24 AM
Have any of you used just oil successfully to actually clean oil brushes?
There are some You Tube videos showing the use of baby oil and safflower or linseed oil to clean them.
Iíve been experimenting with wiping brushes with paper towels and then dipping my brushes in linseed oil and reusing them the next day, sometimes for a whole week. It works pretty well, and I donít have to spend so much time cleaning brushes.
But havenít tried to actually clean them thoroughly with oil.

sidbledsoe
11-27-2018, 07:33 AM
absolutely yes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhOzqI0mWmA&t=397s

I also paint with dirty brushes all the time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Araawn17o6k

Raffless
11-27-2018, 07:40 AM
Unless you using 'power' colours(very high chroma) you dont have to clean your brushes. Just wipe with a rag and the remainder onto the palette then just pick up the colour you want next working well into the bristles. If you want to use a few days later just add a bit of linseed oil to the bristles.

Humbaba
11-27-2018, 08:27 AM
There are many posts about this topic in the forum, do a search.

DickHutchings
11-27-2018, 08:51 AM
That's exactly what I'm doing as well with the exception of my puffy blending brush. I clean that with OMS after each use.

AllisonR
11-27-2018, 09:46 AM
Iíve been experimenting with wiping brushes with paper towels and then dipping my brushes in linseed oil and reusing them the next day, sometimes for a whole week. It works pretty well, and I donít have to spend so much time cleaning brushes.

This is a good habit. Over cleaning actually ruins brushes faster. However, when I am going to seriously clean brushes (end of a painting, not going to paint again for a while... ) then I do use turp. You don't have to. But to really clean them I find just oil or soap leaves a paint remaining bound to the bristles. So I use warm water with a bar of white soap, lather them like crazy and keep soaping and rinsing until all tints are gone.

chamisa
11-27-2018, 10:41 AM
Thanks everyone this was really helpful!

Allison, I m confused as you say you use turp when you are finished for a while painting, but then say you use soap. Iíve used an ivory bar before ó is that what you use instead of the turp, or do you use turp and then the soap.
Thanks!

chamisa
11-27-2018, 10:43 AM
Mods can you delete this thread óit apparently got moved from another place, and I already had same thread posted here.
Thanks

contumacious
11-27-2018, 10:50 AM
Another thumbs up for cleaning with oil and leaving oil in them between sessions. The thinner and more slowly drying the artist's quality oil the better. It is better in my view to use an oil that is compatible with your paints. Baby Oil is most definitely not.

There are hundreds (thousands?) of threads on cleaning brushes on WC, many of them deal with using oil.

Google Site Search for Cleaning Brushes with Oil on WC (https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=2Gj9W43TLaGT0gKh9bCgDw&q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetcanvas.com%2Fforums%2F+%22cleaning%22+%22brushes%22+%22oil%22&btnK=Google+Search&oq=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetcanvas.com%2Fforums%2F+%22cleaning%22+%22brushes%22+%22oil%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3...6549.25563..26517...1.0..0.459.5204.3j33j1j1j1......0....1j2..gws-wiz.....0..0j0i131j0i131i10j0i3.cDqPJlSG6Do)

Seaside Artist
11-28-2018, 12:28 AM
Spectrum Walnut oil works great for cleaning while painting. A little dip and wipe with paper towels...swirl the brush on the towel.



When done for the day or several days use liquid dish soap to work out any build up. Rinse well and press the bristles back into shape with a paper towel to remove excess water.



Do not under any circumstances leave brushes soaking in fluids...no turps are needed period. No OMS needed either. I use top of the line strong colors in my work and the walnut oil works beautiful...I can go to my next color and use the same brush over and over in a session. Cleaning brushes has never been easier. Don't make cleaning more difficult than it needs to be. I have brushes that are more than 30 years old and all are in great shape! :clap:

contumacious
11-29-2018, 12:02 PM
Do not under any circumstances leave brushes soaking in fluids...no turps are needed period. No OMS needed either.

Do you mean you shouldn't leave your brushes saturated / soaking in clear oil? What is the reason for that? I have been doing that for years with zero adverse results. It is no different than painting with them with oils.

