DIY: Brush Cleaner

If you use brushes in art journaling, you probably hold them in your mouth, your other hand, or put them in a container filled with water. (ARGHH! SO bad for the brush!)  If you’ve painted a lot of pages you have also pulled over the container you use to rinse your brushes because you are using a yogurt container and forget there is water in it. Yogurt containers also tip over easily when you put a long-handled brush into them.

Conveniently empty container, waiting to be recycled.

There’s an easier way. I happen to have  an empty finished eating the dark chocolate ginger pieces from Trader Joe’s and loved the squat, clear container. I can see if there is water in it and how dirty it is from the paint.

Two Vs are marked. Cut 4 in total: 2 on one side, 2 on the opposite side.

Using a sharpie, I marked two Vs into one side. That shape is easy to cut, and it will hold any size brush snugly.

Using a sharp pair of scissors (not your best sewing scissors) or a pair of plant pruners, cut the Vs out of one side, then cut them out of the opposite side. I cut one side slightly smaller than the other.

Your brushes are handy, and don't get damaged from sitting in water.

Place your brushes in the Vs. You can see that by cutting one side smaller than the other, The brushes point down slightly. This keeps the water from running into the ferrule and rotting the end of the brush near the shaft.

You do have to be careful to pick the brushes UP, not grab them and drag them across the top. The shape of the container is sturdy, you can see when you need to change the water, and you’ve kept one plastic container out of the landfill! If you put the lid under the container, you also catch stray drips and keep your desktop dry.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer, life- and creativity coach and artist. She is teaching at Art Unraveled in Phoenix in August, 2010.

5 thoughts on “DIY: Brush Cleaner

  1. You are too smart… and have you been spying on me or are my paint brushes crying out and you heard their poor cry? Lord, have I ruined a lot of brushes. I abuse them so badly, it’s pitiful.

    • I used to buy cheap brushes to be OK with my bad habit of dumping brushes in the water and leaving them to bend. But the cheap ones lose hair. Then I got good ones, and decided I’d better figure something out. Your paint brushes will love you!

    • I used to buy cheap brushes and dump them into the water, and they all curled up and lost bristles. Then I bought expensive ones and had to discipline myself. This is so easy and it works so well! Your brushes will smile and dance for you!

  2. Oh Quinn, I see this is an excellent reason for you to buy, and consume, more of the dark chocolate ginger pieces. You do have a very large collection of brushes, don’t you?

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