pinterest G-6EBBFD7WT4

Cleaning Acrylic Paint Brushes – The A to Z Guide

cleaning acrylic paint brushes

In this article, we’ll show you how to clean acrylic paint brushes like a pro, so they will always be ready for use. So keep on reading.

Acrylic paint is one of the most common types of paint used by amateur and beginner artists because acrylic paint dry fast and allows artists to make adjustments when they need to. However, ignoring to clean your brushes after every use means that they won’t be ready for your next painting session.

You don’t want to postpone cleaning your paintbrush after you’re done drawing and painting because the bristles become too dry, so you won’t be able to use them. Leaving the paint for too long will eventually make the bristles break or fray, so you will have to buy a new set of brushes.

Don’t worry because we’re here to save your brush collection.

Cleaning Acrylic Paint Brushes – The Ultimate Guide

One of the perks of using acrylic paint can become a disadvantage if you don’t know how to take care of your paintbrushes. Since acrylic paint dries fast, it allows you to finish art projects faster.

However, if you slack when it comes to cleaning your brushes, they harden too fast, and it becomes impossible to use them unless you can get rid of the dried paint. Here are some of the best tips for cleaning acrylic paint brushes without damaging them.

1. Remove Excess Paint First

Whether you’ve loaded your paintbrush with paint or need to clean it at the end of a painting session, you shouldn’t think about cleaning the brush using water and soap before wiping the excess paint.

Remember that acrylic paint is made of chemicals, and washing the brush with lots of paint on the bristles means that all this paint will end up down the drain, where it travels across pipes and eventually affects the ecosystem.

It’s better to use a rag, piece of cloth, or paper towel to wipe the excess paint. This way, you will only have a small amount left on the bristles, so you will be able to wash it off easily.

Always use a paper towel or a rag to clean the bristles gently before washing them, as this will make the cleaning process easier. You shouldn’t pull the bristles too hard or try to wipe the bristles if the paint has dried, as you might bend or break the bristles.

2. Don’t Let the Paint Dry

This is probably the easiest possible way to avoid the hassle of cleaning brushes. Always act fast when you’re using acrylic paint, and keep the brushes moist.

While you’re switching between colors, keep the brushes in a glass of clean water to prevent the paint from drying. The paint is washable using water and soap when it hasn’t hardened yet. After it has hardened, you might have to use other methods to get rid of the dried particles.

After that, wipe the brush on a paper towel and dip it in the new paint. You can also rinse it and let it lay flat until it’s completely dry if you’re done painting for the day.

Make sure that there’s no paint near the ferrule, as these dry particles will make the bristles lose their shape, and the brush will become difficult to use. Cleaning your acrylic paint brushes thoroughly will extend their life and keep them in a usable condition.

3. Avoid Using Too Much Water

ORIGIN, 100% Natural Spring Water, 900 mL, Recycled Plastic Bottle, 30.4 Fl Oz (Pack of 12)
  • 12 PACK OF 100% NATURAL SPRING WATER: 900mL bottles for easy, natural hydration — ergonomically designed to fit the car or gym bag
  • PERFECTLY BALANCED WITH NATURALLY OCCURRING ELECTROLYTES: For a crisp, refreshing taste that elevates any occasion
  • REFRESHINGLY AMERICAN NATURAL SPRING WATER: Sourced, bottled, and delivered in the United States

While using water is the best way to get rid of acrylic paint, using too much water can actually damage your paintbrushes. Soaking your brushes in water for too long damages the ferrule as it starts to rust.

The water can also damage the handle, so you won’t be able to use your paintbrush. You should also avoid laying the brushes in a vertical position, as this will eventually damage the bristles.

4. Wash Your Brushes Using Soapy Water

Ledgebay Miniature Paint Brushes Fine Tip Brush Set for Micro Detail | Hand Crafted Perfectly Balanced & Weighted Wood Handles, Taklon Bristles for Painting Model, Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor (12, Wood)
  • FINE TIP MINIATURE PAINT BRUSH SET includes all your pointed liners, rounds, flats, and spot brushes. Perfect oil paint brush set for detailed...
  • PERFECTLY WEIGHTED AND BALANCED ergonomic design provides absolute control, comfort, and precision. Well balanced, steady control with precision...
  • BEAUTIFUL HANDCRAFTED BIRCHWOOD with 7 layers of protective lacquer coat for a professional look. Triangular handle provides the perfect...

