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Keeping paintbrushes in good condition

RELATED TOPICS: PAINT | BRUSH
Q: What's a good way to keep your model paintbrushes in good condition?

- C.E. Wilson
Ravenna, Ohio

Ken: Great question, C.E. With the proper care, your favorite paintbrush can last a lifetime. You'll always get the best results by purchasing the best brush you can buy (and "best" usually translates into "the most expensive"), so protecting your investment is another reason to take care of your brushes.

When cleaning brushes it's important to get out all the crud that accumulates at the base of the bristles. If that stuff hardens, it not only shortens the usable length and flexibility of the bristles, it also shortens the life of the brush.

Immediately after each use, clean the brush with an appropriate thinner for the paint being used. Keep the brush wet with thinner if you're going to use it again during that particular modeling session.

At the end of your session - and this is important - thoroughly wash the brush with liquid dish detergent and water. Really work the suds down into the bristles by rubbing the brush in the palm of your hand. You'll be amazed at the amount of paint the thinner failed to remove.

Rinse the brush in warm water, shake off the excess water, and reshape the tip with your fingers while the brush is still wet. Store the brush bristles-up in a piece of Styrofoam or some other suitable holder, and let it air-dry until the next painting session.

That should do the trick with just about any paintbrush in your arsenal of modeling tools. Thanks for the question, and good luck.


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