As for leaving them soaking in OMS I have also done that for many decades. There has only been one issue I found with the OMS soak. Unlike soaking in oil, which tends to hold the bristles in place, OMS over several days will often make the bristles splay out a bit. Cleaning in Masters Brush Cleaner and shaping them sets them back to normal. I prefer soaking in oil to OMS but neither has ever damaged any of my brushes.

Garland
12-01-2018, 08:12 AM
Gamblin makes two different types of Walnut oil, their regular walnut oil cleans better than the other walnut oil. They a long page on this.

Pinguino
12-01-2018, 12:10 PM
Gamblin makes two different types of Walnut oil, their regular walnut oil cleans better than the other walnut oil. They a long page on this.

Did you mean M. Graham, rather than Gamblin?

AnnieA
12-02-2018, 12:24 AM
My experience with leaving some brushes soaking in oil seems to bear out Seaside Artist's caution. I read something about it a while ago but when I tried it, there was a problem. They became gummy and it took me quite a while to get them back in shape - some of them even now haven't fully recovered. I've heard others here though, say it works fine for them, so I wonder if there was some step that I took or didn't take that made a difference.

One other concern of mine when cleaning with oil has to do with the use of alkyds. They seem to dry so quickly, and given my earlier problem with gumminess in my brushes, I worry that there will be an alkyd buildup in the bristles that oil is just not capable of dealing with. OMS seems to remove alkyd better than oil does. But this may be a reason not to use alkyd rather than not use oil to clean. Any thoughts from others on this concern would be appreciated.

sidbledsoe
12-02-2018, 08:42 AM
I wonder if there was some step that I took or didn't take that made a difference.
what type of oil did you use to store the brushes?
I have no problem storing brushes in olive, soy, or non drying safflower oil.
After painting, I wipe the brush in a rag, dip in my medium (OMS), and wipe again, then dip and charge the brush with storage oil and place it on my homemade brush rack.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2018/112587-rsz_dsc_0097.jpg
They are sitting there charged with oil.
When I am ready use again, which could be a month or more later, I just wipe it with a rag, dip and rinse in OMS, then dip and recharge the brush in linseed oil, wipe and paint.
Soap and water washing constantly swells and shrinks natural hair as it absorbs water and then dries, which distorts my sables and bristles. It is hard to get brushes well cleaned out with soap and water, and the force needed to really. actually, fully clean them with only soap and water would bend them and result in them splaying out permanently, especially expensive sables. This way is very gentle, simple and easy, and keeps the brush well shaped and conditioned. Plus I really don't like the act of washing them in the sink, in my hands.
I also like when people tell me to never ever do that which I have been doing with no problem.
No I don't contaminate my paint with a non drying oil, I rinse and then charge the brush with linseed oil. There is a certain percentage or fraction of non drying fatty acids in any drying oil such as linseed anyway, so it already has some oleic or whatever to begin with. I add no significant non drying fraction, but others do just that, when they add such additives as wax or clove oil.

AnnieA
12-02-2018, 01:18 PM
what type of oil did you use to store the brushes?
I have no problem storing brushes in olive, soy, or non drying safflower oil.
After painting, I wipe the brush in a rag, dip in my medium (OMS), and wipe again, then dip and charge the brush with storage oil and place it on my homemade brush rack.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2018/112587-rsz_dsc_0097.jpg
They are sitting there charged with oil.
When I am ready use again, which could be a month or more later, I just wipe it with a rag, dip and rinse in OMS, then dip and recharge the brush in linseed oil, wipe and paint.
Soap and water washing constantly swells and shrinks natural hair as it absorbs water and then dries, which distorts my sables and bristles. It is hard to get brushes well cleaned out with soap and water, and the force needed to really. actually, fully clean them with only soap and water would bend them and result in them splaying out permanently, especially expensive sables. This way is very gentle, simple and easy, and keeps the brush well shaped and conditioned. Plus I really don't like the act of washing them in the sink, in my hands.
I also like when people tell me to never ever do that which I have been doing with no problem.
No I don't contaminate my paint with a non drying oil, I rinse and then charge the brush with linseed oil. There is a certain percentage or fraction of non drying fatty acids in any drying oil such as linseed anyway, so it already has some oleic or whatever to begin with. I add no significant non drying fraction, but others do just that, when they add such additives as wax or clove oil.
I had used walnut oil, Sid, but perhaps the difference may be the wash in OMS that you use. Since for me a large part of the reason for using only oil to clean is to avoid OMS use as much as possible, that step would be counterproductive. I also use oil during a session to clean. But the other possibility is that I actually left my brushes soaking fully submerged in the oil jar, as someone had advised. Maybe they soak up too much oil that way and it builds up to create the gummy residue that ruined some of my brushes.

