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How to Care for Your Art Room Brushes

Serious Care for Your Art Room Brushes

Let’s face it, art room brushes take a beating. But don’t throw them away – rejuvenate them instead! 

I used to think “The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver was only for my expensive art brushes at home. Somehow the brushes in my classroom didn’t seem ‘worthy’. How crazy is that?! Now that I’ve started using it on my classroom brushes, I’m completely hooked, and here’s why….

  • It removes dried on paint (oil, acrylic, watercolor, you name it!), varnish, mediums, and even glue.
  • It conditions not only your best bristle and sable brushes, but also nylon and synthetic brushes, and makes those previously un-usable brushes usable again.
  • It even cleans paint build-up from inside the ferrule!

Just wet your brush with water, swirl it on the cake of brush cleaner, rinse, and repeat until the lather turns white again. For most brushes, this process will be super fast. For removing really stubborn paint and paint build-up in the ferrule, work up a good lather and let the brush sit for a while before rinsing it. (You may need to repeat this a few times if it’s really bad, like a couple of the brushes in my photo were!) As a final step, you can leave clean lather on the bristles, shape the brush head and let it dry like that. Then just shake the powder off before using the brush again.

You’ll save money by making your brushes last a lot longer. And you’ll save time by keeping a tub of “The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver by the sink, so it’s ready to use with every brush you wash. Students love doing this and will probably want to do it for you. But you may actually enjoy doing this yourself…. reviving a brush from ‘total disaster’ to ‘back in business’ is my newest form of art therapy!

Note: “The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver has been tested and certified for safety by the Art & Creative Materials Institute. Many people swear by this product for cleaning their make-up brushes, too, but I don’t recommend that. The ingredients are not listed on the container, and a representative from the company told me it hasn’t been tested for cosmetic use. (“The Masters” Hand Soap is a different formula.)

Affiliate links were used in this post. I earn a small commission on any purchases made on Amazon through my site.


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  1. Great idea. I find soaking the brushes in simple green and hot water works out fantastic!