I do my best to clean my paint brushes as soon as I finish a project. When I don’t, I end up with hard crusty brushes to clean.
Here’s 3 Good Ways To Clean Dry Paint from Your Brushes
1. Soak in TSP ~ Trisodium Phosphate (aka TSP) is great for cleaning your furniture AND your brushes! In a glass jar mix 1 cup of TSP with 4 cups of hot water. Soak your brush overnight and the dried paint will be easy-peasy to remove in the morning.
2. Soak in Murphy’s Oil ~ Carolyn from Eastern Ontario taught me this tip… thanks Carolyn! Soak your dry, hard paint brushes in Murphy’s Oil overnight. In the morning they will be soft and ‘like’ new again.
3. Soak in Vinegar ~ White distilled vinegar is also great for softening and cleaning dried paint of brushes. If room temperature vinegar doesn’t do the trick, you can take an old pot and heat the vinegar on the stove. Soak your brush in the heated vinegar for 30+ minutes and the dried paint will be easy to clean off.
To help remove the paint for all of the above methods, you can use an actual paint brush comb or substitute with something around your house. A regular comb, a fork, dish brush or toothbrush will work as well.
If you have any additional tips on how you remove dry paint from your brushes… please share! You can also check out last weeks Q-T-T here.
Enjoy your day and happy painting!
Keep your wrapped brushes / rollers in the fridge!!
I’ve heard of this but I haven’t tried it yet! 🙂
David Alexander says
I just tried soaking a brush in hot,white vinegar for 30 minutes with absolutely no effect. I’ve read this tip elsewhere also, so I’m wondering how this method works for anyone.
You probably already know this tip but when I need to leave the wet brushes for a while, I wrap the brush part in plastic wrap which stops them drying out until you need to use them again. Saves having to wash them if you need to have a break for a couple of hours for example.
Thanks for your great blog – I’m new to this hobby and am enjoying learning all the tips and ideas. Greetings from Western Australia 🙂
Hello Rachele from Western Australia…. a BIG WARM WELCOME! And thanks for sharing your tip! Love this tip and it works amazing. 🙂
Rubbing alcohol works really well & quickly. I used my fingers to break up the bristles then poured some alcohol into a bowl & scrubbed the brush on the side of the bowl in the alcohol. It was clean in a few seconds!
Love this tip! Going to try it Makenzie. 🙂
Jane B says
Thanks, Denise! The Master’s Brush Cleaner is amazing for cleaning brushes — even dried on oil and acrylic on artists brushes. It’s very mild on your hands and smells pleasant. It is a cake that you work up into a lather with a little water. For dried up brushes that I thought were ruined, I’ve just left the lathered up brush overnight and the brush like new in the morning. I have purchased at art supply stores, but you can even get it at Walmart.
Always looking for great products to make my job easier…Thank-you Jane!
Kathleen R says
As it happens I used the warmed white vinegar just yesterday and was very pleased with the rejuvenation of two brushes. I have a question about diy chalky paint made with Plaster of Paris. Of about 6 batches, two turned very chunky. Today I could only get rid of the chunks by running the batch of paint through a sieve. Now I’m wondering if after removing so much of the PoP I was really just painting with the flat paint. Should I add more PoP to my pot of paint?
Glad your 2 brushes ‘rejuvenated’ Kathleen! 🙂 As for the HMCP recipe, if you add a little more to your paint, the plaster of paris should be mixed and totally smooth (with a small amount of water) prior to mixing it into your paint.
Kathy Wynveen says
I use water-based finishes, but even those will really gunk up a brush if they’re not cleaned out well. I’ve been using “Pink Soap” from my art supply store. Just a tiny drop is all I used to work into the wet brushes, then scrub the bristles into my hand and rinse well. When the paint has dried, I soak the hardened brush in water + Pink Soap. Works for me!
I’ll have to check into “Pink Soap” 🙂 … thank you for another great tip Kathy!