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Old 05-15-2006, 04:52 AM
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Julianne Julianne is offline
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Reshaping brushes?

Any tips on reshaping brushes? - just a couple of smaller ones that I stupidly left sitting in a jar of veggie oil for too long. Now that they're all nice and squeaky clean the tips are bent out of shape, if you know what I mean.

thanks,
Julianne
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:25 AM
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Marcella B Marcella B is offline
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

I've read where you can use hair products like conditioner and gel on them and let it dry. I guess they would need to be natural fibers.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:10 AM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Thanks, Marcella, that's interesting. Obviously you'd have to wash the gel out before painting with the brush. I wonder if it would still retain it's reshaping. (I'd be more inclined to think gel would work better than conditioner for shaping). The brushes are all natural hairs by the way, thanks. I wonder if anyone else has any first hand experiences or other ideas, at any rate I'm certainly willing to try it out.
cheers,
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:19 AM
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turlogh turlogh is offline
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julianne
Any tips on reshaping brushes? - just a couple of smaller ones that I stupidly left sitting in a jar of veggie oil for too long. Now that they're all nice and squeaky clean the tips are bent out of shape, if you know what I mean.
If you hold the hairs of a synthetic brush (only) in boiling water for several minutes, the fibers will sometimes return to their original shape. This works for me about 40% of the time.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:45 PM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

richard schmid recommends clipping/taping some cardboard over the end of brushes while they dry to reshape.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:56 PM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Thanks, turlogh, unfortunately the brushes in question are natural.

I have that DVD, serra, hmmm, it didn't occur to me that it could work cos his brushes are in shape! I'll give that a try and see how it goes. If it works I'll let you know. Otherwise I'll try taping them with gel on them....

Julianne
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:14 AM
kurtwagnerbamf kurtwagnerbamf is offline
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

all you have to do is wet the brushes,wrap the tip with a tiny piece of toilet tissue,shape,and when the tissue dries,your brush will be left with the desired shape,works every time.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:44 PM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

HI! I have been using strong hair gel to reshape my brushes for years. I LOVE the feel of a brand new brush----and I get it this way.

Here is part of my section on Maintaining or Restoring Brushes from the Studio Tips for Oil Painters page of my Writers section from my web site. For more information, you can go to:

http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-S...ring%20brushes

Quote:
Continued from Maintaining or Restoring Brushes from the Studio Tips for Oil Painters
Shape your brushes. Blot them well with paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Many simply shape their blotted brushes with their fingers with nothing but the moisture from washing. Some shape their sables or smaller bristles by running them between their pursed lips. I find that using a strong hair gel (made for styling human hair) is perfect for giving any of our brushes a brand-new, store-bought finished shape! For someone who loves using brand new brushes as I do, this is a constant treat! To apply, work the gel into the bristles, dry off your hand then begin to shape the brush by running the bristles with gentle firmness between your thumb and forefinger several times, pressing out excess gel in the bargin. Wide bristle brushes may be shaped by pulling the bristle between the sides of two adjacent fingers. Fan brushes may be flattened perfectly by laying flat on a table surface and weighting down with another flat item. Prop the handle up a bit to make sure you maintain a straight line tip to top. As with a brand new brush, run the gelled brushes through your fingers a couple of times to knock out the sizing before painting.

For damaged brushes which need more shaping, you can shape them as above, then wrap with masking or other firm tape, carefully nudging the bristles as you go, tucking them into shape. Allow the tape to wrap above the tips of the bristles enough to pinch together to form a closed tip.

Let the brushes dry. You want to always dry them on their sides rather than standing upright on their handle tips which lets the water seep down into the ferrel.

Really cheap and/or poor quality new brushes can also benefit from the gel treatment because of the way which even one-time-used brushes can look like the worse bad-hair day you've ever seen. The gel at least gives them a chance to behave somewhat helpfully, but probably best to return a new bad brush back to the art store if you were given to understand it was a quality brush. If you paid less than a dollar for it—just use the gel and be glad it still has it's hair!

