How to get your paintbrushes clean once the paint has already dried on them….
We’re about to start on some more painting projects now that it’s warm enough again! I was out in my building (kind of like our garage with no overhead door, but we store our tools and outdoorsy type projects out there) and ran into this paint brush that I once thought was beyond hope.
I remembered about a recent tip I had heard, where you can soak paintbrushes in hot vinegar in order to remove dried on paint. Tonight was my night to give it a try.
I started by just pouring the vinegar in a long dish, so that the handle and all could soak in it. I had not heated the vinegar at this time.
After I soaked it for a bit in there, I rubbed down the handle and saw that a lot of the paint was already peeling off. I poured it all into a sauce pan, put the paint brush in and turned the burner on to bring it to a boil. As you can see, some paint was already falling off.
After it began to boil, I turned it off and let it sit for a while. Once it was cool enough to touch, I grabbed a fine tooth comb and began combing the paint out of the bristles. This part was a little more work than I was expecting. Of course, this brush was looking pretty bad, too. I would comb for a while, then soak for a while, comb for a while, soak for a while. It was a lot better after 2 tries, but I wanted it even better, so I repeated the step several times. You can also rub it out with your fingers, but I found that with the amount of paint dried in my brush, the comb was a time saving piece of equipment.
After a while, I decided it didn’t have to be perfect.
This was my finished product….
Even though, I gave up before it was completely perfect, there’s much improvement and that brush is definitely usable again!
Here’s a before and after, right next to each other so you can see the difference.
While this brush is not necessarily a great quality brush that I was super worried about, it’s good to know that if I do let too much paint dry in one of my nicer brushes, it is entirely possible to save it again. After all, paint brushes aren’t cheap, at least not the good ones!
What do you think? Have you tried this before?