Until about a year ago when it came to painting, I always bought cheap brushes and such, figuring that way, if I didn’t feel like cleaning them when I finished, I wasn’t out much. How an expensive brush could be that much better than a cheap one escaped me. Then last year for whatever reason I started handling a nice brush in the store (Wal-Mart, to be exact.) The handle was rubberized for better grip, and molded to fit in my hand, and its bristles were soft like a chick’s hair, but firm enough to keep its shape when soaked with paint (rather unlike a chick’s hair, but I digress.) So I bought a set of them, sized between 1” and 4”… that changed everything.
A good brush is more efficient, it makes painting go faster, it’s easier to control and it doesn’t drip as much. But it quickly becomes worthless if not cleaned properly.
I now rinse my brushes until they squeeze clear in the water – if you can see paint in the water you wring out of it, the brush isn’t clean yet. I also scrub the paint off the metal part and the handle – it surely doesn’t change the way it works… I don’t really know why to be honest, maybe just a pride thing, but when I put them away, my brushes still look brand new. I even go so far as to rinse them out every hour or two while I’m painting, to keep the paint that soaks up to the top of the bristles from drying to the point it won’t come out.
As a result, the next time I go to use them, my brushes work just as well as the day I bought them, the bristles are still soft and absorbent and the handles still feel good in my hand. Maybe the reason for keeping the handles clean is just to benefit my frame of mind each time I start to paint? I may never fully understand the reasons, but I know for sure I like it, it’s well worth the extra time.