How to Clean Paint Stuck in the Ferrule of a (fineart) Paintbrush




Introduction: How to Clean Paint Stuck in the Ferrule of a (fineart) Paintbrush

About: Necessity is the mother of invention. | |

Hopefully it's possible to read the whole title. Unfortunately, I don't think this is worth it with bigger hardware store painting brushes, not sure it would even work at all if you're using anything that requires solvents. This is specifically aimed at artist's brushes.

Materials: Soap, Sewing Pin, Alcohol (if you paint with acrylics), Pointed Tool (palette knife will suffice), Flat Surface, Towel, Water.

I won't be covering the video again as an instructable because I feel it needs to be seen visually. It may feel long for something so simple, but I think the little things I mention are crucial. I did kind of ruin the first brush I tried this with because I was too rough.

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Thanks for this Instructable. I'm always really caereful to clean brushes right after use BUT recently found one I had missed. I soaked the brush tip in water for two weeks and then used the pin and lots of soap to carefully comb through it to remove paint fully and was able to salvage a favorite brush. Never thought of using alcohol but will keep that in mind because I'm sure I'll need this Instructable again.


    Reply 4 years ago

    I've been using alcohol ever since I can remember. Works on palettes too, especially those pesky plastic ones. I think that's actually what I first used it for. I've even purposely tested leaving brushes to dry completely with some paint to see if I could get them clean again. The paint is soft within a minute or two. I didn't cover regular brush cleaning because well it's kind of self explanatory and it fit more with a future brush cleaning tutorial I'm planning.

    But I just want to briefly mention that I wouldn't leave them dipped in the alcohol. Whatever you use (and I forgot to mention strong drinking alcohols work as well) just add a few drops to the brush like I do in the video and let it soak that way. The weakest solvent, as long as it works, is probably the safest choice even if it might take longer. Supposedly the bristles are attached with an epoxy glue which should not deteriorate even if you were to leave the brush soaking, but who knows about cheaper brushes. Someday I will test this, but I can't currently afford to ruin a brush now.

    For those pesky plastic palettes since you need much more liquid I'd use a strong solvent mixed with water, fill all the wells, then cover it with some clingfilm or something and leave it to soak until the paint starts to soften.