Monthly Archives: June 2017

How To Clean Your Paint Brushes

When most people decide to do a major painting job, they spend quite a bit on painting tools. Good paint brushes are an expensive, but worthwhile expense, especially since they can be reused over and over again if they are cared for properly. Cleaning paint brushes is a fairly simple job if it is done right away.

If you are painting with water based paint, cleaning brushes is easy, even if you’ve let them sit awhile. Of course, it is easier if you clean them right away. First, remove excess paint that is still on the brush by wiping it on a rag. Then, run cool or slightly warm water over the brush until the water dripping from the brush is clear. Gently press the brush bristles against the side of the sink or other hard surface to remove excess water. Allow the brush to dry.

Latex paint can also be cleaned with water, as long as you don’t put off the job until the paint has dried. Put a bit of soap in a bucket of water and clean the brush in the bucket. (Please avoid washing the paint down your sink if you have a septic system. The chemicals in the paint can really do some damage to your system and could get absorbed into groundwater, contaminating your well.)

If you have waited until the paint dried to clean your brushes, you will need to use a special solvent that was formulated to remove latex paint. A painter mentioned recently that he uses rubbing alcohol to clean up dried latex paint. I have yet to try it on my brushes, though.

Oil based paint simply will not wash out with water. It is basic science – oil and water don’t mix and the oil just repels the water. You will have to use a chemical based product, such as paint thinner, to clean your brushes. Make sure you wear protective gloves and have plenty of ventilation before you start.

You will need a metal container, such as an old coffee can, the paint thinner or other solvent and a rag. Put a few inches of paint thinner in the coffee can, dip the brush in and move it around a bit to make sure the thinner removes the paint. Make sure you get rid of any solvent on the brush before you pull it out of the container. Wiping the brush on the edge of the can is a good way to do this. When the brush seems clean, wipe it on the rag to get rid of any left over solvent residue. Keep in mind that the paint thinner is toxic and flammable, so you can’t just toss the used thinner in the trash or pour it down the drain. Check your area’s waste disposal guidelines to find out how to get rid of the leftover thinner.

To be sure your paint brushes are ready for the next big painting job, you should take the time to store them properly after they are cleaned. Years of sitting with their bristles pressed against a surface can make brushes uneven. Instead, hang your brushes so that the bristles aren’t pressing up against anything or store them on their sides on a flat surface.

6 Facts About Oil Paint

1. The earliest known paintings that were done in oils date back to the 7th century BC. These paintings were Buddhist murals that were discovered in caves in Western Afghanistan. Oil paint didn’t become widespread for use in art works until the 15th century, when it became popular throughout Europe. Jan van Eyck, a 15th century Flemish painter, is widely believed to have invented it, though in reality he did not invent it, instead he developed it.

2. Oil paint is credited with revolutionising art. One of its key properties is that it’s very slow to dry. It gave artists a lot more time to work on their paintings and it allowed them to correct any mistakes they might have made. Oil paints allowed for artists’ creativity to flourish more because artists could devote more time to each painting. Many of the most widely praised paintings were done in oils.

3. For a few centuries artists had to store their oil paints in animal bladders. This was because the paint tube wasn’t invented until 1841. It was invented by John Goffe Rand, an American painter. Before the tube was invented, artists would have to mix their paints themselves before painting. They would have to grind the pigment up themselves, then carefully mix in the binder and thinner.

4. The most basic type of oil paint is made up of ground-up pigment, a binder and a thinner, which is usually turpentine. For the binder there are lots of different substances that can be used, including linseed oil, walnut oil and poppy seed oil; each of these gives the paint different effects and has different drying times.

5. There are modern versions of oil paint that can dry a lot more quickly than the standard version. The way that it dries is not by evaporation, but by oxidation, the process where substances gain oxygen. It is generally accepted that the typical painting done in oils will be dry to touch after about two weeks, though it can take six months to a year before the painting’s actually dry enough to be varnished.

6. Oil paint is very durable and tough, so it’s used as a finish and protector. It can be used on wood and metal and in both cases, it can be used internally as well as externally. It’s often applied to wood during building construction and can be found on metallic surfaces on things like planes, bridges and ships.

The Best Paint Brushes for Oil Paints

Oil paint brushes are available online as well as in different art materials shops. One can see a variety of brushes advertised which are of different types of hair as well as different sizes. How do we go about selecting the best brushes for oil paints?

