How to Clean Paint Brushes Like a Pro

Good paint brushes are worth the money, whether you’re painting with latex, oil or shellac. Here are 7 tips on how the pros clean their paint brushes with water based paints. 

 Don’t over-dip the paint brush while in use. Dip the brush into the paint only about two fingers wide. Begin cleaning a paint brush immediately after use.

Scrape off excess paint. Be sure the brush is as free of paint as possible. Use the rim of a can and then work some of the paint onto newspaper before cleaning in soapy water.


Hold the brush bristles-side-down and run it through a sink with warm water.

If there is still paint residue, add a little bit of soap and continue to run the brush through your fingers.

If there is still paint residue after that, use a scour pad and gently brush it off the bristles. Be as gentle as possible to be sure the bristles aren’t damaged.

To dry, dap the brush on a rag and spin the brush in your hands in the sink to spin any remaining water droplets off the brush.


Once the brush is dry, put it back in its cover. Most paint brushes come in a cardboard cover that can be reused.


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