Cleaning Brushes with Linseed Oil

February 11th, 2009
a brush used with black paint

brush "dirty" with black oil paint

Making a brush dirty is easy. Here I dabbed this brush in black oil paint up to the ferrule.

To clean it, I first used a paper towel. Then I dabbed the brush once into a pool of oil on the palette paper. I moved to another clean and dry area of the paper and dabbed the brush against the paper, letting the oil work the pigment out of the brush (marked 1 on photo). The I repeat the process, paper towel and a new drab of clean oil. We can see (2 on photo) that the oil is coming off cleaner already.

seven dabs of oil to clean the brush

seven dabs of oil to clean the brush

Repeating the process a total of seven times, I have a clean brush with very little wasted oil (seven drops is not much). It was also fast. Don’t be fooled by the dark tips of the hairs on this synthetic brush. This brush is really clean, ready to be used with white, if I wanted to do that.

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