Clean Oil-Based Finish From a Brush
Leaving paint on a brush can ruin it—here’s how to clean brushes the right way.
Cleaning oil-based finishes from a brush requires solvents and a little more time than water-based finishes.
Pour about a quarter-inch of mineral spirits into a glass or plastic container. Then push the bristles into the liquid–fully wetting them up to the ferrule–and work the brush around to remove as much paint as you can.
Then move the brush to a shallow container and use a wire brush to comb through the bristles–loosening the paint deep in the brush from both sides. Wring the brush out with a paper towel, bending the bristles back and forth to remove as much of the finish and solvent as you can.
Finally, dump the sullied spirits into a waste container and wipe out the jar and the shallow container.
Start the process over, repeating all the steps until the brush leaves almost no trace of paint when dipped in a fresh batch of mineral spirits. In this video, ours took three cycles.
To finish, give the brush a final wring with a paper towel, shape the bristles back to their original form, and store the brush in its original sleeve.