ART TIP - Removing Paint from Your Brushes and ClothesBrushes are expensive so you don't want to accidentally ruin one. It happens to everyone...You meant to clean your brushes later and get busy doing something else. Its a shame to have to throw them away or even put them in the "old" brush container if they aren't a solid mass. The solution is to buy brush cleaners that will remove dried paint from your brushes.
Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer. I wrote about it in an earlier blog. It is reasonably priced and works like a charm to clean both oil and acrylic from your brushes. It has saved many of my brushes. Just make sure you only use a little of the cleaner in a jar so that it doesn't get the wooden part of your brush in the solution. Remember...it removes paint so you will have a naked brush if you get it on the wooden handle.
Murphy's Oil Soap: A less expensive alternative for removing oil and acrylic paint is Murphy's Oil Soap. Unlike the Winsor and Newton cleaner, it can also be used on your clothes. Who hasn't gotten paint on their "good" clothes? You walk by a painting in progress and decide it just needs a couple more strokes and the paint seems to migrate to your clothes every time. Murphy's to the rescue. Carefully rub a little at a time into the paint on your clothes with your finger or a clean rag until the paint looks loose. Then gently wipe/drab as much as you can off and throw the clothing in the laundry. For brushes, put about a 1/4-1/2 inch into a glass bottle and swish your brushes around. Unless the paint is really harden (then let them soak) it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to have your brushes clean and in working order again. Once the bristles are pliable, rinse them in cool water (never hot). Don't forget its easier when you leave a little soap in your brushes for them to dry and hold their edge.