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Know-How: Revitalizing Raphael Brushes

While taking care of your tools BEFORE the paint dries on them is the best practice, forgetting to clean a paintbrush from time to time happens to the best of us. Before you toss your favourite in the trash, consider following these tips to see if you can rejuvenate it. Often a little TLC and a good soap is all that is needed to bring bristles back to life. Pébéo’s Olive Oil Black Soap is great for regular brush cleanings, degreasing and removing stuck on dried acrylic, oil and watercolour paints.

Materials:
  • Dirty paintbrushes
  • Pébéo Black Soap
  • Plastic deep brush cleaner
  • Water

Optional:

  • Gum Arabic
Instructions:

How to salvage your paintbrushes

 

Step 1: Pick up a generous dollop of Pébéo black soap with your paintbrush and spread it on the underside of the container lid.

 

Step 2: Dip your paintbrush in clean water and rub it into the black soap. Be sure to always drag your brush in the direction of the bristles so as not to further damage them. The soap will lighten in colour and get slightly foamy as you work it. Continue wetting your brush and rubbing it in the black soap until the dried paint loosens.

 

Step 3: Once the dried paint loosens, pull your brush through the teeth of a plastic brush cleaner. This will gently pull the paint from between the bristles. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary.

 

Step 4: Thoroughly rinse your paintbrush in clean water to make sure all the soap residue has been washed out. Gently reshape the bristles with your fingers while they are still wet. If the bristles are bent or damaged it may help to dip them in gum Arabic before reshaping. Gum Arabic is a water-soluble additive that will harden on your bristles and keep them in shape, this can help straighten out bent or misshapen hairs. To remove, simply rinse your paintbrush in water before painting.

  • Although cleaned of paint, pigments may permanently stain bristles.
  • Rinse your brushes very thoroughly after using black soap
  • Diluting the black soap in water and soaking brushes can also help loosen stubborn paint.
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