Perfectly cleaning your miniature paintbrushes is a necessity.
It’s not like we can simply paint miniatures with our fingers, or even sharpie markers. The results of such endeavors tend to speak for themselves and miniature paint brushes play a crucial role. in it.
At the same time, developing good brush care habits will allow you to justify buying higher quality hobby paint brushes (whose fine tips and rich belly can impact the quality of your painting for the better).
As a result, they’ll last you a good long time.
1. Take Care Of The Ferrule of Your Miniature Paint Brushes
There are three parts to a brush you need to know about: The bristles, the handle, and the ferrule (where the handle and the bristles are joined).
Caring for the ferrule (particularly the inside where it houses the bristles) means caring for the longevity of your brush. If the ferrule breaks down, or paint gets locked up in it, it can mean bad things.
Whether it’s shedding to the point where you no longer have a brush but instead have a stick, or causing the bristles to split and splay out, making it worthless for detail painting with any control.
The easiest way to take care of your ferrule is to simply keep paint out of it.
Use an old brush (or one not used for detail painting), a palette knife, or a small spatula to pull paint out of paint bottles (if you’re using ones that aren’t dropper style). I usually use a Detailing Paint Brush.
When loading your brush with paint, keep the paint in the bottom half of the bristles instead of saturating the paint all the way up the entirety of the bristles (and thus wicking up into the ferrule.)
2. Never Let Paint Dry On Your Miniature Paint Brushes
Even if the paint isn’t up in your ferrule, dried paint will destroy your bristles.
It stiffens them and makes them more brittle, meaning that they’re more likely to break even as you try to work the paint out. A paintbrush with dried paint in its bristles isn’t a brush, it’s a stick.
The easiest way to avoid dry paint in your bristles (and ferrule) is to rinse your brush often.
Rinse it before reloading more paint into your brush, when changing paint colors, and when you’re congratulating yourself for completing a model and how far you’ve come in the hobby.
Did you ever wonder how to maintain your miniatures quality over time ? Here is the answer.
3. Regularly Clean And Dry Miniature Paint Brushes
Beyond washing your brushes in water during the process of painting.
It’s also a good idea to get some brush soap such as the Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver and give your brushes a cleaning. Particularly brushes you use for dry brushing.
Another option is to use a combination of brush soap and rubbing alcohol for this brush’s synthetic fibers. It will break down dried paint stuck in its bristles.
While it does eventually get destroyed by the really harsh dry brushing process, it still has significant longevity because I deep clean it after every time I use it.
For my natural fiber brushes, I’ll use some soap and a cheap conditioner (or olive oil) to keep the bristles in good shape.
I use natural fiber brushes for detail work, so it’s mostly about keeping the bristles paint-free and moisturized so it doesn’t dry out and the bristles don’t become brittle.
4. Store Your Brushes To Protect Their Tip
Common wisdom will tell you to store your brushes with the bristles upwards and the handle downwards. But here is a way that is more effective:
Most miniature paint brushes come with a small plastic cap. Save that plastic cap and put it on the brushes after use. Then store them with the bristles downwards, resting on the plastic cap, in a brush holder.
Personally, I have been using the Pixiss Model Paint Storage Case, which helps store together my brushes and paint all in one place.
In this way, excess water or paint (if anything gets through rigorous cleaning) will flow away from the ferrule and onto the tip of the brush. This will cause minimum damage to miniature paint brushes, and it will be easy to get off when starting your paint session.
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