Caring For Your Brushes

October 17, 2020

Caring For Your Brushes

Caring For Your Brushes

A good quality, purpose designed brush (or two) is critical to achieving a smooth, consistent finish for your painting projects, so it makes sense to look after your investment. 

I think most of us are guilty of neglecting our brushes at times - I know I have been. Mineral and chalk based, matt paints dry very quickly, so leaving your brush uncleaned after painting, even for a short period of time can lead to clumpy, lumpy particles of paint, stiff bristles and debris that can fall into paint the next time the brush is used.


Here are my top tips for caring for your furniture painting brushes:

    1. Wet your brush as soon as you finish - even between coats. As mentioned above furniture paint dries very quickly, so your brushes will become tacky and hard quickly too. If you are waiting for paint to dry between coats, it's still a good idea to quickly run the bristles of your brush under some warm water so they stay damp. You can then wrap in paper towel until you're ready.  
    2. Don't overload your brush with paint. You just need to dip the tip of your brush into your paint. Further than this is wasting paint, and causing the top end of the bristles to collect paint, and become hard. This also helps you to achieve a much smoother surface on your painted finishes.
    3. Use a good quality brush cleaner like our best selling Vintage Bird Brush Cleaner that gently, but effectively cleans paint residue from the bristles. 
    4. When washing your brush, use warm water, and when holding it under the water stream, keep the tip of the bristles angled down. This avoids the water  pushing paint up towards the ferrule of the brush where it will become tacky and hard, causing the top section of the bristles to be stiff and makes the brush more difficult to use. 
    5. Last, but certainly not least: Choose a good quality brush designed for the task at hand. My go to brushes are the Cling On! Brush brand from the Netherlands. The quality is excellent, the bristles are incredibly soft, and if cared for well, you Cling on! brushes will last you through many, many projects. 


    You can also give your Cling On brushes a water bath by suspending them over a container of warm water that only comes half way up the bristles. Cling On recommend this method for storage of your brushes to avoid the bristle tips from drying out and splitting and becoming fragile. It also means that gravity will do it's thing and the moisture will draw any remaining impurities down the length of the brush bristles to settle in the bottom of the jar.  

    Try to avoid just resting your brushes in the jar - leaving them for any length of time will cause the bristles to become mis-shaped. A good way to suspend your brush is to drill a hole in the lid of a plastic jar big enough to fit the stem of the brush. Push the stem through then use a clothes peg to secure it there. Then you can rest the lid back on the jar one quarter filled with clean, warm water without the bristles touching the bottom. 

    You can find our range of Cling On! Brushes here:



    Happy Painting. Corrina xx

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