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I have oil base in my brush...

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by danielljune, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. danielljune

    danielljune Member

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    Many people in our theatre do not know how to care for paint brushes properly, thus resulting in many many MANY ruined brushes, often times because oil base was used (don't ask me how or why we bought oil base to begin with...)

    Anyhow, is there any trick to cleaning an oil base/stain out of a brush or is it simply ruined?
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Mineral spirits or lacquer thinner.
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Depending on how the brush is constructed you may or may not want to use lacquer thinner. Sometimes the adhesives that are used to secure the bristles into the ferrule are sensitive to lacquer thinner, acetone, mek,toulene, and other more aggresive solvents. Check you local paint store there are several products sold that help loosen dried paint. a good old fashioned soak in a can of mineral spirits, or denatured alcohol will often help a seemingly hopelss brush. Suspend the brush in the can with something, tape, coat hanger, bailing wire, so that the bristles are not mushed onto the bottom of the can. that will permanently bend the bristles and ruin the brush. While your'e at the paint store pick up a " Brush Comb" it's a really wide toothed comb with sharp pointy teeth, < sort of like a vorpal bunnie but more teeth> < nevermind the Python fans will think it's funny> These combs are great for cleaning brushes with they get all that extra crap that accumulates near the ferrule, out. The soak BTW is going to take a whilelike at least a couple of days, be sure to agotate the can once or twice a day to help loosen dried paint.

    Hope that helps. Oh and Beat whoever did thet to a good brush. And dispose of the nasty oil based paint.:mrgreen:
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Ah funny guy! It's not so funny when your grip slips and those huge sharp pointy teeth sink themselves into your finger. But the good news is that the mineral spirits do sanitize the wounds...

    Seriously, Van is right on. If a brush is of high enough quality to be worth rescuing, it will probably be strong enough to survive the abuse and clean up just fine. You'll be amazed at what you can do with mineral spirits and a comb. Works wonders on latex too... although you probably won't need the mineral spirits. A long soak in warm water, some shampoo, a brush comb, and some elbow grease will probably do it.

    While we are on the topic. I keep a cheap bottle of shampoo and a cheap bottle of conditioner next to the slop sink for cleaning brushes. You'll be amazed at how nice you can keep your brushes. The bristles are soft and smooth... and they smell like strawberries. I've got a brush I've been using for 10 years. The handle is well stained from paint slops and drips but the bristles look and feel brand new.

    Finally, don't just automatically throw away the thrashed brushes. Just because it's crusty doesn't mean it's useless. Some of the most interesting texture can be painted on with brushes that are fully abused. One of the best dry brush tools I've found is one of those 99 cent brushes that's been abused to within an inch of it's life. Before you throw that old brush out remember you can paint with anything and a smooth even coat is rarely the look you want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  5. danielljune

    danielljune Member

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    thanks guys : )
     
  6. grilloh

    grilloh Member

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    An inexpensive and effective way to rescue a brush is to soak it in ammonia. Suspend the brush (as suggested previously) in a container with household ammonia, and let it soak for a few days. The ammonia will disolve dried paint and the bristles will become soft again.

    The suggestion to use shampoo and conditioner is a great one, especially for natural bristle brushes.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Does the ammonia trick work on Oil Based paints ? I thought that only workrd on latex.
     
  8. grilloh

    grilloh Member

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    Yes, I have had success softening oil based paints with ammonia as well.

    Also, as a last resort, I have soaked a brush in paint stripper - the bristles become rather soft, but the paint is gone!
     
  9. chandrarules

    chandrarules Member

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    You can restore a dried Latex brush with some Murphy's Oil Soap and some warm water too. The soap is for cleaning wood floors so it has vegetable oil in it. The oil softens the paint and it can be brushed right out. Plus the very little oil residue left in the bristles makes it so the paint doesn't adhere to bristles so later cleanings are easier.
     

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