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kluge
12-13-2018, 01:51 AM
This may sound like a silly question but I am new to using oil paint.

Do you need to use turpentine to clean brushes as you paint or will soapy water do?
Particularly when you use the same brush with different colours. Is it sufficient to wipe the paint off the brush with a rag, dip it in soapy water, wipe it dry and pick up the new colour?
Many thanks

Ted Bunker
12-13-2018, 02:23 AM
My technically naive answer; no ...not while you're painting. For that use an odorless mineral spirit (OMS) like Gamsol. Most artists today avoid turpentine during painting in favor of other mediums due to the smell and harsh longtime health affects. Some just wipe a brush clean during the session on a rag or disposable towei.

But once you are finished for that painting session then you can use soapy water, Artist's brush cleaner, OMS, or a solvent. Fresh oil paint is just that, oil ...really no different than the congealed grease in your frying pan. The tricky part is as it cures it starts to be insoluble, and that's when you need the solvents like Turps or Gamsol to breakup the partially-cured paint.

There are also "water-soluble oil paints" that use a modified Linseed oil were you can use water during painting, but for traditional oil paints don't use any water until it's time to clean the brush after painting. And don't use that brush again until it's totally-dry.

DickHutchings
12-13-2018, 08:53 AM
Just wipe the brush and go for the next color, I do it a lot. If I need super clean or very different color, I grab a different brush. So there's really no need to clean your brushes until your done with your painting session. At that point you could step outside and use the strongest solvents on the planet to remove most of the paint and finish up inside with dawn. I just dip my brushes in walnut oil after cleaning with OMS to keep them soft and ready to go. A none drying oil would be better for this last step but you must remember to clean it with OMS before you use it.

AnnieA
12-13-2018, 09:05 AM
You don't necessarily need to use turps or even OMS. I often use a silicoil jar with grocery store walnut oil to wash brushes while painting. You have to get a brand unadulterated by any food-related additions; I use Spectrum Brand walnut oil which is expeller-pressed and refined but has no additives.

There are various methods of cleaning brushes at the end of a painting session. Some just wash their brushes out with OMS and then leave them coated with oil to be ready for use the next day. I don't think this method can be used unless you plan to return to painting fairly soon, as the oil might start to oxidize and ruin the brush. Another method is to wash the brushes with bar soap or with Masterson's Brush Cleaner (which is an excellent product that removes pigment very effectively). There are other approaches as well.

Humbaba
12-13-2018, 09:20 AM
You should avoid water to clean brushes as you paint. OSM or turpentine are the safe option during a painting session. Once you finish, you can use Soapy water if you wish.

Notice: If you paint using medium containing resin, turpentine is recommended to clean your brushes, OSM cannot dissolve resins.

AnnieA
12-13-2018, 10:22 AM
You should avoid water to clean brushes as you paint. OSM or turpentine are the safe option during a painting session. Once you finish, you can use Soapy water if you wish.

Notice: If you paint using medium containing resin, turpentine is recommended to clean your brushes, OSM cannot dissolve resins.

Good points and I should have noted that water always should be avoided during a session. Cleaning with oil during a session is also safe, but I neglected to mention that it generally requires the use of more brushes than usual, because although it's good for brushes (the oil keeps the bristles soft and flexible) it's not quite as effective as turps or OMS for cleaning. At least that's my take.

Pinguino
12-13-2018, 11:30 AM
Anyone counting? This may be the 30th time this topic has been raised.

Gigalot
12-13-2018, 12:15 PM
Thousand and thousand folks want to know how exactly the soapy water did the job to wash linseed oil! :lol: Oh way!

contumacious
12-13-2018, 01:30 PM
Anyone counting? This may be the 30th time this topic has been raised.

About 482 times if you use the parameters of "brush cleaning", "soap" and "water" in quotes for all forums.

Google Site Search for Brush Cleaning / Soap / Water (https://www.google.com/search?ei=vKMSXNHUG-jE0PEP84WIoAE&q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetcanvas.com%2Fforums+%22brush+cleaning%22+%22soap%22+%22water%22&oq=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.wetcanvas.com%2Fforums+%22brush+cleaning%22+%22soap%22+%22water%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3...11210.17776..18494...0.0..0.1768.7308.0j8j1j0j1j0j1j1j2......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71.Ua3QYE7RzDw)

The majority of art related questions have already been asked and answered many times on WC over the years, but searching the archives for an answer is not as fun for some folks as getting THEIR question answered. If all we ever did was defer people with a question to "Search WC" this would be a boring place in my view.

contumacious
12-13-2018, 01:37 PM
You should avoid water to clean brushes as you paint. OSM or turpentine are the safe option during a painting session. Once you finish, you can use Soapy water if you wish.

