Just HOW does one clean a paint brush?

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This is crazy!
In our home we moved into there was left over 2.5 gal of Dunne Edwards Exterior/Interior flat the construction peole used everywhere on the interior of our home. Needless to say, it has been useful for touching up areas after joint compounding and smoothing out their 'flaws'. This paint blends in the middle of large surface areas invisibly [remember, home was not lived in, but two year old spray paint job] To do touch up I dipped some paint into a cut off 2 liter soda bottle bottom and painted away using a pre-rinsed [damp] brush [selecting any of several bristle brushes]. When finished, simply ran water on brush until clear, then would use liquid handsoap, maybe 3 times. Rinse, straighten the bristles out and set down for the next time.
All, went well, until I went to HD and got a gallon of self-primer Glidden custom color matching - very good color match. This paint was for shelving, the guy recommended semi, because it was harder and better for shelving. I insisted on flat. They were out of flat, but since cost would be $26/gal for semi, and only $19/gal for flat, I was happy when he gave me semi for $19.
Ok. used the paint on shelving boards, again using 'damp' brush, first coat over raw particle board [also from HD] the paint soaked up into the wood, got thick, well expected that, but went on well. Didn't like the brush strokes left [Dunne Edwards didn't leave brush strokes] but shelving - who cares? Went to clean up the brush, and the first thing I noticed was that it was full of 'cottage cheese' crumbs! sand sized crumbs in the brush, solid. Ok clean up, until clear. Wash three times with soap solution until really clean, straighten bristles and set out for the next day.
The next day the brush was hard as a rock! What?! With more water and 'special' cleaning solvent I got the brush to become flexible enough for the next days work.
Now, the second coat, which to me should not take as much paint, DID take paint! and worse, started drying again way too fast. We're talking lay down a loaded brush line across the shelf and stroke into the painted area and before you can move to the next brush width, the paint gets 'gummy' and does not feather the brush strokes in well at all. [Note, I used to have similar problems with cheap latex paint from local discount outlet back in 70;s when latex first came out, but solved the problem by simply spraying gently with Easy Off Window Cleaner. You could even go back more than six hours later, spray, and touch up paint - like brush out that run forming you didn't notice earlier! But, alas, Easy Off discontinued this miracle product.]
Now cleaned up brush and its getting worse and worse! To me the brush is ruined, full of sludge, mutliple bristles are being 'glued' together by the crumbly paint. What the heck is going on?
Actually more questions than simply how to clean a brush: 1. how to properly clean a brush 2. is there something I can add to latex to slow down the drying time. I think 30 seconds is a bit too short. 3. is there something that removes/prevents that sludge build up in the brush?
With Dunne Edwards, I had no reluctance to touch up small areas any time I saw one. But with this Glidden product and ruining brushes; I'm hesitant to take on small tasks and am forced to plan, waiting until I accumulate enough to do the work, throw the brush away, and hope no run forms.
Any help, knowledgeable people?
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Robert Macy wrote:

