"" Rendition Road: Clean Those petrified Paintbrushes

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clean Those petrified Paintbrushes

I paint a lot. 
As a matter of fact, I paint so much the average greeting people give me is “What are you painting today?” rather than the more normal “What’s up?” or “What's going on”?
Do I mind this?
Ummmmm absolutely not!
I'm kind of sort of maybe just a little bit obsessed with  paint.
 So as soon as people ask, it allows me the opener I need to talk about my newest project, color choices & even the specific finish I’ve chosen.
Ya, I might like talking about it almost as much as I love doing it.
But in all the awesomeness that is painting & talking about painting……I can get lazy sidetracked.
I don’t mean to, honestly, but when you’re running at 120 mph most days it’s bound to happen.
A very abused brush....poor thing

I also love Pinterest. Maybe almost as much as I love painting.
I love finding new ideas, inspiration, recipes, finished pieces, party decorations, photography tips, window dressing ideas, repurposing projects, gardening & outdoor ideas……..
via Pinterest
via Pinterest

You get the idea.
If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest click here to do so. 
Well, upon one of my trips around Pinterest land, I discovered a few tips on cleaning dried on paint from paintbrushes.
 Since half of all brushes I own have been heartily abused & left to petrify, I decided I might be a perfect reasonable candidate to try a couple of these tips.
Exhibit A
I tried the heated up vinegar soak & am sad to report all I came away with was Easter egg smelling brushes. The paint wasn't budging. 
Now, if anyone has had any luck with this one, please do share your secrets. 

Next I tried the Murphy’s oil soap.
 I used an old coffee can & shoved as many brushes as I could in  placed a few brushes in there, bristles facing down. 
The original pin said to soak for 24-48 hours.
 I let mine soak for entire 2 days.
I took them out of the Murphy's & used a fine tooth comb to run through the bristles.
You could use a number of things for this, as long as it helps to remove the stubborn or thick spots without roughing up the bristles.
I really only spent a few minutes combing through the brushes a everything was coming off so easy.
I rinsed the brushes under warm running water & combed through them again just to make sure I got all the debris. 

I was impressed in a jumping around my kitchen & doing a happy dance kind of way here!!
We have a Pinterest win!!!
My brushes came out super clean & even so much softer than they were before.
There is only one downside to how I did it & I will explain so you can avoid that part.
When I crammed placed the brushes in the coffee can full of Murphy’s; the solution rose well above the bristles & onto the ferrule. 
Parts of the paint brush
Even after a thorough cleaning, rinsing & drying I did not get all of the Murphy's oil soap out of this part of the brush.
Over the next week or so as I painted the soap mixture would slowly leak out.
 I ended up having to do another thorough rinsing of the brushes & let them dry for a few weeks. 
If you try this method I would recommend trying to keep the soap below this point just to make your life easier.
Otherwise, how awesome to have a way to clean those brushes I would normally have had to throw out!  
How do you clean your petrified brushes?
Do you have any other tricks or tips you use to keep crusty paint at bay? 


  1. Is the cleaner you are speaking of Murphy's Oil SOAP? I am a bit confused. I hope that is what you are referring to, have some of that stuff. This is awesome, I also would have thrown away those brushes. Thanks

  2. Great to know this one worked. I tried the vinegar one too, obviously major fail!! Thanks for the tip!!

    Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

  3. Fabulous!! Can't believe how good they turned out. I need to go try this NOW. Thanks for sharing your success!

  4. I'm definitely going to try this. Awesome tip to share :)

  5. I tried the hot vinegar method and was disappointed, too. I am off to try the Murphy's Oil Soap! Thanks for the tips on how to use it.
    And I can't get to your Pinterest page, the link is broken, even the one on your sidebar. Says 'we couldn't find that page'. I tried searching and still couldn't find it.
    Debbie :)

  6. this is what i get when i click your link for pintrest up there,
    Whoops! We couldn't find that page.
    Go Back?

  7. Selecting the right equipment and tools for painting tasks is very important so as to achieve best results. With the use of right brush for a certain project. thanks for sharing this type of information.

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