Notice: If you paint using medium containing resin, turpentine is recommended to clean your brushes, OSM cannot dissolve resins.

It is true that OMS can't dissolve solid resins such as Damar like Turpentine and other solvents can, but OMS can and does do a good job removing paints and mediums with resins in them from your brushes when the resins are already dissolved in the medium - without the stronger fumes and higher toxicity of Turpentine. Gamsol for example does an excellent job cleaning my brushes regardless of what resin containing medium or paint is in them without giving me headaches and making me feel weird, which is not the case for Turpentine.

Michael Lion
12-14-2018, 07:43 PM
This may sound like a silly question but I am new to using oil paint.

Do you need to use turpentine to clean brushes as you paint or will soapy water do?
Particularly when you use the same brush with different colours. Is it sufficient to wipe the paint off the brush with a rag, dip it in soapy water, wipe it dry and pick up the new colour?
Many thanks

NO, you cannot use water (soapy or not) to clean brushes, unless you are using water-miscible oil paint.

You need a non-polar liquid, such as Turpenoid.

kluge
12-15-2018, 03:41 AM
Thanks so much for all the advice regarding using OMS.
I might give water soluble oils a try since the clean up is far easier.
Can I use normal linseed oil as a medium with water soluble oils or do I need to get special linseed oil for these paints?
Many thanks

Gigalot
12-15-2018, 04:41 AM
You can use normal linseed oil for WMO paints, but that reduce water solubility of such paints. If you can't wash regular oil from brushes by using soap and water, then WMO is a way to clean brushes with just water and zero soap. If any, then soak brush into pure dish liquid and rinse into it.

kluge
12-15-2018, 08:38 AM
You can use normal linseed oil for WMO paints, but that reduce water solubility of such paints. If you can't wash regular oil from brushes by using soap and water, then WMO is a way to clean brushes with just water and zero soap. If any, then soak brush into pure dish liquid and rinse into it.

Thanks Gigalot
so with WMO paints I can just use water as the sole medium?
When I painted with traditional oils I used Liquin medium.

Richard P
12-15-2018, 12:03 PM
NO, you cannot use water (soapy or not) to clean brushes, unless you are using water-miscible oil paint.

You need a non-polar liquid, such as Turpenoid.

How strange, I do this all the time..

Gigalot
12-15-2018, 12:43 PM
Thanks Gigalot
so with WMO paints I can just use water as the sole medium?
When I painted with traditional oils I used Liquin medium.
Water is wrong medium for WMO. It gives matte films and worst handling properties. It might be better to use special formulations like WMO medium or water soluble linseed oil for that. Or use regular linseed oil.

sidbledsoe
12-15-2018, 02:39 PM
How strange, I do this all the time..
This is the first time I have heard of using soapy water, with regular oil paint, to clean brushes during the painting session, while you are painting. do you dry the brushes out before picking up more paint?

Do you need to use turpentine to clean brushes as you paint or will soapy water do?
Particularly when you use the same brush with different colours. Is it sufficient to wipe the paint off the brush with a rag, dip it in soapy water, wipe it dry and pick up the new colour?

Richard P
12-15-2018, 02:56 PM
Yes, I wash out the soap, and then dry thoroughly.

sidbledsoe
12-15-2018, 05:33 PM
Yes, I wash out the soap, and then dry thoroughly.
this is while painting with regular oils, not WMO's and not talking about at the end of the paint session?
if so then that does seems like it would be an ok thing to do so I will try it out too. But after drying, I would also charge the brush with some medium, wipe it out, and then continue painting.

Richard P
12-15-2018, 05:55 PM
Yes normal oils. If I have a brush I want to use and it's already loaded with a different colour I will wash it out, dry and then use with the new colour. I don't do it all the time as I don't like cleaning brushes, but I've never had a problem.

These are all synthetic brushes by the way.