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Old 02-07-2019, 03:24 PM
redneck647 redneck647 is offline
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Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

I have some better quality brushes that have over the years ended up with dried paint in them. Anything from oil, acrylic, enamel, or lacquer. Is there any way to clean them up? I figured I'd ask before tossing them. It would be nice if I could make them usable again.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:58 PM
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

A few different ways, you can try soaking them in a few different chemicals for a night each. Start with the least agressive and work your way up to most agressive solvent, being sure to wash them out with soap and water between each chemical soak.

Generally if I encounter the problem though I grab a bottle of Murphy’s oil soap and soak the brushes in a diluted solution for a night then wash them out the next morn and see how they seem after they dry. I have restored a couple brushes this way actually.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:10 PM
theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redneck647
I have some better quality brushes that have over the years ended up with dried paint in them. Anything from oil, acrylic, enamel, or lacquer. Is there any way to clean them up? I figured I'd ask before tossing them. It would be nice if I could make them usable again.
I paint with acrylics and what I've found works best - is concentrated liquid laundry detergent - the same one you put in the washing machine. Liquid dish soap will NOT work, has to be laundry detergent - it has certain enzymes that dish soap doesn't. Put some in a small cup enough to cover the bristles and let it soak overnight. Then clean thoroughly with soap and water. Works virtually every time for me.

If the brushes have been sitting around for years with dried paint, it may not work however I've treated some that had been left for a month or so, and it required a couple treatments but eventually got them clean - so it would be worth a try imo.

Last edited by theBongolian : 02-07-2019 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:02 AM
Tipo Tipo is offline
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

Use the brushes as they are, you don’t need pristine brushes to paint.

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Old 02-08-2019, 09:37 AM
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

Oh I nearly forgot, rubbing alcohol will break down dried acrylic paint, you can soak the brushes in a diluted solution work it through the bristles really well and then rinse it out well. I have used that to fix a few brushes as well, just a couple years ago actually.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

Delo hit on it in his first reply... soaking overnight in Murphy's Oil Soap should do the trick. It's been known to get dried paint out of clothing as well.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:30 PM
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

Delo hit on it in his first reply... soaking overnight in Murphy's Oil Soap should do the trick. It's been known to get dried paint out of clothing as well.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:48 AM
redneck647 redneck647 is offline
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Re: Any way to save old brushes with dry paint?

Thanks everyone. I'll pick up some Murphy’s oil soap and see what happens.

And Tipo I know the brushed don't have to be perfect. most of mine are stained and such. but the ones i'm looking at now have a large amounts of dried paint in them and have been left that way for years.
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