How to Clean Your Oil Paint Brushes

Cleaning Oil Brushes

For anyone that has picked up an oil painting brush and used oil paint the worst thing is cleaning the brushes afterward. You can never seem to get all the crud out of the brush that will harden in the ferrules of the brush. Oh sure you can try to use mineral spirits and then try forever to get the oil out of the brush and then go to the sink and try to get the rest out with soap. I have done all that with the right special art soaps and the mineral spirits and still had oil still hiding in the brush.

The best that I method that I have found to clean your brushes and get all the paint out is the following. After you are done painting for the day or week or whatever.

First I saturate the brush with oil usually vegetable oil and then pull out all the paint I can. If there is some paint still left I wash it in vegetable oil again and pull out the remaining oil in a cloth or tissue paper.

Second I wash the brush out with dish soap. After using the oil the soap breaks down the paint and oil very quickly. That is not the case if you still have mineral spirits in the brushes.

Third After the soap and water wash I pull out as much of the water that I can into a cloth or tissue paper. The I use petroleum jelly and saturate the brush with the jelly and pull out the excess. This allows you to reshape your brush if needed and won’t dry.

This is the best way I have found to clean up oil brushes thoroughly, help them keep their shape and not dry out.

Give it a try and Have fun painting.


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