beach scene hand painted mailboxes

I am a painter of hand painted mailboxes, and I use my paint brushes every day. Do you paint regularly like I do, and find it challenging to keep your paint brushes in good, usable condition? I decoratively hand paint mailboxes and custom painted signs, so naturally I go through a lot of paint brushes.  As the cost of paint brushes continues to rise, I do my best to make the ones I have last as long as possible. Below are a few tips on keeping paint brushes in good, usable condition.

  • Buy the best paint brushes that you can afford.  This is one time where you actually get what you pay for.  Cheaply made brushes don’t work well and also won’t last long. Better quality brushes might cost more up front, but their durability will save you money in the long run.
  • Clean your brushes immediately after you’ve used them.  Don’t allow the paint to settle into the base of the bristles or build on the bristles, themselves.
  • When not in use, keep brushes clean and dry.  Don’t leave your brushes soaking in water.  Leaving brushes setting in water vertically can permanently bend the bristles, and soaking them in water for long periods of time, can damage all parts of the paint brush. 
  • Store freshly cleaned paint brushes horizontally while drying.  Laying paint brushes on their sides, opposed to vertically, will help dry them faster, without any damage to their bristles.  I lay them on a sheet of paper towel to facilitate drying.
  • Keep brush bristles in the same original shape as was when new.  This extends the life of brushes so much more than imagined.

Following these few simple tips will help keep paint brushes in good usable condition.  I have paint brushes that I use every day and they are years old. What is the age of your oldest paint brush? I would also like to add that how paint brushes are washed and dried is also important.  That’s a topic all in itself, so I will be blogging about how I wash and dry my paint brushes soon.

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