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Old 12-20-2012, 08:57 PM
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madtripper madtripper is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

I give them a quick rinse to remove most of the paint. I then lay them into my special dish.

The special dish is a cheap plastic container, with side walls of about 2 inches high. At one end I have cut the sides down so they are only about 1/2 inch high. I add a very small amount of water to the dish, and lay the brushes on the lower cut edge.

The result is a brush that is almost horizontal so the bristles don't get bent, but the ferrel is outside of the water or just touching at the lower end for very small brushes. I can leave brushes this way for hours or all day without any bristle damage or paint drying on the bristles.

The water is sucked up the hairs by capillary action so the bristles stay quite wet. Since the brush is slightly pointing down, water does not flow into the ferrel.
Madtripper (Robert)
Author of www.GreatAcrylicArt.com
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:35 PM
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lstrvr lstrvr is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

I think most people would be disappointed if they saw how I keep my brushes! I have a tupperware tray that is about 10" x 18" with a 2" side. I keep the bottom lined with soaked paper towels and just put the lid on when stepping away. I keep my brushes like this constantly and never clean them. I have maybe 20 or more brushes in there at a time and only clean the big expensive brushes that I use for the large washes in the background. I have found that my brushes actually last longer this way than if I do a vigorous clean after use. A quick rinse in my jar of water to knock of the majority of paint before dropping into my tray is all I do. I have had brushes in there wet for at least a year! The handles swell and their coating splinters off put the actual brush and ferule seem to do just fine!

We all have our own ways of doing things!
Vancouver, BC
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:04 AM
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Barbareola Barbareola is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

I too wouldn't use acetone. It is an exellent solvent for glue and I wouldn't trust them with the ferrule.

Others have given great advice on dealing with the brush during breaks.

Depending on what and how I paint though I have found that I need to clean the brush even during the painting session. If your paint is a rather fast drying one, your home is very warm and dry and/or if you paint with one colour a lot, the paint tends to dry on the brush. I had that scenario when I used acrylic paint not for a painting but a crafts project that requiered me to use several coats of cheap, fast drying paint in a hot environment.

So I learned to rinse the brush during the painting session to remove paint that was threatening to dry up. After a while it became easier to see when it began too loose its sheen and needed to be removed before it became difficult to remove. I also - nearly - managed to get rid of the voice in my head bemoaning the loss of paint. On a really hot day I even had to use the paint soap during breaks in the painting process.

When you're doing a painting instead of a crafts project, this might not be an issue because you change the colour more often anyway. On the other hand, I found that as a beginner I tend to think a lot about what colour goes where next and when you do that, you have that nagging feeling of the paint beginning to dry. So this procedure might be a help there.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:09 PM
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darlingart darlingart is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

I have a small disposable oblong shaped hospital dish that I use. It has side about 1.5 inches tall and I have cut a section of dish sponge for one end that I soak in water, and rest the handles on the opposite end of the dish. Its just the right length for the head to rest on the sponge, then handles on the other end without putting pressure on the bristles.

I do always swish each brush in water before placing it on the sponge to remove most of the paint. So far its working really well, and its summer down here and quite hot in my studio.

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Old 12-21-2012, 10:43 PM
moepar moepar is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

I've sometimes used Murphys Oil soap to help clean the brushes, & seems to keep the bristles in nice condition. One of my friend's swears by it, says she's kept some cheap brushes for years that way
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:01 PM
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BeeCeeEss BeeCeeEss is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

Originally Posted by wandrson
I was always taught not to leave my brushes in solvent while painting (learned in oils) and never had a problem. While working with watercolors, paint drying on brushes during the painting session isn't a problem; however, I am confused how to deal with this in acrylics.

There are two things that I do to avoid the dried-paint-in-my-brushes problem. I have a home-made brush tray with a wet sponge in one end that I lay my brushes on when they are not in use. I'll see if I still have a photo of this rig to help explain it:

If this photo shows up, you can see that the tray is not very deep and the wet sponge is not as thick as the tray is deep. I lay the heads of my brushes on the wet sponge and the handles rest on the opposite end. This angle is just enough to keep the brush heads on contact with the wet sponge but not enough to bend them or distort their shape.

NOTE: I usually wipe any excess paint from the brush first, then give it a quick rinse to get most of the paint out of it before I place it on the sponge. This helps keep the sponge from getting messy.

No matter how long my painting session is, this rig will keep my brushes moist and prevent the paint from drying in them.

When I first begin a painting session, I always wet the brushes I'm going to use first, then blot any excess water out on a paper towel. Never dip a dry brush into acrylic paint. The paint will dry VERY quickly on a dry brush and you will have trouble ever getting it out.

Second, I use a product from Golden called Golden Open Gel Medium. It's part of their line of Open Acrylic paints but you can use it with regular acrylics to slow drying time and help with blending. I work a bit of this gel medium into my brushes and wipe out any excess. That will also help to keep your brushes from drying out during the painting process. Since I wipe most of it out, just leaving enough in to help moisten the brush hairs, it doesn't effect the opacity of my paints unless I want to mix more of it into the paints.

There is another product similar to this made by Liquitex called, I believe, Slow Dry Medium. It will do the same thing.

I used to use one of the brush holders with a coiled spring that holds the brush handles and suspends the head of the brush in water while not in use, however I found that this allows too much water to begin soaking into the glue inside the ferrule and caused my wooden brush handles to crack because the wood would get waterlogged, as well. Since I made up my little brush/sponge tray, this is not a problem. The brush won't become waterlogged from sitting on the wet sponge.

Hope that helps.

I love cooking with wines! Sometimes I even put it in the food! -- Julia Child
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:50 AM
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LavenderFrost LavenderFrost is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

And I just leave mine sitting in the rinse water.
C&C always welcome. Michelle

Every painting is a new adventure.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:31 PM
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Yellow Ogre Yellow Ogre is offline
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

Originally Posted by PattiLou
I rinse my brush and lay it on a wet paper towel while working. If I am taking a lunch break I just cover it with a wet paper towel and spray it real good. It is laying on an old ceramic cutting board so no damage to the desk top. A saucer or old tile, or piece of glass would do the same. This keeps the brush wet for quite awhile and then after I finish painting I clean them with soap and water.

Same here.

Btw, I interchange my oil and acrylic brushes (esp a soft Qualita 1 1/2 flat wash) and have never had a problem - you can do this if you keep your brushes very clean.
Its not "Yellow Ogre", it's "Yellow O C H R E".
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:27 PM
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Re: How do you keep the paint from drying on your brushes while painting

Here is a picture showing the setup I described in post #16 above.
Madtripper (Robert)
Author of www.GreatAcrylicArt.com

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