Introduction: Brush Holder

Picture of Brush Holder

This is an inexpensive way of keeping any number of brushes wet while painting with water based paints or between sessions. It can also be used for hanging brushes to dry tip downward.

Step 1: Materials Needed

You will need:

1) A fairly deep square or rectangular water holder.  I bought surplus motel 'ice buckets' at a kitchen supply store.

2) Pipe insulation - approximately 1.75 inch diameter with a 1 inch center hole. (From any hardware store) Other sizes will probably work.

3) Something for marking where to cut the insulation - chalk, pastel, paint, sharpie - you just have to be able to see the marks

4) An Exacto knife... this will need a fresh blade!

Step 2: Cut Insulation

Picture of Cut Insulation

Cut a length of insulation to fit on a side of your container.

Step 3: Mark the Area for Cuts

Picture of Mark the Area for Cuts

Mark on the end of the foam where the brushes will fit without hitting the top rim of the container... You must leave enough room at the bottom (next to the tube opening) so that there is enough material to hold it all together.

Mark along the length of the insulation at those two points. You will not want to cut slits beyond these lines.

Step 4: Mark Slits for Brushes

Picture of Mark Slits for Brushes

Mark out slits for the brushes.
Bigger brushes need wider slits, so you'll probably want a variety of widths. The length of the slits will all be the same.
Important....The ends of the slits need to be bigger so that the foam doesn't just 'spit out' the brush when you push it in.

Step 5: Cut the Slits

Picture of Cut the Slits

Use an exacto knife with a NEW blade to cut your slits.

When done,  put the holder on your water container and try it out. You may find that you want to do more trimming.

Step 6: Dry Brushes, Too!

Picture of Dry Brushes, Too!

Bonus! Dry your brushes safely! You can put this brush holder on a weighted cardboard box to safely dry your (completely cleaned) brushes tip downward. Rocks, water bottles etc work well as weights.


JudyB56 (author)2016-02-18

First thing tomorrow, I'm finding me a box.! When I use my small brushes, I end up using about 6 at the most on one piece..I might put a piece of tin foil on the inside to catch any drips after I clean them. Usually I pinch them as dry as possible. Getting ready to start painting a couple of rooms this weekend so the pool noodles would be good.

mole1 (author)JudyB562016-02-18

Thanks for looking, JudyB56. See if this big brush holder solution will also work for you. For heavier and larger brushes I think it's more secure... and who knows, you may already have a plastic bucket and a few clothes pins around the house.

SamanthaP22 (author)2015-11-29

Brilliant. Just what I needed and will save me a few pennies too. Thanks.

mole1 (author)SamanthaP222015-11-29

Thanks for you kind words, SamanthaP22. It just occurred to me that these would make good stocking stuffers for the artists on my list. Tis the Season.

MaggieB3 (author)2015-08-30

Can't wait to make this. Thanks

mole1 (author)MaggieB32015-08-31

You're very welcome, MaggieB3. Thanks for looking!

MaggieB3 (author)2015-08-30

can't wait to do this

muneefmufee (author)2015-05-25

clever idea

mole1 (author)muneefmufee2015-06-05

Thank you, muneefmufee, and thanks for looking.

Wired_Mist (author)2014-12-04

I see there's some Macgyver in you :P

Think I'll make a house paining version of this next time I do a remodel. Great Idea!

mole1 (author)Wired_Mist2014-12-05

Thanks! I'll take that as a compliment :) (Some day I'm going to
have to find out who Macgyver is. I know there are fans in the family,
but I've never seen an episode. Have been TV - less for decades. )

Eldalote (author)2014-05-08

This is really great! And made from so little! Clever idea ;)

mole1 (author)Eldalote2014-05-09

Thank you, Eldalote!

mandreotti (author)2014-01-13

this is a very smart idea

mole1 (author)mandreotti2014-01-13

Thanks, mandreotti!

HueZo (author)2013-10-21

great!!! ill use it, thanks.

shazni (author)2013-07-21

Love this! Thanks

mole1 (author)shazni2013-07-31

Thanks! Enjoy!

softenersreviews (author)2013-03-02

Thanks for both the link and response.
I will make an instructable.

TabbyDeAnne (author)2013-01-22

Amazing! So easy anyone can do it! Thanks for the well put together 'ible! You rock!

mole1 (author)TabbyDeAnne2013-01-22

Thanks, TabbyDeAnne! We share common ground.

Thrasym (author)2013-01-18

Cool idea. For drying, you could just turn the foam around, to hang the brushes on the outside, or empty out the water and hang the brushes on the inside if they'd tip the bucket on the outside (of course, you couldn't use it much during this time).

mole1 (author)Thrasym2013-01-18

Thanks for looking, Thrasym! I suppose if you made a few of these, you could hang one 'inside' to keep brushes wet, and another oriented 'outside' to dry them on the opposite side of the same container.

Thrasym (author)mole12013-01-18

Yup, that sounds like the idea winner right there. ")

Could even just alternate the cuts on the single piece of foam, if you've only got or only want the one.

DANgerous124 (author)2011-07-17

Wow. haha I literally just wrote down an idea for drying brushes and then I click on the next page and I see your invention. Great minds thing alike. lol My idea was a bit different though but this is good :)

mole1 (author)DANgerous1242011-07-18

Hey, the more postings of different ways of doing this stuff, the better - Go for it, DANgerous124! After all, we don't all have the same materials available when we need them. What kind of painting are you doing?

DANgerous124 (author)mole12011-07-18

My idea works for any kind of painting really. It's just a holder to let brushes dry.. I like your other instructable for keeping brushes wet as well.

kariswg1 (author)2010-09-09

wonderful Idea......

mole1 (author)kariswg12010-09-09

Thank you! I've recently been wondering how larger insulation would work for bigger diameter brushes.

love4pds (author)mole12011-06-15

Love it but I used a noodle for the pool instead and they are different sizes. Love your idea!!!!!

mole1 (author)love4pds2011-06-27

How large a brush can the pool noodle handle? I've used clothes pins (Big Brush Holder) for larger brushes. It does the job but is more for overnight soaking than holding while working.

artonline (author)2010-10-01

It should works! ))

Gallery of modern art

Hiroak (author)2010-09-16

This is a great Idea one that I will use and a very detailed instruction nice.

mole1 (author)Hiroak2010-09-19

Thanks for your kind words, Hiroak!

kintekobo (author)2010-09-03

The simple ideas are always the best!

mole1 (author)kintekobo2010-09-06

Actually, I wasn't sure if it would be too simple for instructables. Thanks for the positive feedback!

l8nite (author)2010-09-02

what an AWESOME idea ! I'm definately going to try this

mole1 (author)l8nite2010-09-06

Thanks! I'll be interested to know how you like working with it.

ketan_ash2000 (author)2010-09-03

imaginations and creativity have no limits ....good job

mole1 (author)ketan_ash20002010-09-06

I'm glad to know others think it's useful.

rimar2000 (author)2010-09-03


mole1 (author)rimar20002010-09-06

Thank you!

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