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cleaning and caring for brushes

I would love to paint everyday but I cannot afford to do that so, I am a part time artist.
I travel for my work and sometimes i can't paint for two weeks at a time.

I usually would use soap and water  to clean my brushes after each use.  After listening to one of Marks videos
I decided not to wash my brushes and I tried dipping my brushes in Linseed oil as suggested.

When I tried to use the brushes again I found that most were not very pliable and some were hard.

What to do?  

Comments

  • Your linseed oil dried.  You might be able to restore them with solvent.  I resuscitated a hard brush with repeated dips in OMS and working hte brush.  Some people restore brushes with soap.

    I use Geneva Brush Dip, which is more than just oil.  I clean off a brush minimally with a paper towel, then brush dip keeps the brushes wet for a few weeks.
  • Hi @Onerom1945, did you have clove oil mixed in with the linseed oil?
  • The Geneva brush dip is so cheap and so good that I can't imagine using anything else.  You can make it yourself with safflower oil and some clove oil but Mark sells it to you for the price of the materials basically so why bother.  I have left my brushes for longer than 2 weeks with no issues.  I do recommend a good dabbing and squeezing with a paper towel before the final dunk to make it last as long as possible.  Be sure to squeeze the brush out before using it to paint.  It won't hurt your paint or painting but extends the dry time.
  • @Onerom1945   I've had some of my brushes slitting in Geneva brush dip for over 2 months - I recently did a thorough cleaning of all of my brushes and a few were rock hard.  I put some Murphy's oil soap in a jar and let those brushes set in the oil soap for 2 days - they came out great and are as soft as sable brushes now.  Like @MikeDerby ; said, the brush dip from Geneva is a great buy and will last a very long time - some people even wrap their brushes in saran wrap if gone for lengths of time so that is an idea when you travel.

    Keep painting!!!
  • MikeDerby said:
    The Geneva brush dip is so cheap and so good that I can't imagine using anything else.  You can make it yourself with safflower oil and some clove oil but Mark sells it to you for the price of the materials basically so why bother.  I have left my brushes for longer than 2 weeks with no issues.  I do recommend a good dabbing and squeezing with a paper towel before the final dunk to make it last as long as possible.  Be sure to squeeze the brush out before using it to paint.  It won't hurt your paint or painting but extends the dry time.
    .....unless you live in @#$&;*#@  Australia. Ha ha

    I make my own from  Mark’s recipe and it works well.



  • Safflower oil and 2% clove oil. Also some bargain priced linseed oil will dry out in as little as a month. Be sure to get artist's grade oils/mediums.
  • @Boudicca @#$&;*#@,  Australia? Is that near Alice Springs or closer to the coast line? I can't find it on the map.
  • I highly recommend cleaning your oil painting brushes with mineral oil and a phone book you wipe  as much as you can on the phone book and then towards the end you can use paper towel and I put a white glove on one of my hands to check if there's any paint left, and then when I'm ready to paint with oils again I dip them in linseed oil and by the way you can keep these brushes dipped in mineral oil for years it doesn't dry
  • mineral oil doesn't dry and the amounts that transfer to your canvas from your brush won't dry either. Safflower oil with a few drops of clove oil is a good option.
  • edited June 5
    I happen to use both options, when taking a break from painting for a day for or a day or two I dip them in safflower and clove oil and then once I'm finished with the work i clean them with mineral oil it's also  a lot cheaper, I've been doing it since 1980
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