First the purpose of painting and the area to be painted must be clearly defined. Smaller areas require small sized brushes whereas if you are going to paint walls then larger brushes are required to cover the space quickly. During painting artworks the quality of brushes is very important to get good results in the paintings. Brushes available in the market are of different types. Natural hair, sable hair and synthetic fibres are the most commonly available ones. Oil paints require tough bristle brushes and if very soft brushes are used then the bristles start falling with one use. Nowadays different synthetic brushes are available and one can choose the right brush for this type of painting. Good quality brushes though costlier than their cheap counterparts will go on for a long time and cheaper brushes are only fit for one use. For wall painting there are different sizes available and one must choose the correct size to make painting comfortable. Too small a brush and it will take a long time to paint and also the finish will not be proper if you have to cover a large area. Too big size the brush selected and the more paint will be wasted by dripping and also will give bad results in smaller areas for painting.

One must assess the requirement for the use of brushes for oil painting before buying the appropriate brushes. Selecting good quality brushes helps in the long run by giving good durability and results in paintings. The art material shops have a variety of brushes and one can choose according to our needs. If there is confusion regarding the materials used for brushes or selection of brushes for oil paints the art dealer and shop owner is the best person who can guide you for proper selection of brushes for oil painting.

Paint, Paint, Paint – Oil Painting At Home

You are never to young or old to start painting if you have the desire. I was gifted with creative and artistic abilities in many forms of Art, not just oil painting or watercolor painting. If you want to paint and have patience while learning the techniques and learn what your painting instruments can do for you, then you will turn out paintings that you will be proud of and want to share with others. Whether it is in the basement, garage, outside on the patio, find a place to set up to paint and let your imagination go. This article is just about the basics of what you will need if you are just starting out to paint. If there is enough interest then there will be other articles about painting, not only with oil paints but also in watercolor paint. I love them both the same. Totally different supplies and techniques.

Lets start by getting together what you will need before you start to paint:

You will need something to paint on: a cloth Canvas, and they come in a variety of sizes. I would suggest starting with a smaller but comfortable size (16×20) that isn’t too small and isn’t too large. You can also buy them in bulk, already primed, or you can also stretch your own canvas if you want.

Next you will need a easel to paint on: Easel’s come in different forms: tabletop, standing, aluminum, wood….if you are truly interested in taking up painting as a hobby I would suggest paying good money for a sturdy one that fits your needs when you paint. Don’t buy a tabletop if you plan on doing larger paintings. Standing easels are a good so that you can stand back and look at the painting, it will also be about the same angle and height as it would when hung on the wall.

Paint Brushes: choosing the correct Paint Brush is very important and can make a significant difference in the quality of your finished work. Make sure you buy paint brushes for oil paints. The length of the brush should be longer due to most oil painters stand up when they are painting. If you are going to do a lot of small detail it is best to buy a sable hair brush and it doesn’t show the brush strokes as bad. You will want to also buy Artist Grade paint brushes and not the cheap hog-hair brushes. Your results will show the quality of brush you used. There are many types of brushes; filbert, round, fan, liner, 1″, 2″….etc. You will also want to make sure you take care of your brushes when cleaning and storing them. Use a odorless thinner, you can also buy conditioner for your brushes. Store them flat or at least in a place that will keep the bristles from becoming distorted.

Paint (Oils): Oil Paints come in a variety of manufacturer’s. I use Bob Ross paints and supplies. I find his paint is creamy and easy to work with. I suggest getting one of his Beginner or Master kits for starting out. Paint is very expensive and as you learn you will find that you will not use quite as much paint as you did in the beginning. It really takes very little. These kits will also give you the basic colors you will need because there a lot of color pigments out there to choose from. Buy the paint according to what you want to paint. You will not want to buy floral paint if you are going to paint landscape.

Odorless Thinner for paint: Odorless Thinner if you have painted before you know the smell of turpentine or solvents. This will do the job well and has a low smell.

Pallet Knives to paint with: Pallet Knives these are a must especially when you go to apply snow or shading on your mountains or cutting in water lines. There are different sizes and shapes so buy according to what you will be painting.

Pallet: there are different types of pallets to hold your paint. There are disposable sheets that you just throw away when your done with the painting or there are plastic and wooded ones. I usually put too much paint on my pallet and I just put some plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the paints and throw in the freezer. The paints will set up and become hard to work with if you leave them out.

Liquid Mediums & Gesso for painting: Mediums & Gesso these items will really help you in your painting. The liquid mediums help the paint to go on easier and help in blending. Use the Liquid white to prep your canvas and you will be amazed, use very little, it can also be used to thin down your titanium white paint when you go to put in water or snow on your mountains or mix a little with paint for highlighting, say trees. It helps the paint stick. Liquid clear is great for black or grey canvases, it does the same thing except there is no color. The Gesso’s (water-based) are use to prime the canvas. DO NOT use your good brushes to prime your canvas. I use those cheap sponge brushes and just discard when finished. Then let the canvas completely dry before working with it. This usually comes in white, black and grey.

