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How to Clean
Oil Paintbrushes

When it comes to maintaining your paintbrushes, the best thing you can do is properly clean them in between uses. This way, they’ll last a long time and give you the best results without worrying about dried out and broken bristles making a mess of your paint job.

How to Clean Paint Brushes: Oil Based

How you’ll clean your paintbrush will all depend on the type of paint (latex, oil-based) you use. Today, we’ll walk you through how to clean oil paint off brushes the right way for long-lasting brushes you can count on for future paint jobs.


Last time, we showed you how to clean paintbrushes when using latex paint, and while cleaning oil paint brushes is just as easy, there is a different process for how to clean oil paint brushes you should be aware of.

What You’ll Need for Cleaning Paintbrushes (Oil Based):

  • Drop Cloths

  • Cleaning Rags

  • Paint Thinner/Solvent (Mineral Spirits or Turpentine)

  • Safety Glasses

  • Latex Gloves

  • Paper Towels

  • 3 Jars with Lids



How to Dispose of Your Paint Thinner or Solvent

When learning how to clean oil paint brushes, one commonly overlooked aspect is disposing of your paint thinner or solvent and the paper towels, rags, or other items used to clean with the solvent and oil from your brushes. 


No matter what kind of liquid you’re using to clean oil paint off brushes, you can always bring the remaining liquid to a hazardous waste center for disposal or donate it to a friend, family member, or organization that can use it. Never dump these solvents down drains or into the trash.

The Zibra Difference

From learning how to clean oil paint brushes to sharing our tips, tricks, and painting inspiration, Zibra is more than just the home of incredible paintbrushes and Paint Brush Kits


We make it easy to find the best paintbrushes for every project with our fast and easy Paintbrush Finder Quiz and are proud to create products that make painting fun again. Whether you want the Best of Zibra Kit or need the best Detail BrushLarge Surface Brush, or Top Coat Brush for your next paint project, you’ll find everything you need for a paint job done right at Zibra. Shop today!
Great for detail work
Best of Zibra Paintbrush Kit-5 piece
$49.95
Great for detail work
Apron - Things You'll Paint
$30.00
Steps: How to Clean Oil Paint Off Brushes

1. Remove Excess Oil Paint

The first thing you’ll want to do is try to remove as much of the excess oil paint from the brushes as possible. With some paint thinner in a jar, dip your paintbrush into the solvent/paint thinner. Wipe them down onto your paper towels, and rinse the brushes in warm water, repeating the process until most of the paint has been removed.



2. Remove Remaining Paint from Brushes

3. Squeeze Remaining Oils & Solvents from Brushes

4. Let Brushes Dry

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