Thursday, October 22, 2015

How To Fix a Paint Stiff Brush and other studio tips

It happens.
No matter how hard you try to keep bushes in water (acrylics), one will get left out.  Without fail it's a 'good' one. 
Even though my students are all taught right off the bat to wash brushes properly,  one got missed this week. To make things worse I was teaching off site and wasn't in my studio for a few days, which meant it was REALLY stiff when I found it. 
Not one to throw $30.00 away with out a fight I got to work. 
First I soaked it over night in diluted Murphy's oil soap then used Old Masters brush cleaner to strip the paint off the bristles. There was still some paint in the ferrel so I repeated the process. The brush will never be perfect again but it's usable. 
Usually I have my students wash brushes with a mid grade shampoo the kind with conditioner in it. It helps to keep the bristles in good condition. Please note I'm using a synthetic bristle brush. 
Before brushes even get to the wash up sink I have some simple brush washing buckets that I made. 
These are two recycled containers, I like the wide feta containers, stacked one on top of the other.
The top one has a number of holes drilled into it so that solids collect in the bottom container and the water in the top container stays relatively clean. You can see from the bathtub ring in the top tub that I fill the stacked tubs so that the water comes up about an inch in the top tub. 
I let the dirty water in the bottem tub settle at lest 24hrs. Then I pour off the water and use paper towel to clean out the solids. I know artists who pour their water off outside but I'm on a well and don't want it in my drinking water, so mine goes down the drain. 
I know others who pour their water into a bucket and let it evaporate, but I create it faster that it evaporates so that doesn't work for me either. 
Next week I'll offer some ideas for mounting, and hanging work that won't break the bank. 

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