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Paint Brush Care: How To Rescue a Petrified Brush

Paintbrushes full of dried paint or varnish don't have to be discarded. Done properly, a good soak in brush cleaner can restore the bristles to almost-new condition.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Reviving a fossilized paintbrush

Whether it’s caked with dried paint or varnish, a crusty paintbrush can be restored to like-new condition. Here’s how: Pick up a can of brush cleaner at a paint or hardware store and pour some into a glass or metal container. Drill a 1/8-in. hole through the brush so you can suspend it on a stiff wire. The brush cleaner gives off nasty, flammable vapors, so cover the container with a plastic bag and set it in the garage or outside, out of reach of children and pets. After the brush has been soaking for a day or two, most of the paint will drop off it. Then pour brush cleaner in another container and slosh the brush around to wash out the remaining paint. Let both containers sit overnight. The paint sludge will settle to the bottom, so you can pour most of the brush cleaner back into the can, ready to rescue another brush.

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Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Brush cleaner
    • Glass jar

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May 01, 2:41 PM [GMT -5]

Great tips any green ideas that keep old paint tools out of the trash and landfills has my support. You can go one step further by choosing a green cleaner there are Eco-friendly brush cleaners available that do not give off nasty odors or evaporate, and are safe to use around kids and pets. I'm an artist and clean paint brushes all the time with this stuff called brush renew and used it to restore an old house paint brush that was hard as a rock came out like new. As an artist I get exposed to a lot of chemicals but my brush cleaner doesn't have to be one of them.

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Paint Brush Care: How To Rescue a Petrified Brush

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