Wednesday 14 January 2009

Masters Brush Cleaner

First let me start this article be saying that this is neither a comprehensive look at brush cleaning products nor a scientific comparison. I have only recently discovered Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver and was so impressed with the results that I decided to give it a proper review.

The first thing you notice when you pick up the pot is the artwork on the cover. It's reminiscent of various 'snake oil' products you'd expect to buy in the old west (strange how my mind works but there you have it). Once opened the citrus smell of the brush soap is immediately evident and the product itself is a creamy white in colour.

Take the brush to be cleaned and rinse it thoroughly to remove all liquid paint from the hairs. Then take the still wet brush and rub in the Brush Preserver. Always draw the brush in the direction of the hairs and don't press down too hard or you may damage the tip. Once the brush head has a fair amount of lather on it, work this in by rubbing the brush in a crease in your palm. At first the lather should contain a lot of paint even from a supposedly 'clean' brush. Rinse and repeat two or three times until the lather is no longer discoloured.

The brush hairs should now be allowed to dry. Do not place the brush head up in a stand as water will seep down into the ferrule and unseat the hair. At this stage you can rub an additional small ammount of the soap onto the hairs and leave in to dry. This will help keep and maintain a tip whilst not in use.

I have only been using this product for a few months but have already been very impressed with the results. The life expectancy of my main painting brushes (even the cheep ones) has gone up. And old dry brushing brushes that I considered pretty much past it have been brought back to life. I'm kicking myself for not having invested in a brush soap a long time ago because I'm pretty sure it would have paid for itself by now. This product - or one of the other brush cleaners on the market such as Winsor and Newton - should be used as part of a regular cleaning regime.

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