How To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes? – Useful Tips For Cleaning Paint Brushes

How To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes

Paintings made with acrylic paints are as pretty as paintings made with other mediums. Acrylic paints dry fast as compared to other mediums, this is due to the paint deferring in the acrylic polymer emulsion.

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How To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes?

How To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes

Acrylic Paints Stay In Place

Although acrylic paints dissolve in water but as they dry they become different in nature. Artists use acrylic paints with water to paint just as water colors are used. After drying the acrylic paint become resistant to water just an oil paints. So, working with acrylic paints becomes tougher due to this quick drying nature.

Getting Acrylic Paint Off

Although acrylic paints are soluble in water, but the paints do not completely suspend in it. This is what creates emulsion. So, when the acrylic paints are in water, not fully dissolved, the water within the acrylic paint water evaporate. Now the compound interconnects its molecules forming a sticky film of acrylic pain. After the paint dries off it the film vanishes and hence the paint becomes insoluble.

So as explained above it becomes harder to wash off acrylic paints from various materials. In order to be able to get off acrylic paints from various materials, following solutions will be effective.

Lacquer Thinner, 1 gal. via Amazon

Lacquer Thinner, 1 gal. via Amazon

Lacquer thinner is an extremely strong solution. It contains toluene and methanol. Methanol is kind of an alcohol but toluene can cause some serious side effects to the health. It can remove stains from non-porous materials quite easily. You just need to pour some on the material like glass, plastic or metal, let it soak the acrylic stain and rub it off with a wash cloth or cotton.

Lacquer thinner is very toxic and is a stronger solvent blend that would remove acrylics effectively from glass and metal. Due to its toxicity, it should be used outside.

  • Remove paint stains
  • Cleans heavy duty equipments
  • Medium-fast drying

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Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 OZ via Amazon

Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 OZ via Amazon

The scientific name of rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol. Rubbing alcohol has the capability to remove not only grease stains but also dried acrylic paint from materials such as glass and metal but also fabrics. Ammonia and rubbing alcohol are different because rubbing alcohol is able to mix acrylic paint within itself.

If you want to remove stains from fabric, simple soak it in rubbing alcohol and rub the paint area with a toothbrush. Rubbing alcohol is a cheap solution to save expensive fabrics.

Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 OZ via Amazon

Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 OZ via Amazon

  • Doesn’t let windows frost
  • Remove stains on fabrics, plastics, and glass
  • Rids of dog ticks

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Onyx Professional 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover Removes Artificial Nails, Nail Polish, Gel Polish and Glitter Polish, 16 oz via Amazon

Onyx Professional 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover Removes Artificial Nails, Nail Polish, Gel Polish and Glitter Polish, 16 oz via Amazon

Now, acetone is not for fabrics and not for plastics. If you use acetone on your clothes, you might just burn them with the solution. Acetone is a great option if you are working with non-porous materials. Acetone is widely used to get into areas that cannot be easily reached to scrub and scrape.

It is widely available in hardware stores, paint stores, and home decorating stores. People usually use acetone to clean up rusty tools or batteries. Acetone is highly flammable so you need to be careful that you don’t use it near fires or heat sources. Also, acetone is not as much toxic so although you got to run to the emergency if it spills on you but it would not you much harm because it is not as toxic.

  • Used to remove paint stains
  • Cleans tools
  • Used to thin polyester resin

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00051 Ammonia Clear 64oz via Amazon

00051 Ammonia Clear 64oz via Amazon

Ammonia is a good stain remover found in every household. It is perfect for removing stubborn stains. Ammonia raises the pH levels by stabilizing acrylic emulsions. This is why ammonia removes acrylic paint stains quite effectively. Ammonia is essentially effective at getting rid of acrylic paint stains from materials such as glass, plastic and metals, non-porous materials.

Ammonia solution has a pungent smell, and the fumes can irritate the eyes and the nose. So, it is better that whenever you use ammonia to remove dry or semi-dry acrylic stains you do it outside.

  • Used to bleach and clean
  • Used as industrial deodorant

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Taking Care Of Paint Brushes

Acrylic paints dry off very quickly, within moments, so it is very important to keep this in mind when you use acrylic paints. Whenever you are using acrylic paints make sure that your paint bushes are always wet. If you cannot keep them damp, then you might be very close to damaging your dear brushes. It is common sense that the paint will become harder as the brush becomes drier.

Paint Brushes via instructables

Paint Brushes via instructables

This will result in a problematic situation where removing the paint off the brush will be a complex procedure. If the paint dries off on the brush it will come off but unfortunately the bristles off the brush will not remain intact and they brush might not be used as effectively to paint as it was when the brush was new.

