Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to Clean your Paint Brush with Vinegar

How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

I wrote this post originally in July 2011. I'm reposting this method as it really works and I needed to give my paint brushes a little bit of extra love! I still use this method for cleaning my paint brushes when I haven't taken the best care of them.

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How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

Here’s a great method for reviving a well used, hard and/or inflexible paint brush. Generally you should wash your paint brushes in warm soapy water immediately after painting with water based paints (acrylic, alkyl, chalk, milk paint or gesso etc). If extra scrubbing is required to clean your brush, use a nylon filament fingernail brush or similar. Never use a wire brush. You can also use an old hair comb to spread the filaments during cleaning. Failure to adequately clean your brush can cause a build up of paint in the heel of the brush, causing the brush to become stiff.

How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

After almost ten months of full time painting, my brushes were looking a bit worse for wear. I had painted my kitchen cabinets, the skirtings and mouldings of my house as well as all the furniture on my blog (till July 2011) using the three paint brushes below. So they were doing okay but really needed a good clean. I always wash my brushes after use but sometimes I'm in a rush (generally painting till the nth minute and then racing to get to school pick up) and I don't wash my brushes well enough around the ferrule.  My brushes weren't totally inflexible but the paint building up around the ferrule meant that they weren't painting like a new brush would.

How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life
How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

Time to freshen them up with hot vinegar. You can use any white vinegar - go ahead and buy the big plastic cheap bottle rather than the more expensive glass bottle - I also use white vinegar for cleaning my bathroom and my kitchen. To be honest white vinegar is white vinegar!

How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

This method will also work if you have forgotten to wash your paint brush after painting. 


Pour white distilled vinegar into a saucepan and heat over the stove. You could also heat the vinegar in the microwave.


How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

Once the vinegar is hot (simmering or boiling), pour it into an old bowl, jar or container. Place your brush in the hot vinegar. Let sit for at least 20 minutes until the paint softens. You should really suspend your paint brushes with a bull dog clip so the bristle aren't touching the sides. This will mean the bristles don't get out of shape. I have before just rested them in an old butter container and not suspended them and the bristles were fine.


How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

Once the brushes have finished soaking, wash them in warm soapy water (I use dishwashing liquid).  Use your fingers to remove the old paint. If you use a nail brush, make sure you only brush down the hairs of the paintbrush as you don't want to "fluff" up the fibres. Do not use excessive force -you are better off to take care of the bristles and repeat the method than damaging your brush. Rinse thoroughly to remove all the paint and the soap. If you do get any stray hairs poking out just snip them off with scissors.  You can also scrub the handles with steel wool to clean them up also.

How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life

Rinse thoroughly and let dry by setting the paint brush on a flat surface.

How to clean your paint brushes with Vingear. DIY tips from Lilyfield Life
All ready now for more painting!

Hope that helps. Worth a try before splashing out on new brushes,

Thanks for stopping by - if you've found this useful why not follow my blog or facebook page. I love all things DIY and especially painting furniture - See here for all my DIY tutorials in one place and here for an overview of my painted furniture

cheers 
Fiona

Sharing at
Feathered Nest Fridays

38 comments:

  1. this is a fantastic tip- thank you, fiona!

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  2. I agree with Cassie! Awesome tip that I will definately try!
    Blessings, Stacey

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  3. Great tip! Thanks! Will try it over the weekend!

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  4. What a great tip! I am in the midst of full-time painting in my house. 3,600 sq. ft. to paint and my brushes are looking rough. I hated the thought of spending money on new ones bc I always buy high quality. I'll definitely try this tomorrow. Thanks!

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  5. What a great tip! Thanks for sharing at BC Good Life Wednesdays.

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  6. Thank you! My brushes looked just like your 'before'. Now they look like your 'after'.

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  7. My gosh - did I ever need this info. I have a few really good brushes that almost got thrown away. I'm going to try this - thanks! JenT

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  8. You need to get a spinner which attaches to the handle of the brush and spins the paint down and out of the top of the brush. We also use a wire brush and brush the paint out of them regularly. That's the away the pros do it!

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  9. thanks for always being so generous with you knowledge. another great helpful post.

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  10. I'm going to give this a go as I was about to buy some new brushes. great information.
    Julia

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  11. I'm off to the pantry to do this now....oh how I love easy chores!
    thanks for a great post.
    Bec x

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  12. I live vinegar and all it's use. Thanks for sharing another use for it.

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  13. vinegar is great for everything from cleaning windows to air freshener , the besat use is malt on fish and chips

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  14. after the vinegar treatment.. I wash brushes through with fabric softener.. & hang them up to dry .The brushes stay good for years.. COH.. England

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  15. Can I use the pot again for food after this?

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  16. Oh, thank you for this wonderful tip! My brushes look brand new! I also tried using cajaput oil on some of my other brushes, works just as great! Cajaput oil is very common where I live, so they were also another alternative. The only difference is that you don't need to simmer the oil. Hope this comes to use :)

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  17. I have found wrapping the brushes after you have cleaned them with kitchen roll will stop the bristles from wanting to poke out and they dry quicker...its worked for me for years and when we were renovating our house I used the same set of brushes for 7 years!

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  18. Cant wait to try this. I am roller painting now. When I reached the hand brush, it was stiff. Thanks for this method with vinegar.

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  19. Great tip! I'm going to paint my girlie's room this weekend and this is very useful to know. I didn't know about cleaning paint brushes with vinegar, at least never thought of it. Thank you for tha hint!

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  20. Amazing! I can`t believe it was so easy. I have tried your method. It was easy peasy. I cleaned only 3 brushes. Tomorrow I will clean all of them. Really thank you for sharing such a good tip! Best regards!

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  21. Was thinking about the best way to heat e vinagar for this evolution when I remembered it was about time to run vinagar through the coffee maker to descle it! Did that, then used the vinagar for the brush. Two for one!

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  22. I have used a homemade solution of vinegar,dish liquid soap & warm water to soak my brushes before brushing & cleaning them for a long time. However, I would occasionally get in a mood to not properly clean my brushes & then have them harden & unable to clean them properly. Thanks to you,I now know the trick is to HEAT the vinegar to save my brushes...THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'll never have to throw away my paint brushes again. I'm a happy painter now!!!

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  23. thank you for this tip. Does it work with both water-based paint AND oil-based paint??

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  24. The concept of the paint brush is mentioned in that blog that is used to color the things so it needs to be cleaned and this blog help us.

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  25. Thanks for sharing this informative article. I am a regular visitor in your blog and found many helpful posts.

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  26. Really inspirational to hear someone pursuing their dreams and becoming successful instead of following the traditional path. I have read your article about This topic. I think it's good and impressed to know your service. Thanks for share this Information.Paint para mac

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  27. It very hard to clean pain brush but when you use vinegar and any sprite liquid it would be easy to you.

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