How to Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes?

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Every painter in the world can relate to feeling extremely annoyed when it comes to cleaning up the paintbrushes after the painting is done.

When your masterpiece is created, it feels like bliss looking at it; some people even get their art printed to get more recognized. Check out the best printer for art prints if you’re wondering how to print your art.

Once you’re done with all the main work, it’s time to wash up those brushes that are sitting there filled with paint. Here, in this article, we will guide you on how to clean acrylic paint brushes effectively.

What Are Acrylic Paints?

If you’re in the art field, it won’t be surprising to know the numerous mediums present that you can choose from to show your creativity. One of the widely used mediums includes acrylic paints. If you want to know Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Wood, then read out our guide.

The first type of acrylic paint was created in Germany and was initially sold as house paint only. However, with time, multiple artists took an interest and started to use this paint for their paintings, and now it’s used by almost everyone in the art world!

The ingredients by which acrylic paint is made are not that complex as it only needs three things majorly. This includes:

  1. Acrylic polymer: This is what’s also known as the acrylic binder, which works as a protective film and holds the pigment in its place when the paint is drying.
  2. Pigment: The vibrant colors you see in paintings are due to the acrylic pigment. The pigment itself can be of different varieties, such as synthetic or natural.
  3. Vehicle: Water is considered the vehicle as it’s how the polymer and pigment get transported. When the binder and water come in contact, a polymer emulsion forms.

Many Painters want to print their paintings after finishing their work but don’t know how can they print their Painting. So we have discussed it in our guide that How To Make Prints Of Your Art.

Things You’ll Need for Cleaning

Before you start with the cleaning process, it’s important to get all the stuff you need beforehand. A few things to get are:

  • Jar/glasses/pots: You will need these to store the water in. A minimum of three water filled jars are required for different purposes. One for the first rinse, the second for soapy water, and the third for clean water to rinse again.
  • Paper towel or painters’ rags: To blot any excess paint on the brush.
  • Brush washer: To hold your paintbrushes when they dry.

Steps of How to Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes

Compared to other types of paint, washing acrylic paint-filled brushes can be torture. This is due to the drying up quickly, causing the paint brushes to become stiff.

One mistake that a lot of painters, especially new ones, make is to clean the brushes on their palms, which should never be done, and even the brands advise against it.

This is because the pigment can embed in your skin. So, if you’re planning on using acrylic paint for your art, get used to cleaning and maintaining your brushes the proper way.

Otherwise, you will have to keep spending money on new brush kits, which we all know aren’t cheap. Below are steps that you can follow, so your paint-filled brushes look brand new.

Step 1: Prepare

Gather everything you need in one place, so you don’t have to keep running around once you’ve started cleaning. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to begin washing the paintbrushes.

Step 2: Blot

The next step would be to remove the excess paint present on the brushes. You can use a paper towel or rag; the latter is more environmentally friendly. Get as much solid paint off as you can, then proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Lukewarm Water Wash

The first rinse of the brushes should be with lukewarm water; move the brush in the water and try to get the paint off. You can even use a brush tub that has ridges that can help in removing the paint even more.

Step 4: Soapy water

Now’s the time to dip those brushes inside the soapy water-filled jug. Try using one which has ridged edges so you can wipe off the brush more easily. 

Swirl the brushes inside the soapy water for a bit, then dip them in the clean water. Keep repeating this till the foam turns white. You can also use your fingers to remove the residue stuck in between the bristles.

Step 5: Clean Water

By this point, most of your paint should have been removed. To give it one last wash, clean your brush in new clean water filled jug. Rinse thoroughly to remove any leftover paint residues.

Step 6: Drying

The bristles might go in different directions after the washing process, so gently reshape them.

Next, it’s time for the brushes to dry; the best method to do this is to hand them upside down, so the brush tip faces downwards. This is to avoid the water getting into the ferrule as that can cause the rotting of the glue.

Step 7: Disposal of Acrylic Waste

Now that your brushes are all clean, you’ll be left with a lot of jugs of wastewater. Dumping the acrylic water into the sink is not the best thing to do as it’ll damage your drains and is also equally bad for the environment.

You can let the water evaporate and then responsibly dispose of the acrylic residue left behind.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Acrylic Paintbrushes

  • Don’t let the paint dry up once you’re done painting. Instead, clean up your brushes as soon as you can, as the earlier you do it, the easier it’ll be.
  • Even when you’re painting, don’t let the acrylic paint stay on the brushes. Keep the bristles we enough, so the paint doesn’t dry out.
  • Don’t keep your brushes dipped inside water either, as it’ll ruin the shape of the bristles.
  • Dry your brushes properly before putting them back in their case.

Cleaning up your brushes might feel like a chore, but proper care is necessary to ensure they last for a long time. With just a few steps, you can easily wash your paintbrushes and restore them to their normal condition.

Leave a Comment