Thursday, December 13, 2012

Loving Life + ART TIP

These gals always make me smile. 

Loving Life oil on canvas, 16x20"

Art tip: Cleaning & restoring paint brushes

Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer is a great tool for your studio. 

The brush cleaner/restorer costs about $5.00 for a small bottle, but you only use a small amount at a time and hopefully you won’t need it very often.  My feeling was if it saves just one brush it paid for itself.  I try to take good care of my brushes, but every once in a while I forget to clean my brushes when I get home or one brush somehow gets missed.  I’ve even used it to clean old palette knives.  

Pour some cleaner in a small jar.  Make sure it doesn’t go above the bristles.  Remember, it dissolves paint so it will take the paint off the handles.   I wrote “brush cleaner” on the jar lid to remind me it’s not medium.  The cleaner can be used multiple times before replacing.

Cleaning brushes 

Everyone has their own way of cleaning their brushes.  I was taught to clean most of the paint off with Turp (of course I now use Turpenoid or Gamsol) then use a bar of ivory soap with water to do the final cleaning.  Once clean gently swipe the bar to leave a little soap on the brush.  Pull the bristles through your fingers to bring them to a point. The soap helps them keep their shape.  I was taught to do this by a teacher when I was 13 and have been doing it that way all these years.  My brushes usually live a long healthy life. 

Winsor & Newton product description:  It completely cleans dried acrylics, oils, and alkyds with no damage to the brush head or loss of fibers. It can be used on natural or synthetic brushes. The cleaning solution is effective within minutes for oil colors (hours for dried acrylics), and leaves no oil residue. This water soluble cleaner is non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable, and has low vapor.

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