Proper brush care is something every hobbyist should do, and for that I recommend The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver. You could use any brush cleaner you like, I’ve just had really great luck with this particular one.
Brush cleaning only takes a few seconds to do and will increase the life of your brushes substantially. Not only that, but with proper care your brushes will perform their job better.
Ever have a brush where the tip split down the middle? How about a brush where it wouldn’t hold a tip any more?
Those are problems with improper brush care and where a good brush cleaner/soap comes in.
This isn’t a heavy subject, so no sense blathering on and on, right? Right!
How to Use Masters Brush Cleaner
Time needed: 1 minute.
So, how do you use this amazing stuff? Here’s the very simple instructions.
- Wet the brush
Get the brush bristles soaking wet.
- Apply soap
Swirl the brush around in the soap to lather. Repeatedly wetting the brush may be needed.
Rinse the brush in clean water.
Dry off the brush on a paper towel.
Repeat 1-4 as needed for heavier buildup. Generally speaking, I do this twice.
I also have a video showing how simple this is.
Pro Tip: Repoint Brushes
This is in the video too, but my little tip is that you can revive brush tips pretty easily with the brush cleaner.
- Wet the brush – Get the tip of the brush liberally wet.
- Apply soap – Swirl brush in soap lightly while rolling it to create a pointed tip on the brush.
- Dry – Set the brush aside and let the soap dry in the bristles.
- Rinse – Rinse off when you’re ready to paint.
The soap will dry in the bristles while the brush has a fine point and in turn train the brush to have a fine tip.
All you have to do is rinse it out in water like normal before you use it and the dried in soap will come out. Now you’ve got yourself a nice point on your brush.
If you have a brush that’s persistently annoying, and still won’t hold a tip, then let it stay dried with the soap in it for a week or more. The longer you wait the more trained the bristles will be, and the more likely you’ll be to get it to hold a point again.
General Brush Care
Here’s some general tips to keep your brushes going for as long as possible.
Use the Right Brush
I cover this more in my article on miniature paint brushes, but you should be sure to use the right brush for the right job.
If you have yourself a nice brush, then don’t use that for brutal things like dry brushing or terrain. Use cheap brushes for that and save your good brushes for blending, highlighting, etc.
This also goes for base coating models. Putting on a base coat isn’t the most stressful thing you can do to your brushes, but it can be damaging as you try and get into tight spaces.
By using the proper paint brush for the job you will increase the longevity of all of your brushes.
Keep Your Brushes Wet
As a general rule I clean my brushes about every 10-15 seconds. Acrylic paint dries very quickly, and that includes on your brush.
Your paint brushes should always be damp. Never paint with a brush that’s dry unless you’re dry brushing.
When you start a painting session, rinse your brushes, dry them on a paper towel, but leave some moisture in the bristles to prevent the paint from drying on the bristles.
Constantly clean your brushes while you’re painting and you’ll get a lot more life out of them.
Clean Your Brushes After Every Paint Session
Make sure you’re using a brush cleaner like Masters Brush Cleaner after every single painting session, no matter how short that session may be.
Getting into the routine of constantly cleaning your brushes will keep them working longer and in turn save you money.
Where to Buy Masters Brush Cleaner
If you’re lucky like me and have a local art store around, then you will most certainly find Masters Brush Cleaner there pretty cheap.
Alternatively, you can of course find this online at Amazon.
You can also find this online with Blick as well. Blick is a great online art store for all sorts of things.
Masters Brush Cleaner really does work amazingly well.
I had a brush I was using for dry brushing and I forgot I had paint on it. So, the paint dried into the bristles and I noticed it a few days later when I went to use the brush again.
So, I used the brush soap on it and was completely surprised to see that it got all that dried on paint off!
It’s really only been recently that I discovered Masters Brush Cleaner and I wish I found it sooner. It’s one of the things I talk about in my article on things I wish I’d known when learning miniature painting.
I can’t count how many brushes I’ve had to throw out over the years because of dried on paint. Same thing with brushes that have frayed on me and just worn out, all tossed out.
Since I started using Masters Brush Cleaner I haven’t thrown out a brush yet and it’s been a year at least. I know this stuff doesn’t make brushes immortal, but it damn sure feels like it at times.
Using the brush soap is something that really only takes a few seconds to do, it’s really cheap to buy and will last you forever, and it will greatly improve your brushes. So, there’s no reason to not use it!
Again, I suggest at the end of every paint session, take a few minutes to clean the brushes you used. If you get in that habit then you’ll save yourself a lot of problems down the road.
Also, check out my list of painting supplies everyone needs. Brush cleaner is just one of many on that list.
Hobby Supplies, Tips & Tutorials
Various tutorials and guides for common hobby supplies.
Citadel Painting Handle
DIY Foam Trays
DIY Light Box
DIY Wet Palette
How to Use Liquid Green Stuff
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I’m a big believer of using this soap too. Saved a few of my brushes. Especially those $20 ones!!
I only wish I discovered it sooner.