|Forum topic by Planeman40||posted 04-19-2014 05:07 AM||2453 views||4 times favorited||62 replies|
04-19-2014 05:07 AM
The one thing I have noticed we don’t have here on Lumberjocks is a place to trade tips and tricks pertaining to woodworking. There is a wealth of knowledge here and we need to share it. So I thought I would start a thread that each of us could share a little tip or trick they have devised or picked up over the years to help the rest of us. I’‘ll start it with some on painting with brushes.
I always buy the best brush I can and keep it in pristine condition. There are a number of brushes in my drawer that are over 40 years old and look close to new.
How to properly clean a brush:
If stiff with paint or varnish (obviously you shouldn’t let it get this way) soak it in thinner or better yet, a dedicated brush cleaner. I use a very small baking pan from the grocery store to wash my brushes. It allows me to use a minimum of expensive brush cleaner. I usually fill the pan with 1/4” or less of cleaner and then lay the brush down in it.
To speed things along and to get the crud out of the upper center of the brush, use a large sewing needle to pierce between the stuck together bristles and rake out the old paint. Treat the needle like a one tooth comb.
After the needle, use a trimmed down acid brush (just cut off the bristles leaving only about 1/4”of stiff bristles) to get the paint out of the bristles. With a little pressure you can make the brush bristles “fan” out so you can use the acid brush to get up into the upper brush bristles.
After the brush is thoroughly clean, including the metal part, pour the used brush cleaner from the pan into a small jar and save. Label it “Brush cleaner – Jar 1”.
Pour some new brush cleaner from the can into the baking pan and rinse the brush in it thoroughly. When finished, pour the contents of the pan into a small jar and label it Brush Cleaner – Jar 2”
Finish cleaning the brush by washing it with hot water in a sink with some liquid dish soap, massaging the bristles to wash out all of the brush cleaner. The hot water relaxes the bristles for the next step. Finish by “pointing” the brush to the shape it was in when brand new and just taken out from the packaging. Let dry back in the brush shelf or drawer. This last step is important. Your expensive brushes will be properly shaped, soft and supple for a lifetime.
As to the brush cleaner in the jars. When cleaning future brushes always begin with the cleaner in jar #1, the one with the most crud in it. Then move on to jar #2 for the rinse. When jar #1 becomes unusable, pour it out and transfer the contents of jar #2 to jar #1 and refill jar #2 with fresh cleaner from the can. At nearly $20 per gallon, I treat brush cleaner like gold.!
As all of you know, painting and varnishing can go on for a few days while waiting for that new coat to dry overnight. You don’t have to clean your brush every evening, just wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. A brush will stay usable for up to three days this way. Longer, and its back to step #1 above for brush cleaning!
-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!