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curlyoak

best methods for brush cleaning

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14 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

For paint & finish waste, I mix it with wood shavings and let it dry, then bag it for the trash.

I like that idea. Simple and affective. Thanks

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I use old paint thinner by using it for the initial wash, then a wash with fresh thinner, then I work in a big blob of dish soap, rinsing well. It actually seems to get the last finish residue better than just using paint thinner alone. 

I collect the spent mineral spirits in an old thinner container. When it gets full, I take it to a recycling facility.

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DON'T throw it out. Put your waste into a separate container and let it sit. After a while, the solids will precipitate to the bottom. You can then decant the clear (sorta) stuff and re-use it. The next time you need to clean something, start with the decanted waste and finish up with clean unused. Then pour the waste back into the waste container and do the same again. This way, you can use the same thinner over and over again saving greatly on the amount of waste that is lost. Saves $$ too. The only thing you will need to throw away is the sediment occasionally.

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In the paint aisles of box stores, there are small, stainless steel bristled brushes, with the bristles angled towards the front.  Use one of them to brush the hardened stuff out of the upper part of the brush.  It needs to have been in thinner, and laid out on a scrap of cardboard, or plywood that can be disposed of.  We use the same brush, and same method for Latex paint brushes, but under running water in a sink.  Only go one direction with the wire brush, or you will ruin both brushes.

Thinner needs to be changed enough times that only clear remains.

If any has hardened in the brush that this method doesn't dislodge, Brush Cleaner will dissolve it.  The brush needs to be suspended in the brush cleaner overnight, but not with the weight of the brush distorting the bristles by just sticking it in a container of the liquid.

If recycling is not an option, like it is not here, we mix it with dirt in an old paint can, and it gets disposed of with solid waste.  This is from local waste management instructions-not my idea.

I try to never use more than the end inch, or two, of a brush, since it makes cleanup so much easier.

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I never clean brushes or rollers. I mostly use low priced brushes and rollers. Too much trouble to clean, IMHO. I'll tightly wrap a brush or roller in a plastic grocery bag if I'm using it again. I don't use oil-based paints.  IMHO, those went out with fender skirts and poodle skirts.

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For the easy cleaning of brushes, the trick I have been using for decades is: before commencing to paint, take a couple of minutes to let the brush soak in the appropriate solvent,  which is likely water or paint thinner.  By "soaking" I do not mean just a quick dip of the brush into the solvent; rather, put enough solvent in a container to allow soaking [for a few minutes] the bristles up to the heel.

 

Since the first thing up into the bristles is either water or mineral spirits  then the cleanup will be remarkably easier.  The solvent used for soaking the brush can either be discarded [water] or reused [paint thinner] as it will still be clean........

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