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Old 02-05-2011, 07:26 AM   #16
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Cleaning brush


First, from a regualtory, manufacturing and chemical point-of-view, there's no such thing as "FISH OIL". Second, whatever someone called 'FISH OIL" isn't in WD-40. That's just 'fishful thinking'...

Certain aliphatic solvents derived from petroleum are, on the other hand, well known for their water-displacing abilites. These products are unrefined enough so as to have only a few properties we look for - such as water-displacement - and are in general too crude to use in, say, finishing, inks or paints. "Varsol" fits into this category too.

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Old 02-05-2011, 12:07 PM   #17
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Really!
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:19 PM   #18
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Yup. So the OP's question becomes is it 'worthwhile cleaning a paint brush in WD-40', which is the same thing as saying 'is it worthwhile cleaning a brush in kerosene or mineral spirits'?

Well yes in that an aliphatic solvent will disssolve certain paint ingredients better than water would but may leave an oily residue behind. Now that residue is hard to dissolve and so is like putting a conditioner on your hair...some people like conditioned hair, some don't. But if it's a natural bristle paint brush, it won't do it any harm.

But if it's a nylon brush, you doing no good at all, and the bristles may just absorb the oily part of the solvent - making painting harder.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:35 PM   #19
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Cool, guess that's why I was a machinist and not a painter. My wife painted professionally, she'll tell you straight up, she's smarter than me.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:13 PM   #20
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Boy, this has been a long and winding thread. What have we learned from this trip down the rabbit hole?
  • WD-40 has a million uses. Not a one of them concerns paint brushes. A latex brush should never be exposed to oily products. Oils can cause latex paint to fish-eye, that's not a pun. Look it up. Sometimes, as with some Ben Moore and other modified alkyd latex resin finishes, paint thinner is called as a final rinse because of the alkyd resin. Thinner will not leave the oily residue that the lubricant WD-40 will. For oil brushes, mix a little linseed oil in thinner and rinse bristle brushes in that to rejuvenate the bristles.
  • That we're willing to waste money and time cleaning worthless brushes. The heel of a brush, inside the ferrule, acts as a resevoir that holds paint. Over time, especially with improper cleaning, the resevoir fills and hardens. Ever try filling a bucket of hardened cement with water, you don't get far. Once the resevoir is gone, the brush is worthless and will become a drippy mess. Why waste 10 bucks for a quart of alcohol or brush cleaner? Why waste time, when labor is your most costly expense. You'll spend 50 bucks in time and material to clean a 10-15$ brush, that will still only be the quality of a duster. Brush cleaner is a final rinse for oil brushes, especially when changing colors in oil, not for cleaning hardened brushes. Don't be sentimental or pennywise/pound foolish--throw it away.
  • To help keep brushes clean
  1. Rinse the brush in the appropriate reducer prior to use, thinner for oil, water for latex. This also help the finish flow better.
  2. Clean the brush every so often during use, especially with modern paints which gunk up brushes faster. In an eight hour day, I'll clean my brush 3-5 times. If your working with multiple brushes, wrap the unused brushes in plastic until needed.
  3. Wash the brush, then wash it again. Modern paints are more difficult to completely get out of the brush. After the water runs clear, keep rinsing for another minute or so. If the brush will be used the following day, leave it soaking wet-don't spin it out-, shape it and set it flat somewhere out of the way. Spin it the next day before use. This resolves to step 1.
  4. For oil brushes, if you use them often, rinse the bulk paint out, keep them wrapped and permanently sunk in thinner (with the linseed oil additive). If they never dry out, they'll never harden. I've never cleaned an oil brush completely in almost 25 years. There's a trick to wrapping them in newspaper, which I'll share with those interested, or just use the original wrapper.
  • There's no such thing as "fish oil"? I'm sure that would be a surprise to fish and the fish oil associations. As well as the paint and lubricant industries. And the margarine and pet food manufacturers. All use the particular fatty acids found in "fish oil". I believe that some adhesives use fish oil as well.
All from a simple question about cleaning a brush. HMMM!

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