This is probably the best and easiest way to remove paint before it dries too fast. After removing most of the paint using a paper towel or rag, you can use soap to remove the residue.

Add some mild dish soap to a glass container and fill it with water, then dip your paintbrush into the mixture and swirl it until the water has changed color. You can also use hand soap or a laundry soap bar and rub the brush on your palm in circles. This friction will help break the paint particles.

Use your fingers to rub the bristles gently, making sure that all the residue has come off. After that, use clean water to rinse the bristles and wash the brush thoroughly. Use a clean rag or paper towel to absorb the excess water, but don’t bend the bristles too much. Keep the brush flat and leave it to dry before storage.

While using soap, you need to make sure that you’re using a mild type. Harsh detergents will get rid of the paint but will also dry the bristles and prevent you from using your paintbrush the way you want. Dry bristles can leave streak marks on your canvas or might accidentally break.

You should also avoid adding too much soap. It won’t get rid of the paint faster and will eventually dry out the bristles.

There are special kinds of soap that are meant to remove acrylic paint from brushes. These are specifically designed to keep your brush bristles in the best condition. While most amateur artists don’t really think about buying them, they’re essential if you’ve just bought a set of expensive brushes that you want to keep for a long time.

5. Use Acrylic Paint Brush Cleaner

For stubborn dried-up paint, you can always get a brush cleaner for acrylic paint. These products make cleaning acrylic paint off brushes incredibly fast and easy, making it easy to rinse away. In addition, they can also help to condition the brush bristles, keeping them soft and supple.

As a result, using acrylic brush cleaners is the best way to ensure that your brushes stay in good shape – no matter how much acrylic paint you use.

6. Condition Your Brushes Regularly

Pink Soap 12-Ounce Paint Brush Cleaner and Conditioner, Solution Cleans and Restores, Removes Dried Paint on Airbrushes and Other Artist Tools & Supplies
  • CLEANS & RESTORES - Paint brush cleaning solution effectivly rinses all artist paint types including acrylic, watercolor, latex, gouache, and...
  • KEEP BRUSHES PLIABLE - Pink Soap is specially formulated to keep brushes soft and pliable - no more stiff brushes with dried on paint
  • GENTLE ON BRUSHES - Strong enough to wash out but gentle enough not to damage delicate bristles

A brush conditioner is an excellent solution to keep your brushes in the best state. It keeps the bristles soft, so you can always paint whenever you want.

Although you can always use a regular hair conditioner to soften the brush bristles, a brush conditioner will always be better. This conditioner will reserve the condition of the brush and even restore the condition of an old one.

7. Store Your Brushes Properly

JTDEAL Paint Brush Holder, 22 Slots Paint Brush Storage for Acrylic Oil Watercolor Gouache Artist Paint Brush Roll Canvas Pouch, Silver white Holds 100 brushes
  • Better protection for your brushes. If you used to keep all of your paint brushes in an old can. That isn't exactly the best for the brushes....
  • Simply roll up, and tie closed. A great way to store travel brushes, it rolls up neatly, folds to be compact enough to fit into your purse or...
  • Capacity: There are 20+2 individual spots two layers for brushes of all shapes and sizes. Each slot has space for 2 brushes. One slot is quite a...

The proper storage of your paintbrushes is just as important as cleaning model paint brushes after every use. You should never store brushes while they’re wet because this can damage the bristles.

The best way to store paintbrushes is to keep them flat or to store them with the bristles pointing up to avoid bending and breaking them. Make sure that the brushes are completely dry, then rub them in a piece of clean cloth or a towel before storing them away. Keep them in a cold dry place until you’re ready to use them one more time.

You might also consider buying a brush case. This will keep your brushes in great condition and is also useful when you’re traveling, so you won’t lose any.

Cleaning Acrylic Paint Brushes – Wrap Up

So, there a complete guide on how to clean acrylic brushes. Hopefully, with these tips, you’d always have clean acrylic paint brushes ready for use.

A good set of acrylic paintbrushes is an artist’s best investment, so you need to be careful about cleaning and storing your brushes. There are some things that you need to do after every painting session and some cleaning tips that you can do before putting your acrylic brushes away.

Just make sure that you use the right products and store your brushes properly, and they will probably last for a very long time. As an expert in cleaning paintbrushes, you can always contact us if you have any questions about painting products.

To shop our complete selection of high-quality paint by numbers kits, CLICK HERE!

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top