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Old 18-04-06, 12:51 PM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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I use Kolinsky sable brushes. Of course, I try to rinse them well with water, but for stubborn bits of paint left up near the ferrule, I massage the fibers with a little oily soap, like olive-oil soap. Every once in a while I'll lather them up with a Neutragena bar to clean more thoroughly. Then, rinse well, point the tips, and set aside to dry. Usually my brush tips lose their points through abrasion after months of painting, rather that splaying out from bad cleaning habits. I'm not that prolific a painter, so I don't use up brushes very quickly. I do have years-old sables that are still in good working condition, though.
Bert, I might be afraid of soaking my sables in lacquer thinner, diesel fuel, and turpentine. Even with the mineral oil added, doesn't that make the fibers brittle? Lacquer thinner is a pretty strong solvent. It can melt quite a few materials, even harm the paint coating on a brush handle. (Not to mention brain cells..)
Dennis.
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Old 18-04-06, 05:00 PM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Lacquer thinner is a strong solvent, but I have found it safe for natural brushes when giving it a quick rinse, but I would not put a synthetic brush in it! I want to be clear that I do not soak brushes in lacquer thinner, just a quick rinse. Diesel oil is just no. 1 fuel oil. My preference is no.3 fuel oil, but I can't find it, so I just go to a gas station (petrol I guess for some) and buy small quantities of diesel. Fuel oil can be left in a brush for years with no harm, but must be washed out before use. And, oh yes, lacquer thinner is a cacinogen!! Use outdoors.
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Old 18-04-06, 06:14 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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I am sorry, Bert. It may be a generational thing; I am uncomfortable calling people by their first name until I am invited to do so (Even then ... Things like my children calling their teachers by their first names feels weird to me).

I am sure your brushes must stay in very good shape (My condolences on the loss of your earlier brushes. That must have been quite a blow.), but I will continue with soap. I got into egg tempera at least in part to get away from the toxic solvents and petroleum products of oil painting.
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Old 18-04-06, 07:32 PM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Default Care of brushes

Thank you Alessandra. It could in fact be a two or three generation thing since I'm 78. Using first names shows familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt, but I sort of feel like we are family on the forum. I say use what works... our brushes are already into water when we use ET. What I said really applies to oil paint more than ET, especially the part about the vinegar. That puts the spring back into your brush, but as soon as you touch your brush to egg and water, you've lost it again. I wish I could go to your show, but 1,200 miles is 1,200 miles.

When I painted houses (mansions) in Lake Forest, the little children of the house called me by my first name...in front of the parents. They were never corrected. I thought that to be a way of putting me in my place. All servants are addressed by thair first names. :grin:
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