The right way
So, I know you might be thinking “Okay Jennifer…I think I know how to clean a paintbrush. My preschooler could do that.” And you would be right, that is, if you’re talking about just getting enough paint off to not make a mess.
Don’t tell me there’s an *actual* way to clean your paintbrushes?
Yes, there really is. And let me tell you how. It will save your paintbrushes from unnecessary wear and tear – keeping them fresh so you can make your best signs for years to come.
Once you are done painting, the first step is to soak them in water before you even start cleaning. Never leave paintbrushes out with paint on them. The paint will dry, rendering your paintbrush crusty and unusable – especially if you continue this habit over time. Leave them in a glass of water to soak until you are ready to clean.
Once you’re ready to clean, run your brushes under hot water. You’ll see the paint start bleed out. Do this until you can’t see paint anymore. Take each brush individually under the water and fan out the bristles.
Take regular dish soap in the palm of your hand (a pea-sized drop will last you several brushes,) then press down on your brush and create a swirling motion. I know that seems a little aggressive for the more delicate part of the brush, but this is the best way to actually clean the bristles and prevent paint from building up inside.
Continue rinsing the brush as you did in step two. Make sure the soap fully rinses out, or you’ll get soap buildup (which defeats the whole purpose of cleaning them anyways, right?)
Pat your brushes with a towel to soak up excess water, then set out to air dry. Make sure the brushes are evenly spaced out so that all the bristles have airflow. This prevents mold and mildew from forming over time.