Paintbrush care

Hi everyone. Despite my best efforts to take care of my paintbrushes, they all lose their edge or point fairly quickly. My spotter brushes lose their single point, and even though I try
carefully forming a tip with my fingers they just won't comply. Also, my good flat brushes tend to lose their edges, and what was once a fine sharp line turns to a fuzzy thicker line. Please tell me if there are any tricks or maintenance tips I can use to prolong my paintbrushes. I never mash them against anything, always clean them thoroughly in thinner, and store them in an up-right holder. If they have protective plastic sleeves I put them on after each use too. This has happened with a variety of brushes I've bought, including the Model Master, Testors, Floquil, and some artist brushes. Thank you for any advice you can share, and best wishes.
Randy IPMS Houston
We're living in a world that's been pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth. Where are you, white rabbit?
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prolong my paintbrushes.>>
One thing you can do is, after cleaning, dip them in mineral oil or linseed oil, then a quick wipe on rag. What happens is that thinners dry out the bristles and make them brittle, so they fray or break off. The oil will help prevent that. When you want to use a brush, a swish through thinner again will remove the oil--just use thinner compatible with the oil. I know a few who even use regular motor oil. There are some pinstriping brushes I've had for twenty-five years, and theyre still as good as the day I bought them.
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Well said...I've left problematic brushes soaking in linseed oil. It usually does a good job of getting the bristles aligned. The Floquil brushes are ok, you might want to move up to Windsor & Newton or comparable. hth
The Keeper (of too much crap!)
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Randy Pavatte wrote:

Two things....
Forget the "spotter" brushes, as they are way too petite. Remember, it is *not* the number of bristles that is important, but the ability to hold a point. The "spotter" brushes do not have enough "body" to really hold a point, over the long term; and they hold far too little paint. Even in painting small-scale figures, one rarely needs a brush smaller than a 000, usually rarely anything smaller than a 00 --- it is the *point* that is important, remember. Look into the Winsor Newton "Series 7" brushes (not to be confused with the lower-line "Series 707"), if you haven't already. They last forever if they are properly cared for; and practically form and keep their point at will.
Secondly, never mix the media with brushes. Use one set for water-based paints, one for enamels/oils, and a third for metallics. You might want to keep a fourth set, for paint eyes only. And after thoroughly cleaning a brush after a session, put some hair conditioner on the bristles, and reform the point with your fingers. The Winsor Newton Series 7's, will often reform their point just by tapping the ferrule against the rim of a glass!
--

Greg Heilers
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