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best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/paint

I was wondering if theres a proper step by step method to clean and store paint brushes after using them with oil based products. I dont have the budget to keep throwing and buying brushes over and over again.
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

I've had some success with letting the brush rest in a glass jar of paint brush cleaner/paint thinner type stuff for half hour or so then brushing it "dry" on scratchy cloth/shop towels to get crusty bits off. Then I can seal up the jar and use it again next time. Honestly, it doesn't work as well as I'd like, (even with fresh cleaner stuff every time,) but it mostly works - as long as you don't forget to drop your brushes in there/don't forget and leave your brushes in there too long/can find a wide enough mouthed jar.

I've switched to rag/tee-shirt application anywhere I can. That way I can just pitch the rag into a tin of water and move on. I think it gives a better finish than brushing or rolling, but it doesn't work with all stain products (growls at polyshades) nor does it work on some items (like "unfinished" wood light switches I did had some kind of wax penetration on them, couldn't sand it off so I had to brush on stupid polyshades with a disposable chip brush.)

I find sponges are alright with oil paints and some stains (not polyshades) but I think they're best for the wipe on - wipe off types; which at that point the ratty old tee-shirt is free and on hand...

Also, I've found spray on stains are better than brush, wipe, or sponge. They cost quite a bit more, but if you're not doing it for a living it's worth the cost IMO
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

I use gas to clean oil base brushes, with a final rinse or two with mineral spirits. Much cheaper that way.

If you do it a lot, you can keep your dirty thinner. The solids sink, and you can pour off cleanish thinner from the top as your first rinse, using clean thinner for a final rinse.

And yes, for interior staining, just wiping the stain on with a rag is the best way to the go, when possible.
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

Great advice given above. In the old days, we would drill holes through the brush (wooden part) and run a stiff wire through the hole and then suspend the brush (in a metal can) in paint thinner which (through gravity) allowed the paint to drop to the bottom of the can. Now you can buy those magnetic brush holders which allow you to do the same thing.

A good spin, maybe 2, then wrap your brush in thin cardboard (brush keeper) and it's usually good.
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

I use powder Tide for the first two or three rinses, then finish off with mineral spirits. The Tide works pretty well actually, and I always have that box of Tide, while always seem to be low on mineral spirits.
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

I use powder Tide for the first two or three rinses, then finish off with mineral spirits. The Tide works pretty well actually, and I always have that box of Tide, while always seem to be low on mineral spirits.
Thats a new one. What do you mix the tide with?
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

I mix the tide with water. Its not as good a solvent as mineral spirits, but I get most of the paint out with the Tide.
 

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Re: best ways to clean & take care of brushes after used w/ oil based stains/polys/pa

If you are using a natural bristle brush [recommend for oil base coatings] you do not want to use water as it will swell the bristles and destroy the brush for painting purposes.
 
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