How to Make Paint Brushes Last

A good, quality paintbrush that delivers a smooth finish is invaluable to furniture flippers, both hobbyists and professionals alike. Taking care of your brushes will save you tons of money and ensure a consistent paint quality for all your projects. The following tips will help you get a longer life out of your brushes (and they work for rollers, too):

Wet the brush before using…every time

This preventative step will save you tons of sweat and energy when it’s time to clean up. Wetting the brush before using helps prevent the brush, especially one made from natural bristles, from absorbing tons of paint. It’s the same idea behind wetting your hair before going swimming to prevent chlorine absorption. Another benefit, a pre-moistened brush makes for smoother application of the paint.

Wrap brush with plastic wrap during painting breaks

It never fails: you get right in the middle of a big painting project, and the phone rings, or someone drops by. To prevent your paint brush from drying out when you take a break or are called away from your project, wrap it in plastic wrap. (Alternatively, you can stick it in a zippy bag.)

Wash immediately or soak in fabric softener

Fabric softener is our secret weapon for quick cleanup of paint. It is simply amazing to place a paint-covered brush in a bucket of warm water mixed with fabric softener and see the results. No more dangerous gas fumes or caustic chemicals are necessary, because this virtually harmless household staple will even allow you to leave the brush soaking for a while. When you’re ready to rinse, the paint simply slides off.

Air dry and store in plastic wrap and a container

The most important factor in making paintbrushes last is storing them carefully. Wrap your paintbrush or roller in plastic wrap, and use a twist tie or rubber band to keep it tight around the handle. Store brushes and rollers in containers that will keep them dry and debris-free.

If you have any great paintbrush tips or cool hacks, please let us know in the comments!

(Be sure to give the fabric softener trick a try and let us know what you think!)

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