View Full Version : Standing brushes between use

02-05-2008, 11:03 AM
While I'm painting, I keep a large cup of water on the table and in between uses stand my brushes, bristles down in the water.

I have come to realize that standing the brushes on their bristles is not exactly a good way to look after them. Basically the large flat brushes all spread at the end and the thin ones kind of bend over :( .

So, what is the proper way to keep your brushes between use in a painting session?

02-05-2008, 11:12 AM
Don't know if this is the correct way, but I swish my brushes around in a bucket then lay them down on papertowels.

02-05-2008, 11:29 AM
And they don't set solid out of water?

02-05-2008, 11:30 AM
Yeah I basically wash mine too, then lay them flat hanging over the edge of the table to drip on the floor :)

02-05-2008, 12:01 PM
No, because I get the paint out of them by swishing them in the bucket.

02-05-2008, 12:23 PM
I do the same, but I use two containers, one with soapy water and one with water only. Also, if I'm working for a long while, I periodically swish the brushes again to keep them moist until I'm ready to do my end of day wash.


02-05-2008, 12:58 PM
I usually rinse the brush when Im done with it or switching to a new one, the wet brush gets laid on papertowels.

I also have the springclip type clothespins handy. I clip the clothespin to the brush then balance the rest over the edge of my water container, leaving the bristles in the water, for those times Im to rushed to rinse

02-05-2008, 01:31 PM
I have found that using nylon net scrubbing sponges keeps that from happening. Brand name here in the US is Quickie scrubbing sponges.

Just put in your jar, add water and you can leave the brush in there and the bristles won't spread apart. Vicki

02-05-2008, 01:34 PM
I use a 9"x13" baking pan about half-filled with water and lay the brushes in it while I'm painting with them.

02-05-2008, 02:23 PM

I use a small butcher tray with water and lay a wet cloth over the brushes to slow down evaporation.

I have also been known to use a plastic tub with a brush cleaning screen inside to keep the brushes in good order.

The clothes pin idea is a good one as well as using them to allow brushes to dry by clipping the pin on the handle and dangling them over the edge of a table. Been doing that for many years.

02-05-2008, 02:54 PM
:rolleyes:I am excruatingly picky about my brushes and tips. When I'm working in acrylics, even more so.

Generally I will not only rinse my brushes as throughly as possible but I also use a product called "Brush Cleaner and Preserver" (made by General Pencil Co. New Jersey City, NJ. USA) on them until I can clean them out better later in the day. It will also help to hold the bristles in place when not in use. Oh yes either lay them flat when not in uses or across a pencil or (I actually made a brush rest out of clay) so that your tip isn't touching the surface of the table. Somehting that is not so important on flats but on rounds can be. (A chop stick holder also works nicely.)

Something else that I do on brushes that are my favorites is to use a piece of heat shrink tubing applied to the area where the handle meets the metal shaft. I've had the glue give way before on some of my older brushes and I find that this prevents this.

02-05-2008, 05:06 PM
My brushes also live in the water jar. I have a wire mesh thing I got at a local pound-shop (dollar store) - which is actually a cutlery holder! But it's round and fits perfectly inside a particular large yoghurt container. The mesh holds the bristles just enough that they aren't pressing into the bottom of the container and become misshapen. Mine looks sort of like this:

There are actually brush holders like this sold commercially but they are mainly for smaller brushes than I use. Like this:

That wasn't quite the one I was thinking of those and trying to find it I found this, which does essentially the same thing: http://www.greatart.co.uk/BOBROSSBRUSHCLEANINGSCREEN-brush-cleaning-brushes.htm
Mine was only 1 though. :D

And yes mine is also great for scrubbing out the paint to clean the brush or just switch colours.


02-06-2008, 03:44 AM
Thanks all.

I tend to work fast and thus my bad habit of throwing the brush in the jar and grabbing the next one. Scrupulously cleaning my brushes in the middle of work and laying them out on the table sounds a bit more than I'll manage. Tina, I had an idea in mind a bit like you contraption - I'll go out and look for something.

02-06-2008, 07:31 AM
I have that Bob Ross brush cleaning unit that timelady is showing. Had it for years and it has never damaged a brush. I put it in a large ice cream plastic tub and it has served me well. It is also easy to clean. I change water once to twice a week and the grid is easily cleaned with a rag or paper towel. Works well. I also have some of the other brush tubs and they do OK. It is really a matter of personal taste.