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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Paint Tip: Freeze Brushes Between Coats

I painted quite a bit when I was a kid. My dad always had a home renovation project going on, and we kids were his assistants. One of the jobs I really disliked was cleaning paint brushes. No matter how much water I ran through the brushes, there was always paint coming through and it seemed like hours before the water ran clear. And don't even get me started on the oil-based paints! (Turpentine, yuk!)

I used to say that when I became a grownup I would throw away my used brushes and start with a fresh one when I resumed painting. For years as a young adult, I actually did do that. And I'm not talking cheapo paint brushes. These were Purdy's at $10 a pop. That's how much I dislike cleaning brushes.

Now that I'm a homeowner - and a better money manager - I can't bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars on brushes every time I get the urge to change a room's color (which is often). So here's what I do.

Freeze your brushes overnight and thaw them the next day -  it really works!

When I finish painting for the day but still have another coat to do, I just cover the paint end of the brush with a plastic sandwich bag and lay it flat in my freezer. When I'm ready to resume painting the next day or even the next weekend, I take the brush out of the freezer a few hours in advance and let it thaw until it's soft. This works with both water and oil-based paints. And it even worked the time I left them in the freezer for over a month.

Do you clean your brushes between jobs? Or toss them? Or do you have some other cool tip for preserving brushes between uses? Leave your tip in the comments below.

Are you painting kitchen cabinets? See: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets: Step by Step.