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daddy-o496

Cleaning brushes.

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I am not happy with the results of the brush cleaning method that I am now using and would like some advice on brush maintenance and care. By the way, I am using oil varnish. Thanx, Vic.

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I am not happy with the results of the brush cleaning method that I am now using and would like some advice on brush maintenance and care. By the way, I am using oil varnish. Thanx, Vic.

I'm having the same trouble...I bought a couple of nice synthetic brushes but they remain gummy after cleaning...I've tried turp, mineral spirits and two types of commercial brush cleaners...I'm using oil varnish...I was told that some solvents are too strong to use on syn brushes...

-Ernie

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I had read somewhere (probably here) that Michael Darnton used Goop hand cleaner. I might be wrong but Michaels' name is what comes to mind. Anyway, I started using this to clean my brushes and it works great for me. I slather a bunch of it on the bristles of the brush and really work it into the bristles and then put it in a jar with enough water to cover the bristles. After it sits for a few hours, I end up with soft bristles again. If the varnish has dried on the brush then this method doesn't seem to work to well though....at least not with the oil varnish that I'm using.

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I'm having the same trouble...I bought a couple of nice synthetic brushes but they remain gummy after cleaning...I've tried turp, mineral spirits and two types of commercial brush cleaners...I'm using oil varnish...I was told that some solvents are too strong to use on syn brushes...

-Ernie

If your using synthetic brushes ,caustic soda cleans paint /varnish off them very easily. Not for natural bristle though as it dissolves them.

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If your using synthetic brushes ,caustic soda cleans paint /varnish off them very easily. Not for natural bristle though as it dissolves them.

In what form do you buy it...will drain cleaner work?

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I had read somewhere (probably here) that Michael Darnton used Goop hand cleaner. I might be wrong but Michaels' name is what comes to mind. Anyway, I started using this to clean my brushes and it works great for me. I slather a bunch of it on the bristles of the brush and really work it into the bristles and then put it in a jar with enough water to cover the bristles. After it sits for a few hours, I end up with soft bristles again. If the varnish has dried on the brush then this method doesn't seem to work to well though....at least not with the oil varnish that I'm using.

Goop sounds safer to use than caustic soda...what's in it?...I have GoJo hand cleaner...but it is citris based...I also have some citric acid left over from a job...it was supplied by Rustoleum used to clean/degrease/etch concrete garage floors prior to painting...would that work?...it does'nt seem as strong as muratic acid...I'll try some Goop...what the hey.

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Hi All - in my brush tin I have a couple of favourite brushes - they are more than 30 years in service. They have been used to apply oil paint, yacht varnish, floor sealer, two pack polyurethane, zinc chromate primer (epoxy based)and still look newish. A little stiffer at the ferrule end but the bristles themselves are still soft and clean.

The cleaning method that I use is to pour some MEK into a can, just dip the brush into the MEK and then brush it out on a piece of wood. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat - until I have used up all the MEK.

Then I hold the brush with the bristles pointing upwards and squeeze some liquid soap into the brush (Sunlight Soap is the local kitchen liquid soap - always to hand) This I work deep into the bristles by pinching the tip of the bristles together and pushing slightly towards the handle in order to open the bristles towards the base. All the time moving the tip with a small circular motion. Every now and then reversing the direction.

Rinse and repeat two or three times. Final rinsing is with hot water. "Whip" the water from the bristles and balance the brush against a window with the bristles pointing upwards.

Fussy - but it saves the brush - not to mention that you have now cleaned all the paint from your hands too.

cheers edi

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I've used natural bristle brushes for 25 years. I don't make a big deal of cleaning. Just a jar of either turpentine or low odor mineral spirits. (With mineral spirits the varnish will lay on the bottom of the jar after you've used it several times. I have my wife save pickle jars. I poor the spirits off the top and keep using it and through the dirty jar away.) Swish around for a bit and use a small comb to get inside the bristles. Blot out assess on a paper towel. I use Dawn dish detergent and wash out well three or four times. Works great and brushes stay nice. Also brushes work even better once a small amount of varnish is dried up inside around the feral. It stiffens them up and makes the bristles shorter so they don't bend quite so much when laying on varnish. Brushes should last for years and years (I mean like 15 or more). This is how I do it.

