Brush care

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 02-21-2012 02:11 AM 1153 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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744 posts in 2876 days

02-21-2012 02:11 AM

When you are brushing on a finish with 24 hours between coats how are you caring for the brush? I have been thoroughly cleaning my badger hair brushes with the solvent, washing with soap and water , thoroughly rinsing and treated again to a dampening of solvent. I then wrap it in a paper towel till the next application 24 hours later. Am I perfuming the pig? Is all that necessary? Is it appropriate?
Your thoughts?

-- Ken

9 replies so far

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 02-21-2012 02:19 AM

Wrap it up in cling-film, stick it in the fridge, you’re ready to go next day.

When you’re all done painting and cleaned out the brush with mineral spirits, give it a warm soapy wash, work in some hair conditioner and give it a rinse, it will be silky smooth next time. (Really, not a joke, try it).

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2603 days

#2 posted 02-21-2012 04:26 AM

Fabric softener works as well if you’re out of hair conditioner. Unless you want to purchase brushes all the time, you are taking care of them the way you are supposed to Ken, good job.

View Zulu55's profile


72 posts in 2343 days

#3 posted 02-21-2012 04:53 AM

I was just using my badger brush today for applying a coat of shellac and was wondering if I was cleaning and storing it properly. Considering each brush cost me $36 I think its important that it will last a long time.

renners and waho6o9, thanks for the tips! Makes sense.

-- Adam - Langley, British Columbia (Canada)

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Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2520 days

#4 posted 02-21-2012 12:31 PM

Over 24 hours I would clean them, though I’ve read many guys do the refrigerator trick adn report it works well. I’ll have to try it someday. The exception would be shellac; those brushes are dedicated to shellac only and I never clean them. Rinse them out, let it set it up and store. The next time I use them they get suspended in a jar of DNA for about 20 minutes to soften up, and they’re good to go.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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744 posts in 2876 days

#5 posted 02-21-2012 10:35 PM

Hmm, Fabric softener I hadn’t heard that one, thanks

-- Ken

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2388 days

#6 posted 02-22-2012 08:54 PM

Why are you using a badger hair brush? A Purdy or Wooster synthetic brush at half the cost will do just as good a job with any finish.

For between coats, let the brush set in the thinner for the finish. When the job is done, rinse it well in the thinner, then wash it out with water and Dawn, followed by a rinse in plain water. Shake it out, mold the bristles by hand, hang it up to dry.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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Bill White

4949 posts in 3987 days

#7 posted 02-22-2012 09:13 PM

I don’t use the badger brush I have for any water based/borne finishes. Mostly shellac and varnish. I don’t wash ‘em with water because it swells the hair. I think I’ll go find a real badger and shave him for the next brush. I’ll bet that’ll really pi$$ him off.


View newwoodbutcher's profile


744 posts in 2876 days

#8 posted 02-23-2012 03:33 AM

My own experience with Badger hair brushes is that a Purdy or Wooster synthetic brush at half the cost will do just as good a job with any finish, initially, they are comparable. But after a few years, a good badger hair brush matures into a dream tool to work with. It holds a lot of material and flows beautifully. Mine are still getting better after ten years of use. I don’t even have a Purdy or Wooster synthetic that is still a great brush after ten years.
That said, I’m curious as to the exact benefit of using fabric softener or dawn to clean a brush. I’ve never tried that and am wondering if I should. I’ve been using the intended solvent as a sort of moistening wrap. Don’t fabric softener and Dawn leave a residue on the bristles?

-- Ken

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3135 days

#9 posted 02-23-2012 03:59 AM

I’ve pretty much given up on brushes, for the most part. I’ve had pretty good luck with spray. Small jobs get the paint brush, big ones get the Binks. But then, I’m a hobbyist, and spray maybe a quart a year. YMMV.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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