It's not about owning the most expensive brush. It's about the care you give the brushes you've got...no matter what the cost was-you pay a big price when your brushes aren't given the proper care they need and deserve. So, I do my best to take the very best care of these little babies. Matter of fact? Some of them are older than my kids. I purchased most of these before I started dating my husband Joe, (nearly 18 years ago) and they STILL hold up. For the record -I prefer synthetic brushes. They seem better able to take the abuse I can dish out MUCH much more than the natural hair ones can. I usually go with nylon and usually a "ROUND" rather than a "FLAT"-but don't get me wrong, I have plenty of large flats too. These are fantastic for filling in larger areas of color quickly. THESE ARE SOME TIPS: DON'T STORE BRUSHES "BRUSH SIDE" DOWN DON'T SOAK BRUSHES IN WATER FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME DON'T WASH BRUSHES WITH HOT WATER DO USE A GENTLE SOAP TO CLEAN TOUGH DRIED-ON PAINT (I use Ivory Liquid or Johnson & Johnson's baby soap) DO WASH IN COLD WATER DO GENTLY BLOT DRY on a PAPER TOWEL DO STORE "BRUSH SIDE" UP or laying DOWN DO PLUCK STRAY HAIRS from YOUR BRUSH It's like my former Industrial Tech Professor (his name was Kermit-yeah, like the frog) once said "If you take good care of your tools -they'll take good care of you."


  1. Aloha and thanks for the tips...I love the pic of the brushes, by the way! :D I'm just now following your blog(sighs....I thought I'd already followed awhile ago- so hard to keep up with all this twittering, blogging, etc...grin)...God bless...Dava

  2. ooh use soap.. i usually just rinse them . i use cheapy brushes cuz i spent some money on a more expenive one and it didnt last too long. thanks for the tips!

  3. Great tips! Thanks! :-) Love the picture of the burshes LOL!

  4. This picture would make a good painting

  5. Hi Jara,

    There's something that I still didn't get.
    Usually it's said to keep the brushes side up.
    But if they're still drying, then the liquid (water and some remains) will be lodged inside the ferrule.
    Isn't it more logical to leave them hanging downwards while drying ?
    Or maybe it's because water evaporates i.e. goes up ?
    I must confess that I don't have one of those things to hold brushes, so after washing them I leave them laying on their side with the hairs no leaning against anything.
    Then I store them upwards.
    When working with oils, after cleaning with turps or whatever, it's important to clean them with soap.
    Sometimes I use some hair conditioner and it does make a difference, especially if one is talking about natural bristles.

    Kind regards,


  6. Anonymous3:30 PM

    I love using horsehair shampoo on my brushes and I also agree about having them drying the way you recommend Jara. For some reason when I dry them facing down they still stick together causing more bristles to fall out. Glad to hear I am not the only!

  7. Jose' -I completely agree with you about the conditioning of natural bristle brushes. My friend Dana dots her brushes with "Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil" after drying. She swears by it.

    Steve? That's a great idea! Hmmm...

  8. I'm horrible with brushes but it's rare that I brave paint. I wish I could paint but noooooo, I'm crudtastic at it. My six-year old, though, does love to paint and I've tried to get him halfway decent brushes and things even for his kiddie paints, and show him how to take care of them.

    I envy artists, your world is so bright and beautiful! :-)

  9. Encouragement and the gift of quality materials is the BEST thing you can do to nurture creative talent. My Dad (A Sculptor) was ALWAYS supportive of my drawing and offered advice and constructive critiques even at an early age. I think that's marvelous. KEEP IT UP! Children's artwork is AMAZING. I love, love, LOVE it.

  10. love your blog! I think that this is a magnificent photograph of a hard working artist's brushes!