Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paintbrush Care

Good people of the internets, I beseech you; How do you keep your brush tips from curling? I have tried drying them like I would a bigger brush, Making sure the tips are formed, and on and on and on. Every guide I've found has failed me.

All of them are curled. After one or two uses, they're done. I've adapted my painting to it. I've even figured out uses for it. What am I doing wrong?


  1. I think a bunch of it is luck with the particular brush. My first GW standard brush was a dream for so long and my second, despite looking better at first, became gunked and lost its point well before the first (and I was using the first for drybrushing by then).

    Now I use IMEX Kolinsky Sable brushes as they are about the same price ($5-$8) as GW and seem to hold their shape better. In part I think it's because they have longer bristles so it's harder for the paint to get dried into the roots and also I just feel like they are higher quality. Basically the key for me is to not use them for too long before rinsing (don't let the paint dry) and really shake them off in your water jar. Afterwards I draw them across a kitchen towel to hold the shape and put the little plastic cap thing back on.

    Good luck in any case and well done for adapting to the curled ends.


    PS: My small GW drybruh curled almost instantly. It's lucky I don't use that for any detail stuff.

  2. Paintbrushes (no matter how expensive) ultimately do one of two things; hook or fray. Why that is, I don't know, but I have got some tips to prevent it.

    Do not load paint so it reaches the metal ferrule at the base of the bristles. Dried paint in there is bad.

    Clean frequently while using them, so no paint hardens and dries on the brush.

    Don't just use water. Put a little soap in there. I use two jars; one with soap and the other without for rinsing.

    Paint style matters - don't jab with the brush. Don't drybrush either, but you knew that.

    Get a proper paintbrush cleaner. Master's Brush Cleaner is the one you want - art stores in the UK sell it - don't know about elsewhere. £8 -