Cleaning natural brushes, what am I doing wrong?

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I clean white china bristle brushes using paint thinner and one of those metal combs used for cleaning brushes. This appears to work but after time the amount of "usable" bristles gets smaller. From the metal piece growning downward it turns into a rock.
I purposely try to get this section by turning the brush upside down with fresh paint thinner on it and working it with the comb.
What am I doing wrong, or is this just life? Thanks.
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You are not cleaning them well, you are leaving in paint.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in message

Really???
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No shit, Sherlock!

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"raymondj"

A few thing I find helpful: Clean brush *immediately* after using it, and put in freezer between coats, rather than wrap it or stick it a thinner can. Work brush briskly in pint of thinner, bending bristles and sloshing well. Then hold brush, bristles up, and pour lots of clean thinner slowly down towards the handle, squeezing dry periodically , freeing paint at the base of bristles.. Once fairly clean, I dry thinner-soaked brush in large rag, then hand wash brush in warm water and dish detergent to get the thinner out, squeeze till just damp, and wrap in paper towel tightly to settle sproinged hairs, and to set the brush shape. Put in dry place to thoroughly dry. Leave it in the paper, for next use. I know this is complicated, but I have good brushes that have been used for 15-20 years and are still usable.
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raymondj wrote:

Do not use paint thinner to clean brushes. Use a brush cleaner.
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paint thinner to clean brushes. Use a brush cleaner.
Geezzzz, I just use soap and water, until the water runs clear from it. Is it bad to clean them this way?
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First, I would never use water on natural bristle brushs. The way I clean my brushs after a full eight hours of use in oil base primer or finish only takes a few minutes and never leaves them hard. Begin by filling a 1 pound coffee can about 1/3 of the way up, then dunk the brush repeatedly in it, next use a wire brush or comb to remove any heavy dried stuff or paint inside the brush. Finally, spin the brush for several seconds. Repeat these steps three more times with new thinner each time, then replace the brush into it's holder or shuck
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Opps, I was talking about synthetic brush and latex paint.

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call_me snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (call_me_al) wrote in message

This is exactly what I am doing!
BTW: My problem is related to polyurathane if that makes a difference.
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wrote in message > Do not use

Are we talking Natural Bristle brushes that were used with oil based products like Polyurethane?
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There are several waterbased polyurethane brands on the market as well as oil based. Natural bristles for oil and synthetic for waterbased.
On 30 Aug 2004 17:12:08 -0700, poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (raymondj) wrote:

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On 29 Aug 2004 16:04:38 -0700, poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (raymondj) wrote:

It takes me about 10-15 minutes to clean a brush and there are several important steps to doing it well. That's why I buy a box of throw-away brushes and have a (very) few $25 brushes. My expensive brushes are usually the ones I reach for, at the penalty of spending the time to clean it. Expensive brushes will hold up well to multiple cleanings, cheap brushes lose their bristles and fall apart.
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besides what others said, if you got a good brush you really want to keep clean, you shouldnt get paint up in the heel of the brush to begin with. dont dunk it that deep in the paint.
if you want to slop it on get cheap brushes.
randy

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That's great except that I frequently have to varnish something that requires the brush to be turned upside down (think about varnishing something on a ceiling.)

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"raymondj"

The painter we had last time varnished a ceiling, using a tiny roller that fit into the gallon can, and rolling it on a smallish area with that, then brushing it out with a good brush.. This meant the brush took a long time to saturate to the ferrule. The roller was a throw away type. And sorry about that earlier advice re using a final detergent rinse to wash out the brush - do that with synthetic bristles only when using oil paints, not natural bristles.
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thats great. dont use your good brush to do that unless you want to spend a half hour cleaning it.
randy

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I find the key to clean brushes is pretreat them prior to dipping into the finish. Water for latex and thinner for oil. Wet them up to the ferrule. Stops the finish that migrates toward the ferrule due to bristle moving against each other from drying and making the brush less limber. Also makes clean-up much easier as there is no dried finish to try to soften. I salvaged a neglected brush by soaking in CitriStrip to remove the dried stuff then went through final cleaning with Dawn and water. CitriStrip is a friendly and gentle stripper.
On 29 Aug 2004 16:04:38 -0700, poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (raymondj) wrote:

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raymondj wrote:

1. Don't dip the brush so deep into the paint (1/3 is fine)
2. After use, suspend in thinner. By "suspend" I mean hang it so the part with paint is covered and the brush bottom doesn't rest on the bottom of the receptacle. Most of the paint will dissolve out and settle to the bottom of the can. I then squeeze out as much as possible by wrapping a paper towel around the bristles and "milking" them from ferrule to brush tip. Still dirty? Repeat suspending and milking as necessary; use clean thinner for the final go. If there are bits/flecks of dried paint that the thinner won't touch, I use a comb, never a wire brush.
3. Once clean, shape the bristles, suspend again until dry and then store.
4. To remove the crud now in your brush, use brush cleaner.
As an aside, the thing that ruins most brushes is standing them on their bristles and/or drying them so that the bristles aren't down. I have always used shaving brushes...rinse, squeeze and shake, stand up to dry. I went through a lot of brushes that way because ultimately the bristle base would get compacted with soap and the bristles would loosen and fall out. Finally wised up and started suspending with bristles down...that brush is now 30 years old and good as new.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
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As others have said, prime the brush before using it with the appropriate thinner then give it a spin dry.
Never clean a natural bristle brush with water, it'll swell.
Here's my cleaning formula: 1. The instant you're done with the brush throw it in a coffee can of paint thinner. Now work it in the thinner. (swish, swish, swish...) 2. Now repeat #1 with fresh thinnner (ie swish, swish, swish...) and spin it dry when you're done. 3. Now take some fresh laquer thinner and give it a third cleaning. Laquer thinner removes some of the residual left behind with paint thinner. 4. Now give it a final spin dry. 5. Finally take a few drops of mineral oil and massage it into the bristles so they look shiny. 6. Put the brush back into the factory sleeve and hang it by the handle. Never let a brush rest by standing it up on it's bristles.
poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (raymondj) wrote in message

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