The best tip any acrylic painter can give you is that when you are working with acrylic paints it is always best to use one brush at a time. This way the paint would not dry on the bristles. Multitasking using acrylics is not much appreciated.

If you do happen to multi task your usage of paint brushes, it is highly recommended to dip brushes in water in order to keep them wet. This way the paint won’t dry off and you can still paint using multiple brushes.

Also, it is advised that you keep the brushes close to your cup of water and as soon as you realize that you won’t need any particular brush anymore, dip it right into the cup and clean it away.

Another tip we have for you is that always make sure you keep your brushes horizontally. Never keep your brushes with its bristles dipped in water and leaving it there. If you want your brushes to be effective, then this should be avoided. Keeping your brushes like this will damage the bristles and you will never have the same painting experience with a brush with bent bristles.​

Best Way To Clean Paint Brushes

As much as you love to paint and enjoy the sensation of mixing and creating new colors, cleaning your brushes can be as hectic and tired, something you definitely do not look forward to.

But you also know that if you do not clean your brushes you will end up with frayed, ugly, useless wood sticks! So yes, cleaning your brushes is essential, especially when you have spent a fortune on your beautiful set of brushes. So here is a recipe we have whipped up for you to give your dear brushes a nice spa-like treatment.

It is necessary to know how to correctly clean your brushes since if you do not, you will damage the bristles and you will never have the same painting results using the same brush ever again. Following method will tell you the right technique.

Ways to Clean Paint Brushes via instructables

Ways to Clean Paint Brushes via instructables

  • Always squeeze out the excess paint out of the bristles of the brushes after you are done working with them. Use a napkin or a washcloth or a rag to do this.
  • In a cup of water soak the brush for about a minute and then swish in back and forth and in circular motion to get out all the leftover paint.
  • Using the same rag or a different one, gently squeeze the bristles of the brush to dry away excess water.
  • Run some lukewarm water in your sink and place your brush under it.
  • Using your fingers to squeeze the bristles of the brush to wash off remaining paint if there is any.
  • The market is full of special artist soaps that you could use to apply in to your bushes to keep them clean and sanitized. Put some soap on the bristles of your brushes and run them under water again.
  • Now just check if there is any paint left in the bristles. If there is then simple repeat step 6 and 6 other continue to step 8.
  • Use a clean rag or paper towel to pat dry the brush to get rid of extra water.
  • Place your paint brushes on a horizontal surface and leave them their overnight to dry.

Cleaning Dried Paint Brushes

Every artist holds their brushes dear to them, like closes to their heart than any other being but finding out that your expensive brushes have dried off with acrylic paint on them might make you feel like you world has come to an end. They might look they are ruined and cannot be used but that is not true. For a moment you might think you will have to throw these brushes away. Such brushes can be reused if cleaned properly.

PURELL 9659-12 Instant Hand Sanitizer, 12 oz Pump Bottle (Case of 12) via Amazon

PURELL 9659-12 Instant Hand Sanitizer, 12 oz Pump Bottle (Case of 12) via Amazon

  • Anti-bacterial with ability to lock-in moisture
  • Vitamin E extracts to brighten

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Following are a few steps to clean the brushes with dried off acrylic paint. If followed correctly, you might be surprised with the results:

How to CLEAN your paintbrushes with DRYED Acrylic paint via Alexis Fazio

  • In a cup pour some hand sanitizer, so much so that the bristles of your brush get covered in it. Also, make sure the cup is a shallow one.
  • Leave the brushes in the cup overnight so that the bristles get soaked up well.
  • Take a Styrofoam plate and pump out some hand sanitizer in it. Make sure the plate is made of Styrofoam because the hand sanitizer won’t soak into the plate.
  • Next morning take out your brushes out of the shallow cup. In the Styrofoam plate work the brush bristles to and fro. The different colors of dried off paint will start coming out and the to and fro motion will keep the bristles keep its manufactured shape.
  • Clean off the brush with a napkin and repeat the same step over again until all the paint comes off. You will know there isn’t any paint left in the bristles.
  • Run some water over the bristles and continue the to and fro motion in the sink this time.
  • Once you are sure there is no more paint left simple pick up a napkin and squeeze out the remaining water off the bristles.
  • Keep your brush in upright position and let it dry overnight.
  • There you go, your brush is as good as new.

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Kevin Smith
 

Hi, i'm a coffee addicted guy and i love my home so that i create this website to discuss about luxury home stuff and how to improve our lifestyle with stuffs.

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