Hi, I am not a fan of painting. I never used brush on a particle boards. Roller works better. I also use brush comb. Also I often use pads for touching up. I watched pros how they clean their brushes which gave some pointers.
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I used to work for a professional house painter, back when a brush was FAST! During a job, he simply stored any brush in the freezer overnight and only cleaned once when done. His brushes were HEAVY when loaded with paint and cost in today's dollars $100+ but he could paint a whole house one coat in one day, then do the second coat the next day. with a lot less prep required than for spraying.
Of course he was a 'true' painter - covered in paint! As he watched me dip my brush, wipe the brush, and then paint and paint a small area, he used to laugh at me and ask, "Why don't you paint the house just once?" and "Why do you put the paint back in the bucket and not up on the house?" All good advice actually. His fast technique was to dip his brush [no wipe off excess]. draw an X on a spot, and feather in with a single stroke, and move on. Three strokes to do about one square foot, as he moved along the house. hmmm 2500 sqft as slow as 10 seconds a sqft, comes to 4 hours. seems about right, whole house one day. He had ME do the tedious trim.
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yes, that's why I was surprised when the brush became 'ruined'
Also, that is why I gave the detailed description of the cleaning process to let people know that the process was correct, resutlts were wrong.
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Regardless of what brand of paint I use, I always use the same method for cleaning - assuming it's a soap and water clean-up.
It starts with warm water and Dawn dish soap.
Actually I should say it starts with a decent brush. I been a fan of the Purdy line of brushes available from the Home Depot. Most of the ones I've been using for years have the original cardboard sleeve. It is recommended that the brushes be stored in the original cardboard sleeve so that the shape is held constant as they dry. I built a "nail board" in my shop and the brushes are wrapped and hung immediately after washing. OK, immediately after being shake-dried.
I have a 4' length of garden hose with a spray nozzle that I keep by my utility sink. It's great for washing coolers, buckets, dogs and yes, paint brushes. I blast them with the spray nozzle set on jet to get the paint out from deep within the bristles. If blasting doesn't get it all out because some of it has dried, I rest the bristles on the center divider of the sink and scrub them with a nail brush. I'll even use my fingernails to scrap paint off of the bristles on the outside of the brush if need be. You have to have a quality brush if you expect it to stand up to this kind of abuse without the bristles falling out or getting all bent out of shape.
Once I am satisfied that the brush is clean, I give it few sharp shakes to get most of the water out, reshape the bristles by hand, wrap it up in it's cardboard sleeve and hang it on it's nail. Other than the handle, I have some brushes that you would think are brand new if judged solely by the bristles.
I know my time consuming method works because I've seen the condition of the same brand of brushes when my wife or son borrows one and then "cleans" it. I've thrown away brushes, or saved them for junk jobs, after they've ruined them by cleaning them improperly.
On the rare occasions when a brush I've cleaned is a little stiff when I open the cardboard, it only because the bristles are slightly stuck together and a simple flexing of the bristles softens them up.
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On 10/03/2012 08:34 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Yep, that's the exact same method I use as well, except I like to use warm water for the cleanup. Been using the same latex brush for over a decade now (a Purdy*, of course), and aside from paint splatters on the handle it still performs like new.
*While it is a Purdy, it was one of their "seconds" that the local paint store sold at a sizeable discount. I'll be damned if I can find anything wrong with it, though.
Jon
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clipped

When I clean brushes, I squeeze out as much paint as I can into newspaper....squoosh it, stand on it. Then I run warmish/tepid water onto/into the bristles....squoosh bristles on bottom of sink under running water. Then I work Dawn into the bases of the bristles and let it soak for an hour or two....flex bristles just enough to work the Dawn as far as possible into the base. Then I rinse and rinse and rinse, parting the bristles and running water through entirely. Finish off with hot water, a shake or two and HANG the brush to dry after molding the hot bristles into shape.
With your mess, as a last resort, I'd use some semi-paste paint remover, work it in as above, remove and wash with mineral spirits. It may puff up poly bristles but the brush may still be good enough for the junk paint yer' using :o) I'll wait until all-in-one primer/paint has been around 20 years or so, but I'll be dead by then so what's the use :o)
I use semi alkyd paint for kitchen, bath, trim, doors and any surface that takes some wear. Actually easier (for me) to use a good bristle brush and clean it properly. If I'm using crap paint (leftover flat latex tinted with hobby acryllic tube paint) I use a chip brush or small sprayer for odd little craft projects. Otherwise, it is Ben Moore. I tried Behr semi once and found it to be total garbage for coverage. Painting with Sher Williams semi alkyd exterior is almost as good as sex....I hope my husband doesn't read this :o)
Your hand soap might have had something to do with the results.
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palmolive dish soap
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On 10/3/12 10:31 AM, Robert Macy wrote:

Next post: clarity, brevity, focus ;-)
--
You can observe a lot just by watching.
---Yogi Berra
  Click to see the full signature.
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On Wed, 03 Oct 2012 12:18:36 -0400, "Douglas C. Neidermeyer"