I'd actually like to use your method if there was a way to successfully do it without OMS and with no risk of oil residue buildup. But I find Master's is very kind to my brushes - and I've started sudsing them against the surface of the sink bowl rather than my hand, although gloves would also work. Unfortunately, I can't do that when at a class.

Nice brush rack! I can't see from the photo - did you design it with a slight slope so any small amount of oil would drain away from the ferrule?

Pinguino
12-02-2018, 02:36 PM
what type of oil did you use to store the brushes?
I have no problem ... etc.
Very useful info! Also clarifies some things that have not been mentioned much in this thread, but should have been mentioned, regarding brush quality.

Sid evidently uses expensive natural brushes. Thus, getting them clean is only a part of the story; preservation of the brush properties is very important. It is harmful to repeatedly use soap and water as the primary method of brush cleaning, particularly for natural bristles.

On the other hand, I (being a newbie) use some cheap chungking hoghair brushes, and some mid-price synthetic brushes. No sable or anything like that. I use the hoghair for roughing-out areas, sometimes with a scrubbing motion. I use the better synthetics for finished forms. With repeated soap/water cleaning (even with Master's), the hoghair does indeed deteriorate, becoming fuzzy (splayed), even if I re-shape them. No problem; they don't need to be sharp, and I have some use for fuzzy brushes. They are cheap to replace (because I only use small brush sizes). The better-quality synthetics do not seem to suffer from soap/water cleaning.

My portable painting kit has no means of storing brushes the way Sid shows in the photo.

I personally have no problem with OMS, but don't normally carry it around, due to the presence of children in areas where I paint.

contumacious
12-02-2018, 03:16 PM
My experience with leaving some brushes soaking in oil seems to bear out Seaside Artist's caution. I read something about it a while ago but when I tried it, there was a problem. They became gummy and it took me quite a while to get them back in shape - some of them even now haven't fully recovered. I've heard others here though, say it works fine for them, so I wonder if there was some step that I took or didn't take that made a difference.

One other concern of mine when cleaning with oil has to do with the use of alkyds. They seem to dry so quickly, and given my earlier problem with gumminess in my brushes, I worry that there will be an alkyd buildup in the bristles that oil is just not capable of dealing with. OMS seems to remove alkyd better than oil does. But this may be a reason not to use alkyd rather than not use oil to clean. Any thoughts from others on this concern would be appreciated.

If they are getting gummy, the oil you are using is drying too fast. Use something like what Sid suggested to cure that.

I go back and forth between oil and OMS soaking when I am done for the day. At the moment, I prefer soaking in Gamsol to any oil but I do have to condition my sharp edged flats more often using Masters Brush Cleaner than with a plain oil soak to keep that razor edge on there. Next month I might be back to using my other setup with oil which is similar to Sid's. I don't use any natural hair brushes anymore so I am not experiencing what Sid is with an OMS soak. My Dakotas look the same as when I bought them over a year ago.

AnnieA
12-02-2018, 04:37 PM
If they are getting gummy, the oil you are using is drying too fast. Use something like what Sid suggested to cure that.

