How to Clean
Acrylic Paintbrushes

Acrylic paintbrushes are used for a variety of painting projects and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. To ensure your acrylic paintbrushes last and can be used for multiple projects, it’s important to know how to clean acrylic paintbrushes. Once you are finished with your project, follow these five steps for how to clean acrylic paint off brushes. 

Step 1: Remove Excess Paint with a Towel

The first step is to remove any excess paint from the brushes. Do this by placing the bristles of the brush in between a towel and squeezing out the paint. You can use a paper towel or rag to complete this step in how to clean acrylic paintbrushes. 

Step 2: Remove Excess Paint with Water

Once you’ve removed as much paint as you can with a towel, bring your brushes to your sink to complete the second step in how to clean acrylic paintbrushes. Rather than running your paintbrushes under the faucet, fill up a cup of water to use. This wastes less water and also keeps your sink from any damage or discoloration. Place your brush in the cup of water and swish it around to release and remove any excess paint. Then, gently shake off the water and pat your brush against a clean towel. 

It’s important to remove as much excess paint as possible from your brushes before moving on to step number three. So, repeat steps one and two as many times as needed to remove the majority of the acrylic paint.

Step 3: Clean Brushes with Soap and Water

Once the bulk of paint has been removed from your brushes, place a small bucket or bowl in your skin under your faucet. Again, it’s important to not rinse brushes in the skin directly because you don’t want acrylic paint in your drain. Instead, rinse your brushes with a steady stream of water into the bucket. As you do this, use your fingers to gently squeeze out any leftover paint. Then, do the same thing with a small amount of special artist soap or regular hand-washing soap on your brush bristles. This ensures you remove all of the paint effectively. 

Step 4: Rinse Brushes Thoroughly

Once your brushes are cleaned with soap and water, the next step in how to clean acrylic paintbrushes is to rinse off the soap. Then, check to see if there is any paint left on your brushes. If there is, repeat step number three until your brushes are completely clean.

Step 5: Remove Excess Water and Set to Dry

Once all of the paint is removed from your brushes, gently shake the brush to remove excess water. Next, place the bristles between a clean paper towel or rag and squeeze to dry. Then, set your brushes in a clean, safe place to dry. Once completely dry, you can store your brushes in a paintbrush bag, which can be found in our selection of painting accessories

Follow these steps for how to clean acrylic paint off brushes each time you complete a painting project for the day. 

Tips for How to Clean Dried Acrylic Paintbrushes

If you happen to let your paintbrushes dry with acrylic paint on them, it will take longer to clean them. However, the steps for how to clean dried acrylic paintbrushes are the same ones above. The only difference is you need to soak your brushes in warm water to moisten the paint before starting with step one to remove excess paint. 

If you let dried paint set on your brushes for too long, there is a chance you won’t be able to clean them enough to use on a second project. In that case, it may be time to purchase new paintbrushes or paintbrush kits.
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