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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cleaning Oil Paint Brushes without Solvents

I have recently taken up oil painting and am trying to limit the amount of solvents I use as much as possible. Solvents are very hard on brushes not to mention your health. I came across a great way to clean brushes that is quick, easy & good for brushes as it conditions them in the process.
  1. Mason Jar – I use the pint sized jar but any jar or can will do.
  2. Place a mesh screen or similar type screen (can buy at art or hardware store, see image below) at the bottom of the jar and fill the jar with unscented baby oil until the screen is covered by about 1/2 “
  3. At the end of your painting session, squeeze the ferrule of the brush into a paper towel or rag to remove as much paint as possible & wipe brushes on paper towel or rag to remove as much paint as possible.
  4. Dip into jar and scrub against the screen to loosen the paint further.
  5. Keep wiping on rag or towel until no more paint can be removed. 
  6. If you are going to be painting again the next day, just dip brushes in a 2nd jar with clean baby oil and lay them flat. The oil left on the brush will condition your brush overnight
If you will not be painting again soon, then wash with soap and water and lay brushes flat to dry

Screen from Art Store

2 comments:

andrea said...

Cool. Where did you find this info? (Gamblin again?) And did you get the screen at Opus?

Costescu said...

Sue Cowan a really great artist & teacher told me about the baby oil so I searched around to find other tips about cleaning as well. I just put a bit of screen in my jar, nothing as fancy as the photo I posted I just wanted a visual as I need visuals to get stuff ;)

You could also get a jar with a built in mesh (this is actually more similar to what I am using) It is at opus for under $5 https://store.opusframing.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=showproductdetail&product=34985 Handy ;)