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"Conditioning paint brush bristles" Topic

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Personal logo Cormac Mac Art Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2020 9:28 p.m. PST

Does anyone use anything in their paint brushes after they clean them to hold the bristles together while they aren't in use?

I was thinking about putting a bit of dish soap on the bristles and shaping them and letting it dry to train the bristles to stay together.

Is there a product out there that does this?

JimDuncanUK29 Jun 2020 1:50 a.m. PST

Yes, it's called brush soap.

John Armatys29 Jun 2020 2:13 a.m. PST

I use Masters "brush soap" – search eBay for Masters brush cleaner and preserver.

dampfpanzerwagon Fezian29 Jun 2020 4:30 a.m. PST

I agree…..

Masters Brush Soap, it looks expensive but you only use a tiny amount every time you clean your brushes, a a small tub will last ages.


Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2020 5:52 a.m. PST

I just use watered down regular soap. Dip in water (or mineral spirits), dip in watered down soap, and final dip in clean water. Roll in a paper towel after each step.

John Armatys29 Jun 2020 6:00 a.m. PST

I used to use ordinary soap, but got Masters brush soap having seen it highly recommended on TMP. I now clean my brushes with soap and water and then with the brush soap – it seriously extends their useful lives.

Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2020 6:35 a.m. PST

I started using brush soap about two years ago. Changed the way I paint for the better.

GamerTim Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2020 8:04 a.m. PST

Cormac I mostly use Pink Soap (purchased from Hobby Lobby). But I also like Masters. All of these contain a brush conditioner which sets them apart from dish soap. I use these less as a cleaner than as a conditioner and shaper exactly as you describe. They work well in terms of extended brush life and bristle shape. Recommended.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2020 9:05 a.m. PST

Thanks for the tip.

Striker29 Jun 2020 2:07 p.m. PST

Probably overkill but weekly-ish I use Masters then a dip in hair conditioner. I have a jar I put some in.

Yesthatphil29 Jun 2020 2:19 p.m. PST

Sadly, I tend to lick mine … maybe I need to rethink that.


Walking Sailor Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2020 2:19 p.m. PST

It also helps to rig something to hang the brush tip down to dry.
1. A stiff wire in a spiral (like a loose spring) to wind the brush into.
2. A string hanging down and a clothes pin (a short vertical clothes line).

Striker30 Jun 2020 4:16 a.m. PST

I use one of those "helping hands" alligator clamp tools to suspend brushes when doing a deep clean.

Uparmored01 Jul 2020 2:36 a.m. PST

I use Tamiya Brush Conditioning Fluid. Just finally got my hands on a pot after it being out of stock for months. My brushes suddenly seem to be lasting. It even restores some brushes I thought were dead.

CeruLucifus01 Jul 2020 9:07 p.m. PST

Another vote for The Masters brush soap, which I've used for many years.

The Masters has oils in it that help rejuvenate natural hair bristles and do no harm to synthetic bristles. (Yes, and probably other brands of artist brush soap do as well.) (Yes, this is what hair conditioner does for the hair on your head, but, I prefer a soap made specifically for brushes, and it's not expensive.)

It comes in a cake like a bar of hand soap. Get it wet, swirl the brush, repeat until you have a lather. I've done in palm of my hand or against the plastic lid of the soap container.

For old splayed brushes if you lather, swirl, repeat long enough … like in front of a TV show long enough … eventually black specks will start coming out. This is dried paint caught up in the ferrule that makes the bristles splay out. It is possible if you persevere to rescue ruined brushes this way.

Anyway once you've soaped, lathered, rinsed, repeat a few times, lather one more time and use the suds to shape the bristle. Let it dry that way.

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