If you want to get a good paint job, well, you’ve got to use a good brush. And if you’re going to spend a fair amount of money on a brush like this, you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible, and the key to that is making sure you clean it well after every use. Begin by dragging the brush across the edge of the container. This will squeeze out most of the excess paint in the bristles. Next, wipe the brush on several sheets of old newspaper to work out any paint that remains. Now from here on, these instructions apply to only water based paints. Pour a half cup of fabric softener into two gallons of warm water. Let the brush soak in the softener for several minutes until the paint coagulates and begins separating from the bristles. A plastic scrubbing pad like this does a good job of removing paint from the ferrel and handle. Use a brush comb and dislodge any paint from the base of the bristles. When the brush is thoroughly dry, clean it with a cloth or paper towel. There’s no need to rinse. Now, the next time you’re ready to paint, your brush will be clean and supple.

To store the brush, lay it on the top of a glossy magazine page, fold the paper around the brush and tape it closed. Now if you’re doing a really large paint job, it’s a good idea to stop every couple of hours and clean your brush. Then of course clean it thoroughly at the end. And use this method I just showed you here and the next time you go to pick out that paint brush you’ll find that it’s as good as new.

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