How to clean paint brushes used in water based paint
How to clean paint brushes used in water based paint.
Best trade practice has always been to regularly clean paint brushes used in water based paint. Working outside, brushes may need cleaning every couple of hours. Running water, under the tap, has been the primary way of cleaning brushes. Especially when used in emulsion and water based woodwork paint, but that is going to change. Water based paint might be nicer to use than oil, but it certainly isn’t “clean”.
So what is the best approach to clean paint brushes?
Deep clean There has always been a bucket of water to dangle your brushes in overnigh. But, it is hard to deep clean your brushes. There are citrus cleaners now to get all the paint out.
Not cleaning in the last few years, the market has developed for brush
keepers for water based paint. These are the equivalents of the Brushmate vapour box for oil brushes. No vapour but same principle. They keep brushes fresh. To the point we may not need to clean some paint brushes at all! No, not throwaways, far from it.
Keep brushes clean during the day. We all need a break, so what to do with brushes at break time, or when you finish at the end of the day but have more of the same colour to do in the morning. Answer, keep them safe and out the air.
Options I know for cleaning emulsion brushes. Do you really need to clean paint brushes used in emulsion every single night? Or rollers? Clearly not, but let’s run through the options for caring for a wet emulsion brush. Starting with the least useful option! When it comes to cleaning best SYNTHETIC paint brushes I can confirm: Running water and a sink is more useful than a bucket of water. If brushes are going off. Water and Fairy Liquid is better at cleaning than just water. Chemical Polycell brush cleaner is better than Fairy Liquid, but isn’t very user friendly.
Wrap your cleaned brush in a paper towel laid flat overnight. Before painting next day, give it a quick flick out to remove any surplus water and the bristles should be nicely moist and ready for dunking and charging to the max with paint. If it has dried out, before dipping in paint, don’t forget to dunk your bristles in water and flick out so they are moist but not sodden.
I still say always maintained that professionals using brushes in oil paint and storing them in a Brushmate vapour box were more eco friendly over their lifetime than the DIY decorator or professionals religiously cleaning out their water-based trim paint brushes under running water! But, that’s the dinosaur in me, and with the advent of alternatives to the running water brush cleaner, it is getting time to move on.
The biggest break through since the Brush mate for oil, I reckon, is the Go Paint!
Store and Go gel Dutch system for keeping water based brushes – and oil based – in good condition. Both oil and water in the same container, for months! Mad. Worth a very close look, the gel will massively reduce the amount of dirty painty water being swilled down drains by homeowners and