How to Remove Dried Paint From Paint Brushes

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Paint left on a brush for too long will become stiff.
Paint left on a brush for too long will become stiff. (Image: Paint can with brush image by Sergey Kolesnikov from Fotolia.com)

After a long day of painting it is easy to forget about the clean up, such as removing the paint from brushes. Luckily, brushes covered in dried paint can be brought back to life in just a few minutes. Whether you have been painting with oil- or water-based paint, turpentine will strip the dried paint from your brushes and make them usable again.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Turpentine
  • Paper towels
  • Soap and water

Work in a well-ventilated area, such as an outdoor patio or garage with the door open. Because the brush cleaning process requires turpentine, ensuring good ventilation is necessary to protect yourself from chemical fumes.

Fill a bucket with a few inches of turpentine.

Dip the paint brush into the bucket. Move the brush along the bottom of the bucket to make the brush pliable.

Lift the brush off the bottom of the bucket and slosh it around in the turpentine. This allows the turpentine to get in between the bristles on the brush. The paint will fall off the brush

Brush off the turpentine on a paper towel or piece of old clothing.

Wash brushes used with water-based paint using soap and warm water. Do not wash brushes used with oil-based paint, as it may cause the brushes to stiffen again. Allow brushes to air-dry before their next use.

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