Berl

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I admit I'm not too good at cleaning brushes, so when they get too stiff I simply apply paint stripper, let it set a little while and wash out with mineral spirits. After that, soap or hand cleaner and water if needed.

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In what form do you buy it...will drain cleaner work?

I have a great big container of the solid pure stuff, which i make into a ten % solution. I use this for cleaning varnish pans as well ,takes off varnish very easily .Drain cleaner will do the same job. Leaves brushes very soft (or as they were when new)and removes varnish right up to the ferrule. If you think about it it turns all the oil/resins in the varnish into soap ,which is the idea cleaner. They even sell linseed oil soap over here for use as a organic/ environmentally friendly brush cleaner.

You can simply dip the brush in a little vinegar to neutralise the caustic soda and then wash in clean water.

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I have found that the harsh cleaners do slightly damage synthetic brushes , I love da vinci brushes , quick washout in gum turps massage in some castor oil wrap head of brush in tin foil , then to reuse wash brush in meths to dissolve castor oil , flick dry and leave for a little while before using

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There is a product called Simple Green, it comes concentrated and will clean like nothing else will. It is sold in automotive stores and some grocery stores.

Try it!

About drain opener (sodium hydroxide), think about it. It is made to dissolve hair in your drains, so your natural bristle brushes... there will be nothing left to clean once the hairs are dissolved!

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About drain opener (sodium hydroxide), think about it. It is made to dissolve hair in your drains, so your natural bristle brushes... there will be nothing left to clean once the hairs are dissolved!

I did say not for use on natural bristle! :)

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1337898206[/url]' post='544194']

Or use disposable applicators.

Exactly, I use disposable foam brushes. They easily spread varnish, no runouts, no marks. And once used, simply dispose. I buy ten for 5€.

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I see, and then Ernie asked if drain cleaner would work so I wasn't sure if he got it.smile.gif

Don

The brushes i'm having trouble cleaning are synthetic...forgot about Simple Green...that is a great product and I'll have to try that...Thanks.

-Ernie

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I bought some very inexpensive synthetic brushes when I varnished my first violin. Very cheap but then I bought a natural hair brush (about £20 if I remember) and the difference was evident (althougth it loses the odd hair from time to time). then as Nicolas suggested I bought some make up foams for some of the last violins. this way of varnishing seems to me more efficient than a cheap synthetic brush because you can use them like a brush for fluid varnishes and as a padding device for thick ones, something you can't really do well with a cheap brush. And of course you don't clean them. And last, I even took the extra time to use only my fingers and palm for the last one. Even cheaper than foam and very easily clean with soap... :)

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(althougth it loses the odd hair from time to time).

A good way of not loosing bristles if you have some epoxy is this West Systems tip. Works great, must be careful to get the epoxy only at the the base. It handles well even the strongest solvents when cleaning.

to overcome the frustration of "hair loss" we use a trick that glues the base of the bristles together.

To make this process more efficient, we modify a dozen or more brushes at a time by sticking the handles into a cardboard box (above). We mix a small batch of epoxy, add acetone or lacquer thinner at about 10%–20% by volume and apply the diluted epoxy to the base of the bristles with an 807 syringe. This saturates the bristles and glues them together. The syringe can be inserted between the bristles, allowing the epoxy to be injected into the center of the banded bristles. The thinned epoxy wicks between the bristles better, and since this isn't a load-bearing project, we don't need to worry about compromising the strength of the epoxy by diluting it. After the epoxy has cured, we use the brushes confidently in applications where we can't afford to have stray bristles show up in our coatings.

248b.jpg

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Hi

I am usings oil varnish and clean the brushes with turpentine and then water with hand soap.

Allways clean in the same way: first the solvent and then water and soap (3 or 4 times soaping and rinsing)It works for spirit and other paints.

Regards

Tango

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