How to

How to clean and care for your paintbrushes

Do you need to brush up when it comes to cleaning up your DIY projects? After a long day painting, it’s tempting to just down tools and crack open a cold one but taking care of your equipment will help it last the distance and ensure a better-quality job.

A well-looked-after, quality paintbrush will give you a long life of excellent results, provided you take the time to clean and store your brush properly. Never store a brush that has any wet paint left on it.

As soon as you’ve finished using your paintbrush, remove any excess paint and soak the bristles in cold water. Next, rinse under plenty of water, making sure you clean up inside the brush, next to the ferrule. The ferrule is the part of the brush that connects the bristles to the handle.

“You can use a brush comb to dislodge any dry paint that might be sticking to the bristles,” says Resene paint expert Murdo Shaw. “I like to wipe down the paintbrush handle to keep it clean, too,” he adds.

Wipe off paint, soak paintbush in water, squeeze out excess water, and don't forget to clean the handle too!

Don’t soak paintbrushes in water, commercial cleaners or paint for an extended period of time as they will lose their shape or deteriorate.

You can also use Resene Brush Cleaner occasionally, followed by washing in warm, soapy water and rinsing in clean water. Read the instructions that come with Resene Brush Cleaner carefully and make sure you wear the recommended protective gear.

Once you have cleaned and rinsed your paintbrushes, dab them on newspaper or paper towels, or a clean rag, to absorb excess water and leave your paintbrush to dry. Once its bristles are dry, wrap them in clingfilm to store between painting sessions. You can also put the brush in a plastic bag and use masking tape to secure it firmly around the base of the brush handle or you can store it in the original cardboard holder you bought it in, which will also help to keep the bristles in shape.

Store paintbrushes by hanging them. Never store a brush on its tips as this can damage the bristles.

For any further advice on taking good care of your paintbrushes, head along to a Resene ColorShop and talk to a team member.

Top tip:

If you’re taking a short or overnight break from painting, there’s no need to wash your brush. Simply wrap it in a reusable plastic bag, which will help to keep the paint fresh so you can pick up where you left off. If you’re using multiple colours on a job, it’s sometimes best to allocate one brush to each colour so you can minimise washing out one colour before using another.

About MasterStroke by Resene
MasterStroke by Resene is here to help you master your paint and decorating DIY projects. Brush up on your skills with advice, tips and ideas from our trusted experts.

Check out the latest how-to videos on our YouTube channel.