Yeah, but crazy. Just throw away the junk paint. There's no mystery here, and a 5-year-old can clean a paintbrush. If the paint didn't dry on it.
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On Oct 3, 9:18am, "Douglas C. Neidermeyer"

tried that, got crap answers, with ALL kinds of assumptions.
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On 10/3/2012 1:00 PM, Robert Macy wrote:

Which assumptions are you assuming to be wrong? After rereading your post, I have surmised that the problem is not your brush or how you clean it, but the wrong primer for particle board (possibly). PB has water soluble glue and the water based paint dissolved some glue (along with fine wood particles?). Oil-based primer would probably be better choice.
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Comments applied to previous attempts posting to obtain assisstance, using brief descriptions.
I never thought of the glues in the particle board reacting with the paint, not bad. Second coat should NOT have that problem, but was actually worse. But, that might have been caused by waiting only 24 hours for the second coat, and the paint was not cured enough and IT reacted with the new paint.
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On 10/4/2012 9:45 AM, Robert Macy wrote:

Don't know, never had such an issue, but....first coat dissolved some glue which sucked water from the paint and kept it from curing. Second coat dissolved the glue/paint again with partially cured globs.
When latex paint first came out, my mom used it over wallpaper in a bedroom. The wallpaper shortly started coming off the wall...kind of like a Laurel & Hardy job...mom kept sticking it back up. Mom won (as usual) :o)
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Your description sounds like exactly what happened. Because the paint out on true raw wood, or on a section of plastic trim did not exhibit any of these problems.
We used to use that Easy-Off Window Cleaner to remove stubbron OLD wall paper from the lathe and plaster walls. We're talking something like 4-6 layers of papers and a rented steamer just was a mess and humid. The window cleaner's compound just cut through the paper and down into the glues and the layers simply slid off the wall, but..left the glues intact, so there was still an icky clean up required.
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clipped

My method for wallpaper is to "cut" the surface (vinyl or otherwise) with very coarse sandpaper, going across the wall. Spray with warm water, soak a while (generally a cig and cuppa coffee), spray, soak, then start peeling and scraping. It is technically primitive, very messy but it works. New house only has a couple of borders.
One of the very ungliest homes I have ever seen (images on line) had red and green wallpaper and border in EVERY FREAKING ROOM...different papers above/below. It would take a strong person about 20 years to get rid of it. Next ugliest thing, which seems to be a huge seller, is overstuffed, furry sofa/love seats. Nasty :o)
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Being terminally cheap....
Yes, very expensive: cost me time - which I can't get back. and reputation - which is pretty much swiss cheesed now anyway.
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On 10/3/2012 9:31 AM, Robert Macy wrote: ...

I've never had any problem w/ Glidden paints in the past but I've not used any of the primer/finish products from any vendor, either, so I've no idea whether that might have some bearing...
I can't fathom why one can't simply clean a brush unless you're using something that is reacting unfavorably either as part of the cleaning/prep work or in the cleaning itself...
I'd suggest a consultation w/ the Glidden rep's on your symptoms...
--
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Good idea. Will try calling them. HD offers to replace paint AND brush. But, told me they go through a LOT of quantity with no one else complaining.
I'm going to try something next time, using distilled water instead of our well water.
Anecdote: I recently also had trouble with HD's type S mortar crumbling after setting up. actually use a brush and 'sand' it off. Except. last time, out of the same sack mixed a small, very dry batch. When I went to use it, sprayed distilled water on each handful making very wet and patching some stucco. When that set up it was SOLID with no hairlinecracks.
Wonder if 'hard water' from well is reacting.
It's also possible the Dunne Edwards had something added for spraying that made it work better.
However, just noticed that the paint that dryied so fast while painting is still slightly gummy?!
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In article

I was waiting alongside you for the knowledgable people to show up. Here's my ignorant guess: The glue in the particle board is water soluble. That's what stiffened your bristles.
Hey, that would make a good expression for being annoyed: "That really stiffens my bristles!"
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