I find a couple of layers of Tesco bags does the trick equally well
actually - at least it's a use for the bloody things.
Embarrassing confession - I employed a pro decorator a few months ago
for the first time in my life. I was very intrigued that he had a new
Special Box which he stored all his used brushes in; only it wasn't one
of those where the bristles sit in turps, ISTR there was some form of
chemical vapour in there which prevented the brushes from drying out
indefinitely. He said it was the mutt's nuts and he'd pretty well given
up on turps and brush cleaner. Can't remember what the stuff was though...
On Tue, 05 Jul 2011 23:30:02 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I use the cling film trick when a job needs to go from one day to the
next. Also a couple of supermarket bags one from each end and tucked
down over paint trays and rollers.
Cleaning non-water soluable paints etc is a PITA. I'd go for the new
brush everytime if I could find a source of decent brushes at a
sensible price that aren't part of a various sized set.
Jeez learn to clean the brush. I would much much rather clean an oil
based paint or stain than water based. If you use mineral spirits, the
kind that comes in a metal container vs the plastic contain, you can
clean varnish out of a brush in a matter of seconds.
Keep in mind that is a good practice to clean the brush several times a
day even with water based, don't use paint thinner to clean the brush,
it dries much more slowly than mineral spirits and if you are painting
above your head you will get thinned paint running down the handle.
Try this technique:
1. Swish brush in 100% mineral spirits ten times. Remove excess (I use a
2. Swish brush in 50-50 mix of mineral spirits and alcohol ten times. Remove
3. Swish brush in 100% alcohol ten times. Remove excess.
For latex or water-based paints, add fabric softener to the water in which
you swish the brush.
For cleaning brushes, a spinner is mandatory. Something like this:
My method is to use a jar/can just big enough for the brush. Put in a
small amount of solvent and clean out the brush, then spin the brush in
a cardboard box. Dump the small amount of dirty solvent in a different
jar or can. Repeat several times.
Save the old dirty thinner, and next time, all the heavy pigments settle
to the bottom and the old thinner is now clean.. Use the old thinner to
clean next time, only using a bit of new thinner for the last couple of
cleans. This is really easy, uses almost no thinner and really keeps
your brushes nice.
You need 3 cans/jars to do this, one for storing old thinner, one to
clean the brush, and an intermediate one to store the newly dirty
thinner. When done, pour the dirty thinner into the old thinner storage
can. You can use lacquer thinner but lacquer suspends the pigments
forever, while turps or mineral spirits lets the pigments drop to the
bottom, leaving clean thinner.
Don't use your good oil brushes for water based paints (hide them from
your wife). Clean the cheaper plastic water brushes with just water and
the spinner, or throw them away after your wife paints (and never ever
cleans a brush)...
You Can't Fix Stupid, but You Can Vote it Out!
I also save dirty thinners and allow the pigments to settle.
By Lacquer thinners do you mean Cellulose thinner?
However using Cellulose/Lacquer type thinners will destroy the
natural spring in the brush resulting in a useless floppy brush.
You have described the above method the wrong way round though,
Turps will coagulate the paint whereas Cellulose or as you call it
lacquer thinner will draw the paint completely out of the bristle
stock, as does mineral Naphtha but Naphtha will not destroy the
spring in a natural bristle brush.
From the Wirral Peninsular.
On 7/7/2011 2:21 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I don't know, by lacquer thinner I mean the stuff I used to paint cars
with when I was a kid, and now buy at Home Depot in a can that says
"lacquer thinner" on it.
I believe you but I've used it often. I use lacquer thinner a lot for
all sorts of cleaning things. I just know that when I use mineral
spirits or paint thinner, the pigments settle out, but when I use
lacquer thinner, they seem to remain suspended indefinitely.
I guess you are saying to use lacquer for the initial heavy cleaning and
finish up with paint thinner? That would work but Paint thinner works
fine and I can reuse the thinner after the pigments all settle out. I
don't like using used lacquer thinner as it doesn't settle clear, even
after long periods, so I'm throwing out lots of thinner.
