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cleaning acrylic paint from brushes

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How do you guys clean brushes after using bottle acrylic paint?  I hold them under a stream of cold water and massage gently, but this is resulting in brushes with the bristles spread out, and no sharp tip.  Anyone got any good ideas?  Thanks...

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If it's a natural hair brush, use hair conditioner after you clean it. Don't laugh, it works. Let it penetrate for about two minutes, then rinse it once more. The conditioner will restore the bristles to their former soft, pliable selves. Use your fingertips to form the bristles back to a sharp point and let the brush dry,

Edited by SfanGoch

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I use EZ Air Acrylic Brush Cleaner to clean my brushes. It will even remove dried in paint from any brush without ruining them if soaked at full strength for an hour and then run under warm water and gently massaged in your palm. http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/brush-washers-and-cleaning-supplies/brush-and-hand-cleaners/ez-air-acrylic-brush-cleaner.htm. I never use hot water, just slightly warm water. Hot water can loosen the glue that is used to help hold the bristles down in the ferrule of the brush. 

I never splay the bristles out. It will ruin the point. I add a little of the EZ and water in my palm and in a gentle circular motion I swish the brush around or go back and forth. I never jamb the bristles into my palm, instead I drag them along my palm. 

At the end of a day, I use Masters Brush Cleaner http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/brush-washers-and-cleaning-supplies/brush-and-hand-cleaners/masters-brush-cleaner-and-preserver.htm on my Sable Brushes and let it sit for a while then rinse them out. Using other soaps such as dish soap or hand soap can cause problems in the long term care of any natural haired brush. When you use harsher soaps they remove the natural oils from the hair which then causes them to lose their shape, snap and to become brittle and break more easily. 

I also never let me brushes dry standing strait up. Water will drip down into the ferrule of the brush and cause the wood to expand and contract. this is why some brushes the varnish cracks on them and why the ferrule becomes lose and come off. I lay them flat on a towel to dry and once they are dry I can then store them standing up.

Everything I mentioned has been taught to me by both the art store I work for and by DaVinci Brushes in Germany.

As SfanGoch said, Hair conditioner is a great inexpensive alternative to brush cleaners.

Edited by Helper Monkey
Miss-spellings

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I generally like to use synthetic brushes. So, there are no issues as with natural bristles. I bought a brush-cleaning jar made by Loew-Cornell, and it comes with pads that sit at the bottom of the jar. There is a layer of soft cleaning bristles attached to the top of the sponge. You use it by filling the jar with water, and with a brushing motion, gently clean the brush on the soft bristle surface.

Early on, I was using Simple Green instead of water, but that did a number on the pads. So, now I only use water, and it works fine on most types of acrylic paint I have on hand, including Humbrol, Testors, Polly-S. (I find that water alone does not clean Tamiya's alcohol-based acrylics - for that I just use lacquer thinner).

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Thanks for the help, everyone!  I'm following your advice, and I've got cleaning stuff on order.  Doing my research, I found out that there is a Jerry's Artarama in San Antonio, so I'll make a visit there this week to see what I can find, also.  Thanks again,

 

Jim

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I use whatever brush that I have that does the job that needs done regardless of what the bristles are made from.For cleaning out dried enamel paint including the excess that builds up inside the threads of the lid,I use Testor's# 1156 enamel thinner and brush cleaner.It's available at any Hobby Lobby and it works very well.

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