We’ve all experienced that moment when you think “Dammit, this brush is done”, it’s no longer holding a tip, you can see flecks of paint in it, or simply you just forgot to clean it properly after a heavy dry brush session. It’s no secret that you can buy brush soap etc to clean your brushes, but where do you start with it? I for one purchased the Games and Gear Ichiban brush set on Kickstarter many moons ago, and I got some brush soap with it. I can, without any guilt (until now) say that the soap sat on a shelf gathering dust. The nearest it got to a brush was when it fell onto my desk and landed near one.
That is until today.
Today I looked at my brushes and thought to myself “I’m not spending another £30 on a set of new brushes, it’s not that long since I bought these. Fuck it lets try the brush soap”. So I grab a brush that has seen many a drybrush session. I’m not lying when I say it’s got years of dried in paint flecks but I’ve never been that bothered as it’s for drybrushing and almost exclusively for drybrushing bases. It’s the perfect brush to test the brush soap on.
That is the sorry state of affairs that the brush started in, you should be able to clearly see the Mechanicus Standard Grey quite clearly. The process for cleaning is quite simple.
- Dip the brush in water
- Rub the bristles into the soap
- Massage the bristles into the palm of your hand. You can mash it around a bit, but essentially a drybrushing technique works well
- Rinse and repeat until clean
The gallery shows the different states as I’ve gone through the cleaning process. The second shot was after a couple of minutes, it’s not really clear but there were still some fairly large chunks of paint a few millimetres down the bristles. So a few minutes more cleaning resulted in what you can see in the third image.
I’ve since carried on and cleaned the rest of my brushes. Whilst it hasn’t resolved the issues with one or two (I suspect they need more work) the majority are now spotless and look to be holding their points again. What surprised me most was the sheer volume of crap that came out of what looked like a perfectly clean brush, so much so that I’d recommend cleaning your brushes even if you don’t think they need it.