How to Clean Dried Paintbrushes
Learn how to clean dried paintbrushes. Don’t you hate when you stumble upon a paintbrush that you’ve forgotten about?
Dried latex paint can be a pain to clean out, but I have an easy tip on how I do it! No paint thinner needed!
You might also like this post on how to paint French doors.
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By the way, this method is also a great way to condition brushes between use. It makes the bristles soft again after heavy use.
Think of it as a hair conditioner for your paintbrush. Plus, it smells amazing!
Cleaning Dried Paint Brushes
My husband cleaned up my painting mess last weekend and placed my brushes in the garage where I promptly forgot about them. They’re not completely dry, though this method works for dry brushes too.
Rinsing the brushes removed a lot of the paint on the outside, but the inside was completely dried out.
- Brush comb
- Glass jar
- Murphy Oil Soap
- Scrub brush
- If the brush is still damp, rinse the brush out as best as you can.
- Use the brush to remove what paint you can.
- Then soak in a glass jar of Murphy oil.
- This also works for completely dry brushes, but you might need to let it sit for about a week.
- Let the brush sit for a few days depending on how bad it is.
- Bad brushes will need a clean supply of Murphy oil because the paint leaks to the bottom of the jar.
- Rinse the brush well with water.
- Use the brush comb to make sure the inside of the bristles is clean as well. Soak longer if needed.
- You can scrub excess paint off of the bristles with a scrub brush.
Other Solutions for Dried Brushes
I haven’t had as much success with these methods, but I wanted to share them.
Let the brush soak in fabric softener. Then rinse well.
Let your brush sit in hot water for about 20 minutes. Scrub with a brush comb. For more details, check out this post.
I’ve never tried this tip, but it sounds promising!
If you’re desperate, paint stripper works. Let it soak for a few minutes and scrape it away with a putty knife.
How to Avoid Letting Your Brush Dry Out
- In between coats of paint, wrap your brush in plastic wrap or place it in a plastic baggie.
- You can place the plastic-wrapped paintbrush in the fridge if needed.
- Don’t place the brush is a place where you will forget about it. (Looking at you hubby for putting my brushes in the garage…)
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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…
I haven’t tried this method, but I’ve used goo gone and acrylic & artificial nail tip remover. From Dollar General. It was all I had on hand to clean a bunch of brushes my daughter use. Both helped clean dried paint on brushes. I’m going to try Murphy’s Oil next. Thanks
Thanks for those tips!