Well-cared for brushes can last for years. That is, until the well-used brush finally wears down, as is the future of any great brush. But in the meantime, they can maintain a healty, responsive life of service to you!

Donna Aldridge

There's a lot of other Inforamtion for artists at:
http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-Writings.html

Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:05 AM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Wow, Donna, thanks, also took a look at the link this is a wealth of info!

So you don't feel a need to wash out the gel, you just "unsize" it....

Question about the masking tape - you apply it sticky end touching the hairs?

cheers
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:18 AM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Hi, Julianne! Glad you're enjoying the info!

I press out most of the gel so just "fluffing out" the bristles a few times does the trick. And I just LOVE that new feel!!! :-) Every time! Ahhhhh! Luxury!

With the masking tape----early on----but these days usually White Artists Tape, sticky side to the bristles. I've never had the tape offset it's "sticky." I've even used scotch tape with a really small brush where I wanted to be sure and still be able to see thru. Because the rigid tape holds firmly on all sides and sticks to itself to make a "cast" or "cocoon" it really "informs" the brush. There are a couple old brushes that are maybe 30 or 40 years old that had some nearly-heartless treatment with acrylics or other similar joys where I accidently forgot them in water----for days! Oh, my golly! And an ancient oil brush or two similarly done to. They still have a bit of a curve, no matter what. But other than 3 or 4 like this, they have all straightened out sooo nicely when I've been careless.

Oh----something else I should add to the text on my web site-----every year or two, I give all my brushes a hot-oil treatment. They're HAIR! Of course, I don't dothe few synthetics I have--just the natural hairs. I have brushes that are over 40 years old.

Here are a couple of pics of my brushes on my oil table/palette. I do use these brushes for acrylics, too. Brushes do seem to do so much better if I've used oil a good bit before I use the brush for acrylic. Best wishes! Donna ;-}



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Old 05-17-2006, 09:28 AM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

I cleaned my brush and shaped it with soap and clamped it with a clothspin. It dried for a few days and it shaped up good.

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Old 05-17-2006, 09:42 AM
SilverLady SilverLady is offline
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Donna what a beautiful website you have. So much information. I am so happy you posted it so we could go there.

Love all of your paintings. I love that style.

Thanks for the help.

My brushes are just 4 years old and I still have them all. But my collection no way looks like yours. "Smile"

I am just getting into oils. I have had them since 1974 and hoped they would still be good and they are.

Thanks again.

SilverLady
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:01 PM
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Julianne Julianne is offline
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Wow, look at all those brushes! Yes, they sure look clean and new! Thanks for the pics, Donna. White artist's tape, hmmm, I wonder if I can find that where I am.... no worries, I can try cardboard/paper/clamps in the interim.

Thanks SilverLady. Shaped with soap - I guess that would do similar things to gel.

Thanks everyone!

Julianne
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:16 PM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Hi, Julianne! It's just that the soap could have some "repelling" properties. I would want to wash a brush with soap---and let it dry---before using it to paint in oil. I use soap to get the oil OUT. But----it does SHAPE. It's just not a friend of oil paint.

I do have some brushes that are stained or "yellowed" from old age, but most are pretty gloriously white. I do baby them. But then they take good care of me, in exchange. So----what can I say! :-)

And-----argh!!!!-----I'm someone who uses about 20 brushes plus any time I paint. So I have found some dandy ways to wash a LOT of brushes at once!!!

I use W/N Brush and Hand Cleaner on my brushes when I paint till I drop (usually) and clean them up a good bit with it then leave them filled with it till the next morning. The W/N cleaner keeps paint from drying.

And I do keep working my brushes till they are really clean! I try to consider it a Zen moment or some such thing. It's worth it!!! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:19 PM
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Re: Reshaping brushes?

Oh, forgot to add---the Artist's White Tape is an acid-free tape that a lot of us use these days for several things. Masking tape really was meant for temp uses! The Artist's White Tape does not last for a long, long time---but when it comes loose----it comes LOOSE! Unlike the masking tape which just gets awful!!! But---when being left on for a few days---masking will work! Donna ;-}
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