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Wait! Don't Throw Out That Paint Brush...

Brush cleaners & restorer


OK, I'll shamefully admit that I used to gleefully abandon old, crusty paint brushes. Visions of buying brand new brushes (in all shapes and sizes) danced through my head. Buying new art materials is always fun, isn't it? However a case can be made against this attitude:


A) It's not kind to the environment.

B) It's a waste of cash.

C) Those brushes aren't dead yet.


Artists are some of the most practical people I have ever met. They often provide uncommon solutions to problems, and I have received many tips on how to save money on art supplies from seasoned painters. One of the best pieces of advice came as an introduction to a product that preserves brushes brings brushes back from brush-death.


So let me introduce you to an amazing, non-toxic product that can return your crusty brushes to a most desirable state : Winsor & Newton's Brush Cleaner & Restorer

Four dirty paint brushes and a palette knife


This works on both oil and acrylic crusty brushes, though it may take a bit longer for acrylics.



1. You'll need a glass container like a jar, pour the brush restorer into the bottom of the glass at an inch high.

2. Then put the brushes into the container. As you add brushes the level of the restorer will rise - keep an eye on this because the solution should not go past the metal ferrule ( this is the metal part that connects the fibres of the brush to the handle). If the solution goes past the ferrule it may melt the varnish on the brush handle which you don't want to do. Ooey-gooey melted varnish is nasty.

3. For very crusty brushes I leave them in the solution overnight or 24 hours and then rinse off with some hand soap.


Et voila! Lovely soft brushes ready to work for you! Good work!


I have a pretty decent-sized collection of brushes because I like buying them so much : ) So I usually have between 6 months to a year before I really need to clean my brushes. It's pretty satisfying and super easy.


Decrustify your brushes today and remember happy brushes make awesome paintings!

About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

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