How to Clean Paintbrushes Like a Pro | Ask This Old House

28May 2018

Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique demonstrates the most effective way to clean a paintbrush
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Time: 5 minutes

Cost: $10

Skill Level: Beginner

Shopping List:
Scour pad

1. Don’t over dip the paintbrush while in use. Dip the brush into the paint only about two fingers wide.
2. Begin cleaning a paintbrush immediately after use.
3. Hold the brush bristles-side-down and run it through a sink with warm water.
4. If there is still paint residue, add a little bit of soap and continue to run the brush through your fingers.
5. If there is still paint residue after that, use a scour pad and gently brush it off the bristles. Be as gently as possible to be sure the bristles aren’t damaged.
6. 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.
7. Once the brush is dry, put it back in its cover. Most paintbrushes come in a cardboard cover that can be used.

Mauro suggests that the best way to clean a paintbrush is to be as gentle as possible. He recommends using warm water, a little bit of soap, and fingers to try to clean the paintbrush off.

If that does not work, a scrub pad can be used to gently brush off residue. Mauro used Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scouring Pads, manufactured by 3M ( These can be found at home centers, department stores, and grocery stores.

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How to Clean Paintbrushes Like a Pro | Ask This Old House

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