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Paintbrush preservation: make paintbrushes last longer

Good quality paintbrushes can be pricey, so it would be ideal to learn more about paintbrush preservation. With anything in life, you want to get a great return on your investment. Doing whatever you can to make sure your paintbrushes work at their optimal best, and last longer than normal, will also make painting jobs easier, smoother and more professional. And it’ll save you some money in the long run.

Paintbrush preservation tips

Here are a few things you can do to extend the life of a paintbrush.

1.Keep them under wraps

It’s best to keep your paintbrushes wrapped up in their original packaging until the time comes for you to use them. This will help protect the bristles from attracting dust and from getting bent out of shape. Wrap them up again in between paint jobs – once they are clean and dry, of course. Even when you’re in the middle of a paint job, it is best to wrap your paintbrushes with some kind of plastic wrap. Paint can dry out very quickly, especially with the fast-drying paints of today. Whether you’re just taking a quick break or allowing a coat to dry for a longer period of time, wrapping the brushes will prevent chunky dried paint bristles.

2.Clean them ASAP

Don’t delay. When your painting job is done, or when there are much longer breaks between painting, there is no time for tea. Get those paintbrushes under running hot water before the paint has a chance to dry. Use some soap and/or paint thinner to get the majority of the paint off. If necessary, you will need to soak the brushes in some hot water for a little while. Just make sure you don’t get the wooden handles wet as this will eventually rot the wood. Use a stiff-bristle brush to get off any stubborn paint spots on the paintbrush handle.

3.Don’t dip too deep

One of the key ways to keep your brush looking new is actually to avoid using too much paint. This may sound confusing, but getting too much paint on all of the bristles of your paintbrush (and even the handle) will just result in more dried paint dramas. It is best to dip your paintbrush no more than 2,5cm deep. It is also best if you decant the paint into a smaller container because painting straight from the paint tin will make it harder to control the amount of paint you use. If you do get too much paint on your paintbrush, try allow for the excess paint to drip off before applying the paint.

4.Get them wet before painting

Some of the experts say that it is a good idea to get your brushes wet before painting. This means that you should dip (don’t dunk) your paintbrush into a bit of paint thinners if you are painting with oil-based paint and water if you are using water-based paint. This will help prevent paint stubbornly sticking on the bristles.

5.Hang them out to dry

Don’t be in a rush to put the paintbrushes away after you have cleaned them. Certainly don’t wrap them up when the paintbrush bristles are still wet, as this will damage the bristles. Only wrap them up once the brush is completely dry. If you can hang them up by the handle somewhere, that would be ideal. There is usually a hole at the top of the handle, through which you can thread a cord. Otherwise, lay the paintbrushes down on a super absorbent surface.

6.Store them safely away

When your paintbrushes are dried out and wrapped up, find a safe place to store them where they will not get touched. Avoid places where heavy things could be placed on top of the brushes and break them.

Try these paintbrush preservation tips and you may not have to rush out for new paintbrushes each time you take on another paint job.

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