Misc. Items to use when to paint: You willl need plenty of papertowels, a paint brush cleaning can with a screen in the bottom of it, drop cloth if you don’t want to get paint and thinner all over everything, and clothes you don’t care about. To get ideas and learn other’s techniques on oil painting , you can watch programs on TV (usually OPB in Oregon), the internet ( YouTube), purchase painting videos, or take a beginner’s class at the local college or art supply store.

Well I hope this helps in pursuit of a enjoyable, fun, and relaxing experience for you as you create works of Art in your new found love of painting with oils. Happy Painting.

Explaining Types Of Paint Brushes And Rollers


There are two general types of paint brushes – natural hair bristles and synthetic bristles such as nylon or polyester.

When applying any type of latex base coatings, use synthetic bristles. Synthetic brushes will hold their shape and proper stiffness. Top Quality polyester brushes may be more expensive, but are well worth the cost. Properly cleaned and stored, they can be successfully re-used over and over again.

To clean your synthetic brushes after using latex paint, wash with soap and warm water, rinse well and allow to dry thoroughly before storing.

For alkyd or oil based paints you can use either natural bristles or synthetic bristle brushes. Good quality natural bristle brushes will give you the best results when painting with enamels or any oil or alkyd top coat.

After use with oil based paints, you will have to use paint thinners or Turpentine to clean your brush. There are also commercial paint brush cleaners available.

When selecting any paint brush, try this simple test before purchasing. Pull on the bristles, if more than 2 or 3 bristles can be pulled out of the brush, it is probably not made from good construction. Remember a good brush will make your job easier.

No matter what type of painting you are doing you will want to match the size and shape of the brush to the job.

For large exterior surfaces, use a 4″ wide flat brush with a 3/4″ to 1″ thickness.

For Interior walls and ceilings, use a brush between 3″ and 4″ wide.

To cut in at corners on either interior or exterior walls, use a 2″ wide brush with tapered edges.

Exterior and interior wood work and mouldings are most easily painted using brushes between 1″ and 2.5″ wide.

1″ and 2.5″ wide angle sash brushes will make painting interior and exterior window frames much easier.
For Painting large surfaces quickly and easily, you can’t beat a roller – but don’t buy just any roller. It is important to match the roller to the job at hand.


Rollers are generally purchased as part of a set – the other part being a sloping metal or plastic tray to hold the paint. The roller cover, which is replaceable, may be of any variety of materials, suited for different purposes.

Lambs wool covers are fine for use with oil based paints, but they should not be used with latex water based paints. Water causes the wool to mat, and tufts can pull off the roller, making it less than useless. Mohair covers can be used with any type of paint, and give a smooth finish to walls and ceilings. Synthetic fibres – nylon, rayon, polyester, dacron, orlon – are also used for roller covers, and will work with all types of paint. Where a stipple finish is desired, slit foam rollers will do the job.

Roller cover nap length range from 1/16 inch to 1 1/2 inches, and this too must be considered when matching the roller to the job. Generally speaking, the smoother the surface to be covered, the shorter the nap required. Short nap covers are best for applying paint to plaster, wallboard and smooth ceilings. For rougher surfaces such a textured paneling, a medium nap is preferred. Long nap covers are used for cinder block, stucco, brick and similar surfaces. Foam slit rollers are what I recommend for textured ceilings.

The type of paint used is also a factor in nap selection. Short nap covers should always be used with semi-gloss or gloss paints – they will produce the smooth, shiny finish desired with these paints. Longer naps can be used with flat, eggshell, satin finishes since these will not show the fine lint specks that may be left on the surface by the roller.

For the large area of wall and ceiling, choose a roller either 7 or 9 inches wide. Many rollers have handles that can be fitted with extensions, making it possible to paint ceilings without a ladder. This is also a back saver when painting or refinishing a floor.

Smaller size rollers are also available. A 3 inch model is about right for cutting in at the ceiling and window frames, and for doing woodwork and trim. Corner rollers are designed to paint both sides of an inside and outside corner at the same time, you can paint round spindles as well.

As with anything else, you get what you pay for and the results are likely to show it. The best roller and quality covers are not that much more expensive than the bottom-of-the-line version, and will probably spare you a lot of aggravation.

It’s Just That Easy!