Reviving a fossilized paintbrush
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Soaking a brush
It doesn't matter if paintbrushes have been
fossilized by oil- or water-based finishes of
any type. You can restore any brush with a
simple soaking in brush cleaner.
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.