Paint Brushes?

Hi all,

Been painting for years, getting quite good at it, some of my work on gallery and in ACTA forum.


One of my continuing issues is paint brushes, I destroy them, all my brushes end up looking like dry brushes very quickly.

I would be interested in 2 pieces of advice....

1) How to look after acryllic paint brushes better to delay their destruction.

2) Which brand of fine brush say O or OO works well for you, particularly which ones take abuse best!!

As I live in the UK, the answer to question 2 specifically covers brushes that can be bought in the UK.


Cpt Kremmen
I use brushes 00, 0 and 1. I sometimes use a 2.
Try very hard not to get paint into the ferrule, especially the case when using oils or acrylics. The paint dries inside and splays the brush out, it can also react with the glue. Buy quality, go to a specified artist shop and look around for a while. Keep the little platic nib on, it helps keep the brush straight and in shape. Make sure to draw the brush to a point after painting. I also get a pot of tamiya paint thinner, and every so often wash the brush in water, then brush around the edge of the bottle, this removes a lot of the paint. Then wash in water. This is an especially good idea if you are using GW paints. And most importantly, dont leave them in water, it WILL ruin the shape of the brush.

There you go, any other questions, just ask.
Pretty much seconded. Thats sound advice.

I use a 0 and 000 for regular painting. though I do have a 1 and 3 for things like tanks. Make sure you go for natural bristles e.g sable not syntetic bristles. I find GWs brushes are good, though a proper art supplier will likley do better. Most of my shading I do by blending, but I have a couple of old drybrushes for when I need to (mostly for some metallic effects or hair).

Probably the best brush survival tip is to use a palette and keep the paint mobile with a little solvent (e.g clean water for acrylics).

I find an empty blister packs work just fine for a palette - you can place it on a piece of white paper when colour matching and stuff. An old white ceramic tile or plate will work too. Transfer a bit of paint from the pot to the palette and water it down slightly. Dipping the brush straight into the pot is another method of destroying them as it is easy to get paint into the ferrule. So paint from the palette. It also makes mixing colours easier.

Make sure the paint is always mobile, this only slows its drying in the brush down, so wash the brush regulalry even when applying large areas of the same colour. Re-point the tip of the brush every time you wash it, probably a bit excessive, but it is just a habit I have formed.

Sometimes you will get a broken bristle, or one encrusted with paint. Just pluck it out of the brush.

Let the brushes dry naturally. Just remove most of the water, once they have been washed in clean water, by gently 'painting' across a clean rag/tissue/kitchen towel (if it is white, you will see how clean the brush is), point it and leave it to dry.
The best brushes are the Winsor&Newton series 7 Kolinsky sable line. These brushes are expensive but last a long time with some care. I have bought at Michaels a soap for cleaning brushes. I believe it is called Pink Soap. This cleans the brush and helps shape it after it has been used. Cleaning the brush is the most important thing to do. Hope this helps.