Sunday, June 18, 2017

Resolved to take better care of my paint brushes

An art store near where I worked recently closed down after 100 years and moved away. Entire blocks here in Toronto are being demolished to make way for condos, and leases are not being renewed.

Anyways, this has made me getting quality brushes a touch more inconvenient as now I have to go midtown and walk a bit to another art store.

I have resolved finally, after 10 years of off-and-on painting to take better care of my paint brushes. For the most part, I've been hard on my brushes, dipping them in water afterward, using quality brushes to transfer paint from the pot to the palette, etc. The end result is that after a use or two, all my brushes get unceremoniously thrown out after after they started splaying or losing their point. Ain't got no time for frazzled brushes.

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and the guys were mentioning their loving care of brushes that resulted in brushes lasting for years.


I am therefore going to be more disciplined with my paint brushes and have been trying out their techniques.

I recently painted up some Dark Eldar with just one brush (as discussed here)..

Using their techniques, I am pleased to see my brush is still serviceable and still has a point.

Therefore, I will maintain in the future the following techniques.

1) Use hand soap to wash away paint after use right away, especially where the ferrule and the tuft meet.

When paint dries on the ferrule, it pushes away the individual fibres on the tuft, which causes the fibres on the tuft to splay out, ruining the brush. Cleaning it right away prevents that.

2) Use hand soap to cover the tuft into a point and let the soap harden in between uses. This way, the paintbrush retains "muscle memory" to keep having a point. When you use it next time, just dip it in water and the soap dissolves.

3) Use cheap dollar store transfer brushes to place paint from the pot to the palette. Fine brushes should not be used to goop paint like that.

Three simple techniques that I used and my brush is still very much in great shape. I am resolved to keep doing this.

I also took the liberty of organizing my paint pots into some semblance of order recently just to free up my paint space.

I also had the bad habit of doing a paint job and months or years later, when I wanted a similar paint combination, would forget what paints I used previously. Well, now I am forcing myself to keep a journal.

Anyways, simple techniques that I never employed before but resolved to do them from now on.


  1. Nice post, I didn't realise paint brushes needed so much maintenance. Keeping a journal of paint mixes is a great idea too.