Working with Acrylics? Here are Ways to Clean Brushes with Acrylic Paint. The quality of the paintbrush can boost or hold back the caliber of your artwork. That is why cleaning and taking care of your paint brushes after the painting session is crucial in maintaining their quality and performance. Cleaning brushes with acrylic paint is essential to make them last longer, as acrylic paint dries quickly, leaving you with useless crusty brushes. So, to preserve the softness and health of the bristles of your paintbrush, it is important to thoroughly clean the brushes with acrylic paint.
After reading this blog, you will be able to know “How to Clean brushes with acrylic paint?”
5 Easy Steps to Clean Brushes with Acrylic Paint
Follow these 5 easy steps to clean your brushes properly after your painting session to ensure the longevity of the life of your paintbrushes.
STEP 1 – Wipe out excess paint
After ceasing the work session, remove the excess acrylic paint from the paintbrush before directly washing it off. For this, place your paintbrush between a paper towel or a rag and press the bristle area to squeeze out and remove most of the paint from the brushes before it dries and gets stuck to the bristles permanently.
STEP 2 – Rinse the brush in water
Keep a bowl or any container under the faucet to prevent acrylic paint from directly running down the water drains, as it harms the environment. Now, rinse your paintbrush in lukewarm water to remove any excess paint until you find clear water flowing down the brush marking the removal of all the excess paint.
(NOTE: Don’t use hot water, as it can damage the bristles)
STEP 3 – Use a paintbrush cleaner
Apply a few special paintbrush cleaners or artist soaps available in the market or simply use a mild soap and gently massage the bristles with your fingers in a circular motion. Make sure to deep clean the bristles.
STEP 4 – Rinse the brush again
Rinse the brush again in lukewarm water, making sure to remove all of the soap or cleaner. Check the bristles carefully; if any leftover paint is found, repeat steps 3 and 4 until you get an absolutely clean paintbrush.
(NOTE: It is normal to find tinted bristles! Just make sure that the paint comes off completely, but getting stained bristles even after careful washing is normal)
STEP 5 – Dry the brush
After removing every paint particle, squeeze out the excess water by pressing the bristles between a paper towel or a rag firmly. Let your paintbrush dry horizontally on a flat surface safely to avoid bending bristles.
(NOTE: Avoid drying your brush vertically to prevent ferrule from damage)
Points to Remember while Cleaning Brushes with Acrylic Paint
- Clean your brush before it dries: Don’t let the acrylic paint dry on the brushes; dried, crusty brushes become challenging to clean.
- Retain moisture in your brush: During the painting session, it is important to keep the brushes moist throughout. Rinsing the residual paint is necessary to avoid unseen paint clustering near the ferrule, which destroys the bristles by spreading them out and losing their shape.
- Maintaining the health of the ferrule: Soaking the brush in water for a long period or water retention in the paintbrush can lead to a rusty ferrule or damaged handle, which ruins the grip of your paintbrush. This is why paint brushes are recommended to dry horizontally and not vertically with bristles pointing upwards.
- Show concern towards the environment: Acrylic paint (plastic) causes harm to the environment. Therefore, wipe off excess paint from the brushes before rinsing the brush loaded with acrylic paint directly down the drain.
- Use mild soap/cleaner: The hairs of the brush are soft and delicate. Detergents containing harsh chemicals can demolish the quality of the bristles, so using mild soap or special artist soap is key to maintaining the health of the bristles.
Store your Paintbrushes Properly
After cleaning, storage of paintbrushes is the next substantial step to make your brushes last for years. The first point to remember is to never store moist brushes. After cleaning the paintbrushes, reshape them with the help of your fingers, let your paintbrushes dry completely, and then store them in a safe place.
Tips for Storage of Paintbrushes:
- Hang paint brushes upside down – The finest way to store them is by hanging them so the bristles point downwards. This helps in the retention of the shape of the bristles. You can also dry brushes in the same way.
- Storing brushes upright – You can also store brushes vertically, bristles heading up in an open container (cup, jar, or vase) with other brushes.
- Storing brushes horizontally – If you possess a designated work area for painting, you can assign a safe drawer, shelf, or rack to store the brushes horizontally.
How to Get Dried Paint Out of Paint Brushes?
Do you want a solution for cleaning brushes with acrylic paint when dried? Dried acrylic paint sticks to the paintbrushes causing the bristles to become crusty. Though it is a challenging task to remove dried paint from paintbrushes, it is not impossible. Once acrylic paint dries up, it takes the form of plastic which is tough to get rid of by peeling.
However, this plasticized acrylic paint can be removed from the dried paintbrush by the following method:
STEP 1 – Soak the bristles in small quantities of ammonia, acetone, or rubbing alcohol.
STEP 2 – Let the brush absorb the solvent overnight so the acrylic paint softens.
STEP 3 – Rub off the paint from the bristles with your fingers and wipe off the particles using a paper towel.
STEP 4 – Rinse the brush under warm water by gently removing the excess acrylic peels.
STEP 5 – Now, wash your paintbrush with artist soap or any other mild soap and lukewarm water.
(NOTE: You can never restore the original quality of these paintbrushes, but you can save the brushes from becoming completely useless)
Therefore, clean your paintbrush for acrylic paint thoroughly after each use to arrest the acrylic paint from drying and disfiguring your brushes permanently. These tips will keep your paint brushes in good condition and ensure their long life.