The Difference in Paints

I apologize again for not posting as consistently as I should be. I hoped to publish something once a week at least but the holidays threw me off a bit. Anyway, I wanted to go over the different types of paints and how to clean up brushes properly. As well as some tools. I’ll put links at the end of the post so you can check them out.

Oil Paint
Oil paint, as you might guess, is oil-based. Unlike acrylic and watercolor paint that are water-based. This type of paint is probably the hardest to clean out of brushes (and clothing or other fabrics). Although, it’s manageable with just about any grease-cutting soap or paint thinner. I personally prefer using a bar of soap (I use Lava brand soap) to have a surface to rub the brush on.
It’s also the paint that takes the longest to dry (up to a week sometimes). If you don’t thin it out that is. If you want to thin it out you can either use, a teeny tiny amount of paint thinner mixed with the oil paint, or Liquin. (Which you can buy at any craft store in the paint section.) Always wash your brushes after using liquin. If you don’t, it will harden the bristles and the brush will be unusable. Maslo_maslo

I want to mention that when you clean your brush NEVER mash the bristles. You will ruin the brush. Always swipe up and down, like you’re painting. Think of the Karate Kid painting the fence “up and down”. If you have liquid soap, you can rub the brush against your palm, or any other bumpy/textured surface. Just make sure the surface isn’t too rough or coarse or you could also ruin the brush. 
Another useful tool is a brush cleaning jar. You can pick one up at your local craft store, or even make one. It’s simply a glass jar with a wire coil or wire mesh inside. You fill it with water or paint thinner and rub the brush on the wire inside. I generally only use this for in-between washes while painting, but it’s still a good way to clean the brush.

Acrylic Paint and Watercolor Paint
Acrylic and watercolor paint are water-based paints. They are the easiest to clean out of paintbrushes. And well, just about anything really. Just rinse well with water and add a dab of soap if it’s stubborn. Again, don’t mash the brush while cleaning. 
I also want to add that if you buy acrylic paint and/or watercolor paint in a tube (AKA the “professional” kind of paint) that they are virtually the same. If you want to use watercolor like acrylic paint, simply don’t add water. If you want to use acrylic as watercolor, just add water. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Don’t be concerned if your paintbrushes stain either, the important thing is to see that no excess paint is coming off of the brush. I always dab mine on a paper towel and, if the water comes off clear, then I know I’m done cleaning the brush.


Happy Arts-ing!

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