I go back and forth between oil and OMS soaking when I am done for the day. At the moment, I prefer soaking in Gamsol to any oil but I do have to condition my sharp edged flats more often using Masters Brush Cleaner than with a plain oil soak to keep that razor edge on there. Next month I might be back to using my other setup with oil which is similar to Sid's. I don't use any natural hair brushes anymore so I am not experiencing what Sid is with an OMS soak. My Dakotas look the same as when I bought them over a year ago.
I dunno, contumacious, I use walnut oil for cleaning, which is supposed to be pretty slow drying. The problem occurred some time ago, so I suppose it could be that I may have used some alkyd product (I've experimented with them on and off) that caused the problem ? Or, there may have been some other intervening variable that I overlooked? Since I'm uncertain what it was that caused it, I hesitate to get into the habit of using the oil method, although I have used it on rare occasions without issue.

IDK for sure, but am tending to think that what makes the difference is the use of OMS to fully clean the brushes just before coating them with oil, as that's what I've done the few times I've used the oil method since the original problem occurred and the problem has not re-occurred doing things this way. Oil just doesn't clean as thoroughly as OMS does; it's not an issue during a painting session - I just use more brushes when it's necessary to have absolutely pure color, but that's rarely necessary. But it's possible that leaving brushes that really aren't completely clean to soak in oil is what results in the gumminess mine were left with.

If I'm right, then this is a caution that should be mentioned any time the issue arises again. We don't want newbies and others ruining brushes if they also happen to be avoiding OMS. I know I was so disappointed to destroy several sables and other brushes. As I mentioned earlier, most were restorable, but for a few of the sables the hairs were too delicate and many broke off. Since there are a lot of different painting methods, maybe as we offer advice, we should be cognizant of the ways in which our own method of working may not work for others.

:jumps down off soapbox:

sidbledsoe
12-02-2018, 06:29 PM
Yes, Annie, it is sloped downward, it is the one Mark Carder shows how to make in his video.
Pinq, I use some very good red sables and my favorite bristles are Robert Simmons.
When I tried just soap and water cleaning, I would then follow up on what I thought were clean brushes, and I tested them out to see if I was really cleaning them clear down to the ferrule. To test them out, I would then dip them in mineral spirits and blot them out on white paper towel to see if there was any paint left in the brush. I would often verify that some paint/color was being left deep in the brush, not cleaned out fully by soap and water, but the strong mineral spirits would then easily disperse it .
Oil paint is simply far more readily soluble in solvent than it is in soap and water, if they are traditional oil paints. (WMO's wash out nicely with only water)
Nothing is as fast, efficient, and thorough at dispersing oil out of a brush than solvent.
An OMS like Gamsol is very good to use, it is quite nearly similar to the same solvents they use in cosmetics.
It does not bother me at all. But if you don't want to use it, then just use an oil like artists safflower oil instead.
So the thing with the method I now use it that I don't even care if the brush doesn't get fully pristine right down to the ferrule, I don't care because I never let the brushes dry out, so they never have a chance to turn hard near the ferrule and thus turn flat brushes into brights.
I also don't need absolutely pristine clean brushes to resume painting with, I only need them to be well blotted.

contumacious
12-02-2018, 08:05 PM
Annie - I do think you are on to something when it comes to alkyd residue.

Sid- I am buying some natural hair brushes soon from Rosemary and will definitely keep those from the perpetual OMS soaking. I do think keeping brushes wet with oil between sessions is likely the best method there is.

For what its worth soy based solvents work great and will never dry out from what I have seen. If they were the same price as grocery store safflower oil I would probably go that route.

sidbledsoe
12-02-2018, 09:04 PM
I have read that sign painters rinse out their brushes with solvent and then oil them up with lard or petroleum jelly for storage, and then clean them out with solvent when ready to use again. Their brushes are generally long haired and they really are delligent about caring for their precious brush, their main tool. .
They are very skilled at achieving the right paint consistency and proper brush stroke handling. It isn't just slapped down, they have their precise art of painting lettering down to a science. It is well known that if any paint gets up in the area near the ferrule and hardens, then that brush is deep-sixed, kaput, may as well put a fork in it, for it is now done.
But with oil painting, we can still maybe use it for something but it will never again be like, or handle like, a supple and flexible new brush.

