[Archive] Tip's for Looking after paint brush's

Mad Dave:

i thought it might be interesting to get a thread going to see how people look after their brush’s, share advise, hints and tips Etc.

I’m terrible with my brush’s i get through 3 or 4 a year i mostly use the army painter brush’s which are artificial brush’s not sable i might be wrong tho.

I’ve been watching a few how to maintain your brushes on youtube.

a few of the people say to try brush cleaning stuff you get in a little tin similar to soap helps protect and helps the brush to last longer. Has anyone tried it? or got any other hints or tips.

General tips link.

General how to take care of your brush’s


Paintbrush Selection and Care


Fuggit Khan:

I’ve noticed over the years that for me at least, it comes down to brush quality versus care for the brush. I paint in acrylics and just use water in a small cup to clean them up with a quick wipe with a napkin to dry them. Simple as that, nothing more, nothing less. I still have some sable brushes over 20 years old and holding up perfectly well. Other brushes from other manufacturers have given out after a few weeks. I think that GW brushes are over priced and poor quality compared to most other brands and don’t hold a sharp tip very well…but that’s just my opinion.


I use my airbrush cleaner to clean my brushes after use works a treat.


I had a brush that lasted about 5 years before being knackered by some drying super glue (wipes tear from cheek)

I forget exactly what brand etc, but it was a quality artists brush for acrylics I think.

After Ol’ reliable died I went through about 3 brushes a year (in decent artists brushes) before settling on using the GW brushes, which (ironically) I actually find quite good.  I probably replace mine every year and use the old one for drybrushing.

I find the simple tricks to keeping a brush good:

Keep wiping/rinsing until all paint is off.
Don’t drybrush or paint terrain, only do these with old brushes.  
Don’t let them dry with the bristles pressed at an angle.

I’d be tempted to say don’t wetbrush/heavy drybrush bases either if they’re highly textured.  I’ve ruined brushes doing this before enough times.

If you’re really keen there are products you can buy to reform points on bristles. I have a load of this stuff but never bother with it.

Da Crusha:

I have a couple of crap synthetic brushes I rarely use any more since I was talked into using Raphael Kolinsky brushes. I just use water to clean it up, I hardly paint though. the guy that did most of the convincing says he still has his from 18 years ago and even uses conditioner on it.


Stop using Gw shite! I swapped to kolinsky sable a year ago and neva looked back! Get mine from Rosemary and co. no dearer than Gw but 1million times better!!! Cos they’re made from real hair wash them with conditioner…honestly!!


Arbal has an instruction article in this thread that may help you



Yeah, I’m going to echo the importance of Sable over synthetic and don’t bother with the GW stuff, except for maybe cheap drybrushes since they’re going to get cocked up no matter what. A good Sable brush will last you many, many years, even with using acrylics, if you keep them clean and take care of them. A good sable will outlast many cheap brushes, so in the end, they are cost effective.

Brush care tips:

- Clean often. Soap is good, especially the Artists “Pink Soap” if you can get it. Use warm water, not hot, so as not to melt the binding glue inside the ferrule.

- Don’t leave them standing up on their brush end for any length of time.

- And, though this may disgust some people, when you are done with a brush (and they are properly cleaned), get some spit on the bristles. This will make them hard when dry and prevent damage to them if you move them about. The spit will dissolve when you dip them in water. Just don’t stick em in your mouth after you’ve been using artists watercolours, oils, enamels, etc, and not thoroughly cleaned them, otherwise you’ll be growing tumours, going mad (or even madder) and generally unhealthy, there’s lots of strange stuff in some paints.

Mad Dave:

I’ve just been doing abit looking over at wayland games and found some Vallejo cleaning or brush restorer anyone used them?

Kera foehunter:

lol i go threw brushes like Grant threw Richmond… I lucky i have them last 6 months… but I’m hard on my brushes alway havebeen


I hate to say it but when painting I usually give my brushes a quick rinse in a pot of water and then suck it to clean it.

I also find that the saliva helps the brush keep it’s point when in storage. Sorry.

The best brushes I’ve ever used were actually reaper miniature brushes I picked up when I was living in Reno NV. I still have one of them which I use exclusively for eyes though the other got worn out after 6 or 7 years. That was a sad day and I’ve never been able to replace it.

I friend of mine swears by BJ’s Original “The Master’s” Brush Cleaner and Preserver but despite meaning to get some I’ve never got round to it and stick to what I know.




I had a brush that lasted about 5 years before being knackered by some drying super glue (*wipes tear from cheek*)

I was in exactly the same boat. I had a brush that I had for *YEARS* it was perfect, then some super glue got on it.... yeah that didnt end well.

Mad Dave:

I’ve been trying out B&J’s  the masters brush cleaner and preserver this past week, and to be quite honest i love the stuff. i did a test clean on a really old crappy brush that use for large model base coating which had been abused horribly like a true slave should be. i’m quite impress the brush almost looks like new it was fish tail’ing before and it was really stained but after 10 mins cleaning it almost looks like new!. :cheers