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How to Take Tender Loving care of Artists’ Brushes

Provided by Silver Brush


Your fine artists’ brushes can last for many years. Attention to care and cleanliness will extend the life of your fine Silver Brushes. Quality, natural hair brushes can easily be maintained in their original state, exclusive of normal wear. Follow the same general instructions for synthetic hair. Read the information about synthetic hair carefully. You should be able to enjoy these brushes for a very long period of time. All brushes will wear over time from abrasive surfaces and media. The finest quality brushes last the longest because the hair, ferrule, epoxy and handle are made from quality materials and manufactured by experts.



  1. No brush should be allowed to rest on its tip for any length of time.
  2. Wipe the brush clean of paint with a paper towel before cleaning with the appropriate solvent. After each use, rinse thoroughly in the appropriate solvent as soon as possible.
  3. When the work session is finished, wash and reshape brushes with soap (not detergent) or a commercial artists’ brush cleaner, using cool or lukewarm water. Thoroughly lather the brush. With your fingers or a toothbrush, work the lather into the brush from the joint of the ferrule and hair to the tip of the brush to remove all paint.
  4. Rinse the brush in cool or lukewarm water and repeat the process gently and as often as necessary to remove any residual color or resin.


Synthetics and Synthetic Blends

  1. Today there are many different types of synthetic filament that brush makers use in professional brushes. Taklon, Risslon and Interlon from the polyester family of resins are excellent alternatives to traditional animal hair brushes. If using one of these brushes in an acrylic or water based paint, the cleaning is made easy with liquid soap and water. Pay attention to the inside of the ferrule. Acrylics dry hard inside and make the brush less flexible the next time you use it.
  2. When using synthetic brushes in oil based paints, DON’T use hardware store turpentine or solvents to clean these brushes. Some very strong solvents can damage synthetics or blends. Hardware store turpentine often leaves gummy residues. Use high quality artists’ pure gum spirits of turpentine or a quality artists’ odorless turpentine substitute for cleanup.
  3. New water soluble oil colors is best used with a synthetic filament brush. We have two perfect series for this medium, Ruby Satin™ and Bristlon™. Warning; if the medium contains the words: Linseed Oil or Damar Varnish DO NOT CLEAN UP WITH WATER. This means it is a solvent based product and should be cleaned with a solvent based clean up product.


Drying and Resting

  1. When working, lay brush on the ferrule against a brush rest, not standing on its head in a container.
  2. Allow brushes to dry lying flat, or if possible, suspended head down, allowing any moisture to flow out.of Artists’ Brushes
  3. Drying brushes with the tip of the handle down, (and the head in the air) in a “bucket,” will eventually destroy the epoxy barrier within the ferrule. Brushes should be left to dry FLAT.



Preservation and Storage

Never store brushes on their bristles or hair.

  1. Make sure your brushes are perfectly dry before storing. If the brush is soft natural hair, store with a moth deterrent.
  2. Always store brushes in a dry environment. Above all, to avoid spending mountains of money on brushes, care for them properly. Brushes are your allies in your work.
  3. A brush case should be breathable and allow air to flow over the brush heads. Never store brushes in a container where moisture cannot escape. Plastic is a poor storage container. Canvas and wood are two of the best storage casings. When treated with respect fine quality artists’ brushes will respond with many years of devoted service.


Brush Series from Silver Brush Limited

When shopping for brushes Silver Brush has what you need. Choose from the following series: Grand Prix, Silverstone, LeMans, Faye, Silverwhite, Bristlon,Ultra Mini®, Alpine White, Edgewater Wash, Golden Natural, Ruby Satin, Black Velvet, Premier, Renaissance, Silver Kolinsky, Silver Stencil, Silver Mop, Sterling Studio, Crystal. Silver Brush Limited has over 1400 different artists’ brushes to choose from. We have brushes for every artist. Call, write or fax for more information.

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