For household varnish, Rustoleum, etc. I generally just use those disposable cheapos and toss them out.

Gigalot
12-03-2018, 02:56 AM
I never use OMS to clean brushes. Last 10 years I use sunflower oil for that. For the first use, I always soak my brushes into container with pure sunflower oil to load the space between hair with oil. That prevents oil paint to soak there which also prevents to develop bone dry paint on the brush tip because dried sunflower oil is softer and gives conditioner effect.

AnnieA
12-03-2018, 12:41 PM
Sid, I'm not arguing against solvent use but instead saying that those who do not want to use solvent (for whatever reason) may not be able to take advantage of your method of leaving brushes with oil on them until next use, because that extra step of solvent cleaning before you coat them with oil overnight may be what leads to success. How long have you been doing that and has there been any problem at all?

Contumatious, yes I do think there may be a special problem with trying to use the method of leaving brushes coated with oil overnight when one has used alkyds, but not solvent, to clean them. Using oil only (no solvent) to clean may not be able to remove all the alkyd. But it also may be that using oil only may not work well even when one has not used alkyds. Solvent really does clean better. Since I clean with oil, I need to wash my brushes with Master's to make sure they're really completely clean.

I still wonder if it wasn't only an alkyd issue. Perhaps it was a combination of not using solvent at any point, leaving my brushes instead coated with oil overnight (even after a thorough washing with oil at the end of the session), and without using the additional step of washing with Masters, that caused the problem I experienced with gumminess. That would be my guess at this point...

I never use OMS to clean brushes. Last 10 years I use sunflower oil for that. For the first use, I always soak my brushes into container with pure sunflower oil to load the space between hair with oil. That prevents oil paint to soak there which also prevents to develop bone dry paint on the brush tip because dried sunflower oil is softer and gives conditioner effect.
That's interesting, Alex, about the pre-soak with sunflower oil. And you don't have any issues with splaying or other deformities? Do you think maybe this only works on new, pristine brushes? I can't go out and buy all new brushes to use this method, but I might try it on the next brush I purchase. Do you think walnut oil will work, the expeller-pressed but pure and only lightly refined kind I can purchase at the health-food store?

chamisa, I hope you don't regret asking the question. As you may realize from reading this thread and others in the Technical forum, there are a multitude of approaches to oil painting materials, techniques and practices.

stapeliad
12-03-2018, 01:32 PM
I haven't washed my brushes with soap and water for YEARS and that change was the best thing ever for my brushes. They keep their shape and last so much longer. Plus I am lazy about cleaning so I like not having to ever do it. :)

Right now I kind of do the same thing as Sid but instead of oil I use turpenoid natural. I have a dedicated OMS jar just to rinse it off. I might switch to oil though and see how I like it. I'll probably use olive oil since I have a Costco-size vat of it.

Sid that's a real nice brush rack!

sidbledsoe
12-03-2018, 02:06 PM
Annie, I did say that if you didn't want to use OMS, then just use an oil instead, like Alex and many others use, with success.

An OMS like Gamsol is very good to use.... But if you don't want to use it, then just use an oil like artists safflower oil instead.

I have been doing this for about a year, no problem.
I have used just oil myself, but like I said, it is viscous and I like OMS since it is a faster acting cleaning and also reduces brush mashing and thrashing.
I have also used Turp Natural as Jessica does, with great success.

stapeliad
12-03-2018, 02:17 PM
Sid does the oil attract less cat hair than the turp natural?

sidbledsoe
12-03-2018, 04:57 PM
I don't seem get cat hair on mine. Your cat might like the smell of TN and brushes up against them?

AnnieA
12-03-2018, 11:57 PM
Annie, I did say that if you didn't want to use OMS, then just use an oil instead, like Alex and many others use, with success.

Well, that's where I'm stuck, Sid, because for me, it was not successful at all. This was what led me to raise the issue in the first place. I don't understand why the method should be successful for some but not others, and it seems to me the only possible explanation is that I did something different than what you (and any others who say they use the method) are doing.