Those who know me well know I have been an obsessive painter over the past couple of years. As in walls. And other stuff. For years I went through a crazy number of paint brushes because I simply didn't know how to clean them the right way so they'd always get hard from leftover paint. I don't even want to think about the amount of money spent on brushes!
But along the way I picked up some tricks and I have been using the two brushes below for almost a year. These two brushes have trimmed out this entire house - as in EVERY wall - and are now getting me through the kitchen cabinets. The one on the right is slightly older and I haven't kept the handle as clean. Both are still good for detail work.
So here is my brush after painting today. I try to always keep it tucked in a plastic bag when I'm not using it to keep it from drying out much.
When done painting, I immediately run it under hot water. If you can't rinse right away, stick it in a cup of water.
I usually rinse with the tap until the water is running pretty clear.
Then I hit it with the sprayer for more pressure.
At this point, the brush is fairly clean but you can see bits of dried paint on it that needs to come off.
This is where my trick comes in. A dollar store scrub brush and dish soap.
I lay my brush flat in the sink and start brushing down the bristles with the scrub brush.
I work up a good lather.
Rinse well again.
I squeeze out the water with my hand and smooth the bristles flat for a sharp edge. Then I air dry my brushes standing up. The front one is the one I just washed and the one in the back is already dry.
And that my friends, is how to clean paint brushes so well that they last you many, many walls of painting!