How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes Without Paint Thinner

Michael Daly
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What Does Paint Thinner Do?

Paint thinner is a liquid solvent that’s used to dissolve heavy paint or oil-based paint that doesn’t want to come off when the brush is rinsed with water. It is also used to thin down and dissolve natural oils and wax on a painting surface.

Paint thinner is a very strong solvent that must be used with care. It is capable of taking the finish off wood and ruining fabric in contact with it. Depending upon the thickness of the oil-based paint you’re trying to remove, you can soak the brush in thinner for a long time but make sure you rinse it well with water and squeeze it out thoroughly before you use it.

How Your Kitchen Has The Key Product For Cleaning Oil Paint Brushes

Dipping a brush in an oil paint is a very common practice among artists and painters and is often considered as one of the basic principles of art. There are artistic movements that are dedicated to it.

The painting process is done by painting on an oil medium and when you reach the end of your session, you have a brush that contains a lot of oil paint, as well as the skin cells of your hand along with the excess paint strands from your brush.

To clean it, you need a few things:

  • A brush pot with the right type of paint
  • A brush washer
  • A cloth or a towel

What painter would want to put their hand in paint thinner to clean a brush that is going to be used the following day.

Painting with oil paint demands using the best brushes, the only difference between the best and the rest is the price.

Natural Yet Effective Solutions To Cleaning Your Brush Without A Paint Thinner

You shall be surprised to know that oil paint brushes can be cleaned without the use of any paint thinner.

The method involves the use of a few simple household ingredients, the first of which is vinegar.

Commercial paint thinners are quite expensive and you may not necessarily want to use them just for a single cleaning session. The best alternative is using ingredients that you can find right at home. Vinegar can be substituted with lemon juice or milk.

Before you get to work, ensure that you have a piece of cloth that is free from any leftover paint and any other flammable materials.

What you shall need for this job are a cup of warm water, a cup of white vinegar and a paper towel.

This task is best done over an old newspaper or any other cloth. Before you begin, dip your brush in some water and then in the vinegar. Then, rub the brush vigorously between the palm of your hands.

Next, take the brush apart and remove the bristles from the wooden handle. Take a paper towel and wad it up. Place the paper towel on the bottom of your sink. Dump in the bristles while ensuring they are not intertwined. Put another wad of paper towels on top of the bristles. Douse the "brush sandwich" with water. Place a pan on top of the paper towels to weigh it down. Monitor the water and paper towels and replace them every now and then.

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