Top 13 Tricks For Storing Paint Brushes

By Nicole Tinkham


A great painting starts with a great brush (and paint, and canvas..). The point is, quality supplies make all the difference in your artwork. We aren’t saying to buy ALL high end supplies when first starting off though. It takes time to build up your collection. But what we do recommend starting with is a really good brush, or a couple of them. Once you fall in love with your ideal brush, you would want to go the extra mile to keep it perfect, right? Cleaning and storing your brushes is a huge deal when it comes to making them last longer. Storing paint brushes is simple but there are certain things that must be done a certain way! Read on for our top 13 tricks for storing your paint brushes, making them last much longer.

1.    Never store brushes bristle down in water or solvent.

2.    Once clean, store brushes vertically with the bristle up or horizontally.

3.    Fill a glass jar with marbles and store brushes handle down in the jar.

4.    Allow brushes to dry on a towel, preferably propped up on one side with the bristles facing down.

5.    Use carriers to transport brushes to and from a workshop but open it up to release the moisture from the bristles.

6.    Don’t stress if your brush gets “bed head” from being stored in a wonky position. You can always reshape the bristles with some warm water and a gentle massage.

7.    After cleaning brushes and removing the excess water, reshape the bristles with your fingers before allowing to completely dry.

8.    Hog brushes for oil paint should be stored (once completely dry) in an airtight container to prevent moth damage.

9.    Bin holders! There are a ton of different types, sizes, and styles to choose from that are made specifically for storing brushes. Some are plastic containers and you can also find roll up brush holders. These are great for storing a bunch of brushes and for transportation.

10.    For transportation, you can use food storage bags and containers.

11.    DO NOT store your brushes with paint still left on them. Rinse and clean well with warm water (not hot).

12.    Once a brush is rinsed, shake out the water versus squeezing it out.

13.    Never store a damp brush in an airtight container.

If you take the time and effort to pick out the perfect brush, you need to take the time to properly care for it so it lasts many years to come! We know experienced artists who still have brushes from when they first started. Anyway, if you take care of your brushes, they will take care of you. Be sure to clean and store them properly using the top 13 tricks mentioned in this blog and your favorite brushes could last your entire art career.

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