Unlike synthetic brushes, natural and chisel-tipped bristle brushes are more delicate, thus these require special attention when it comes to cleaning. If you use any of these brushes for painting chalk, you cannot use harsh cleaners and bleach for cleaning. Otherwise, the bristles will get damaged, and you will have to buy a new brush.
If you plan to purchase synthetic brushes every time when you paint chalk just because you don’t know how to clean chalk paint brush, you don’t need to worry regarding the matter.
Thankfully, there are natural and home ways to clean the brush. By the time you read the entire article, you will know all the methods of cleaning your brush.
How to Clean Chalk Paint Brush – Guide for Beginners to Advanced
As chalk paint has a water-based formula that doesn’t require denatured alcohol and mineral spirits for cleaning. Rinsing your brush with warm water and rubbing soap suds will do the trick for most cases.
But the reality is, this simple and straightforward method doesn’t work all the time, even though water-based paints can be completely cleaned using water. You will have to go through a few steps to make the paint easily cleanable with warm water.
Using Fabric Softener
Yeah, it’s one of the most effective ways to clean your brushes whether you believe it or not. All you need is to –
- Make a mixture ½ cup of fabric softener and 3 cups of water
- Soak the brush overnight
- Use a steel spoon or your hands to peel off the paint from the brush while rinsing it with warm water
- Use some soap suds if the paint is old or it’s not peeling off easily
Compared to synthetic brushes, this method works well on natural bristle brushes. For synthetic ones, you will have to spend more time peeling the paint of the bristles.
Using Natural Solutions
Vinegar and water do wonder when it comes to cleaning chalk paint from brushes.
Soak the brush in white vinegar for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse it using warm water.
Use a painter’s comb to brush the bristles to get rid of the stuck paint inside the brush.
Preventing the Paint Brush from Drying Out
A lot of times the project you are working on can take a couple of days to finish. So, if you try to clean the brush each day, it will take an overwhelming period of time and effort from your end. The trick here is not to let the brushes dry out completely until the project finishes.
You can use a ziploc bag to solve the issue. After every painting session, store the brush in an air tight seal ziploc bag. To make the trick more effective, you can wrap the ziploc bag around the bristle with a tape. It will keep it tight, and hold more moisture.
It will keep the brush moist and ready to paint for the next day without doing much.
Removing Unwanted Smell from the Paint Brush
Now, if you follow the method of keeping the brush moist for the next day, keep in mind that the brush will smell a bit annoying. The more you will keep it in the ziploc bag, the more unpleasantly it will smell.
But, good news is, you can prevent the brush from smelling as well.
Be sure to keep the ziploc bag inside your fridge. It will keep the brush fresh, and prevent unpleasant smelling.
You can keep it for a week or more, and re-use it without any unwanted smell. It will be well-moist, and ready to paint.
Cleaning Wax off Your Chalk Paint Brush
If you use the same paint brush for wax colors, every time you use wax, you will have to clean the brush as well.
Cleaning is quite simple for wax paint brushes. All you will have to do is to run the brush under warm water, and the water will melt the wax off the brush slowly.
It’s recommended that you keep a separate brush for wax colors so that you can ziploc the brush in the fridge, and use it for the next project without cleaning it multiple times.
Using Mineral Spirits for Wax Brushes
If you are facing tough times cleaning the wax from brushes, it’s time you try the chemical way of cleaning.
First, take a rag, and wipe the wax from your brush.
Pour enough mineral spirits into a container just to soak the bristles.
Soak the bristles in the spirits for a minute. This should dissolve all the wax. You can press and swish the bristles to get more effective results.
Once it’s rinsed, wash the brush gently using a mild dish soap.
Squeeze the excess water, and hang it to dry.
You can reuse the mineral spirits by storing it into a glass container.
Conditioning Chalk Paint Brushes
To keep the chalk paint brush in a good condition, you must condition it periodically.
For this, be sure to soak the brush in a softener solution and water for several hours. Leave it overnight for the best cleaning results.
Then, rinse the brush with warm water. It will remove the solution. Once the conditioning is done, it will paint even better, like a brand new paint brush.
How to Dry Chalk Paint Brushes
Once you clean the brush, it’s important that you completely dry the brush. The quality of bristle and painting highly depends on it.
To do that, after cleaning, leave the brush on a flat surface to dry.
Use a cotton cloth to wrap the bristle head. You can also use a household rag or a paper towel. It will help the bristles to retain the shape, and prevent water to drip continuously onto the ferrule. Otherwise, the dripping water will degrade the epoxy that holds the bristles and handle together.
No need to blow dry the brush. Air drying the brush overnight will be more than enough. But, if you don’t have much time, and want to use the brush right away, just squeeze the water using a dry cloth.
How to Maintain the Brush’s Shape
If your chalk paint brush has natural hair bristles, over time, it will fan out. To keep the brush in its original shape, you will have to do a few maintenance stuff.
After you clean the brush, be sure to wrap the bristles with a cotton cloth, and then tie using a string or small rope. Once it’s dried, the bristles will be straightened up, and prevent fanning out.
Apart from this common method, you can use a rubber band around the head of the bristles.
Wrapping with a paper towel or household rag will also do the trick.
For best results, get a masking or painter tape, and wrap the brush. Make sure the sticky side is facing out.
Breaking in a New Chalk Paint Brush
When you get a new chalk paint brush, don’t just start painting right away. There are rogue and loose bristles that you need to remove to get the best painting results. Follow the steps below to do that –
- Slap the brush head on your palm for a few times. Also, tap firmly against any hard surface. It will nudge any stray bristles upwards. Don’t force it, otherwise, the bristles will take some damage.
- Gently pull the bristles pluckily with your fingertips to remove stray hairs or any visible or hidden loose hairs.
You can further examine the brush, and remove bent bristles using a nail clipper.
- Take a knife, and using the back or dull side, gently pull the hair in a sweeping motion on the brush. Doing this several times will remove loose hairs, if there’s any. Again, do it gently.
- Lastly, rinse the brush using warm water, and squeeze the bristles. Be sure to also pull the hairs down to the tips of the hairs from the ferrule side. When you are done, completely remove excess water from the head before you start painting.
Following the above steps will make sure the brush is ready for painting as you would expect it to.
Hope the article helped you to understand how to clean chalk paint brush, wax brush, remove the odor, and a lot more regarding brush maintenance. Keep in mind that if you use a natural hair brush, there will be a slight odor or a more noticeable scent, which is totally normal for being natural.
Be sure to clean and keep the brush dry to keep it in a good shape, and get the best painting results.