I haven't seen or used "turps" since I was a kid. I use paint thinner or
mineral spirits, because that's what I see on the shelves at a
reasonable cost. I don't even know what "Naphtha" is. I've seen the
word used a lot around here, and have looked it up a few times. I still
don't know what it is, and I ain't looking it up again, cause I know
I'll forget anyway. I think Naphtha was some kind of yellow soap when I
was a young?
You must be from the USA.
Your lacquer thinner will be the same as what we in the UK call
Cellulose thinner which is indeed used in vehicle painting or
The lacquer/cellulose thinner is a very powerful solvent and has
many uses, I have a five gallon tub of this in my garage.
Mineral spirit is the same as Turps, but in the UK we call it
Turpentine, Turps for short or turps substitute.
You can use either for the initial cleaning but I find the
cellulose or naphtha more effective at removing the paint from a
brush than turps.
The thinner acts the same way as Naphtha both being very volatile,
the mineral spirit however does not clean a paint brush on its own
by simply standing the brush in the solvent, only after thorough
cleaning the brush is it better served being suspended in mineral
spirit which is almost exactly the same as white spirit that I
believe you would call a Stoddard solvent in the USA.
As a reminder from the www,
Naphtha is a term usually restricted to a class of colourless,
volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures. Obtained as one
of the more volatile fractions in the fractional distillation of
petroleum (when it is known as petroleum naphtha), in the
fractional distillation of coal tar (coal-tar naphtha), and in a
similar distillation of wood (wood naphtha), it is used widely as
a solvent for various organic substances, such as fats and rubber,
and in the making of varnish. Because of its dissolving property
it is important as a cleaning fluid; it is also incorporated in
certain laundry soaps. Coal-tar (aromatic) naphthas have greater
solvent power than petroleum (aliphatic) naphthas.
Originally the term naphtha designated a colourless flammable
liquid obtained from the ground in Persia. Later it came to be
applied to a number of other natural liquid substances having
similar properties. Technically, gasoline and kerosene are
From the Wirral Peninsula.
On 7/8/2011 2:43 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The US has a bunch of names for lacquer types too, I don't understand
any of them.
When I was a kid painting cars and such, I always had a 5 gallon can of
the cheap stuff, for cleaning, primer coats and such. A gallon can of
the good, high gloss stuff. I don't have a clue what I get at Home
Depot, I don't paint cars any more.
I think there are technical differences in the US as well, although most
people use the terms interchangeably. I threw in Terps just to be wordy:-)
I spin the hell out of it with a spinner. Usually comes pretty clean
first time, nice and clean the second, and really clean the third.
only after thorough
Don't know about Stoddard solvent. After I clean a (good) brush I wrap
it in a cardboard wrapper that came with the brush, or one I made.
I don't even know what "Naphtha"
The following reminder is the reason I quit looking it up. Whole lot of
words that makes it clear as mud to me. Naphtha sounds pretty much like
lacquer thinner to the untrained eye:-) I was right about the soap
however, and it was Fels Naphtha bar soap my mother used to have in the
laundry tubs. I replaced it with GoJo and Lava when I was into cars.
You Can't Fix Stupid, but You Can Vote it Out!
On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 09:49:07 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"
What's half an hour of time worth? For a DIY job you can mabee forget
about it - but commercially that buys a pretty decent brush.
For day to day, the cling wrap in the refrigerator works well. And the
same painter, when doing apartments etc - all the same colour - DOES
stretch a brush - uncleaned - that way.
He buys his brushes in bulk from a brush distributor - and his roller
Mineral Naphtha and Linseed oil was what we used to store our
paint brushes in, the oil stopped the naphtha from evaporating too
quickly, the naphtha will draw out paint completely from the brush
stock or bristle base.
Leaving a brush in a turpentine derivative will simply congeal the
remainder of paint left in the bristles.
From the Wirral Peninsular.
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