If you’re finding that you have more time on your hands these days, you may be spending it on home improvement. Lots of us are taking advantage of the snatches of warm weather we are getting to paint fences, walls, window frames and doors. But once you have finished, what do you do with your paint brushes? Any regular DIY’er will know that leaving paint on your brush isn’t an option or you will return to find your brush bristles stuck together and unusable. Remember that Mr. Bean episode? Unless you want to take the Mr. Bean method and sacrifice your childhood teddy, you will want to know how to clean your brushes so that they are usable for your next DIY day. But, how do you clean paint brushes?

How you maintain your brushes depends on the type of paint that is used. For instance, if oil or nitro paints have been used, it is necessary to wash the bristles with the suitable solvent (synthetic or nitro). Find our step by step guide below to cleaning your paint brush.

What You Need:

The Method:

Step 1: Wash the bristles

If oleo synthetic or nitro paints have been used, you will have to clean the brushes by washing the bristles using the appropriate solvent (synthetic or nitro). Once the paint has been dissolved, put the brush under the tap with the bristles facing upwards, the flow of water will remove the paint that is trapped between the bristles. If you have used acrylic water-based enamel or wall water-based paint, it is enough to wash them under a tap.

Step 2: Dry the bristles

After you have washed the brush, you should dry them carefully to avoid any metal parts rusting. Whilst the brushes are drying you will want to ensure that they keep their shape. To do this, simply wrap an elastic band around the bristles into the preferred shape.

Step 4: Protect the handle

If your brushes have metal parts then you could spray the metal with WD-40® Smart Straw Multi-Use to protect them from rust. Simply engage the smart straw for extra precision and cover the metal parts with a thin layer of the formula and leave to dry. The unique formula will provide temporary protection to stop the metal from rusting if exposed to moisture.

Step 4: Fix hardened bristles

If you are too late with cleaning your brush and your bristles have hardened and stuck together, then you should place them in a jar with a solution of; synthetic solvent (40%), nitro solvent (40%) and linseed oil (20%) – and leave for a couple of days. If the solution is successful in softening your bristles, then carry out the above steps again to clean your brushes.

Now that you know how to clean your paint brushes, what’s stopping you from a full home improvement? Want more DIY tips and tricks? Check out our blog for DIY advice and how to guides.