How to Care and Restore Damaged Synthetic and Natural Fibre Paintbrushes
Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
A brand-new paint brush may only survive one use, depending on how it is used and with what. For example, applying Mr.Surfacer 500 with a brush to create excellent tank armour texture is one of the most brutal assaults on paintbrush hair or bristles, synthetic or natural.
In this post, a tried and true method of preserving our paintbrushes is covered. With proper cleaning and maintenance, the integrity of the brush is maintained, as well as preserving its usefulness and longevity.
The brush maintenance discussed here pertains to natural hair and synthetic fibres. Never subject Kolinski Sable, also known as red sable or sable-hair brushes, to this type of application punishment. Kolinski Sable care is covered in a separate post.
Mr.Surfacer 500 is an exceptional product for adding a hot-rolled look to armoured steel. A № 4 or larger round brush with the point cut off makes a splendid texture applicator.
Thinned with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner, Mr.Color Thinners, or AK Interactive Real Color Thinner, it goes on easily and is straightforward to adjust and texture. If we apply it too heavy or make a mistake, it can be easily removed with either of the specified hobby lacquer thinners.
Whatever paintbrush you use will take a beating and look as if all is lost and a new brush is required.
The good news is, that it is easy to restore the paintbrush to a like new condition.
- Tamiya Airbrush Cleaner is a fast and efficient cleaner for paint tools and brush hair. A must-have for dissolving paint residue and cleaning paintbrushes when using lacquers such as, Tamiya X-XF, Tamiya LP Lacquer Paint, Real Colors, Mr.Color and Mr.Surfacer .
- Once the bristles rinse clear in lacquer thinner, wash with soapy water, rinse, and dry.
- Better still clean your brush, natural or synthetic, using The Master’s Brush Cleaner and Preserver. Formulated for use with Oils, Acrylics, and Watercolours. It will even remove dried-on paints and paint stains.
- Dip the dry paintbrush tip into Tamiya Brush Conditioning Fluid. Shape the tip to avoid leaving excess conditioning fluid on the tip.
- When ready to use, rinse with distilled water, Isopropyl Alcohol, or Tamiya X-20A, dry, and you are good to go.
The paintbrush in this example is natural fibre hair, synthetic will also work. It is used about 10 times under punishing conditions and is restored after each use.
Keep your brushes working and looking brand new for a long time.
James Wooldridge is An enthusiastic scale modeller, researcher, amateur historian, and contributor to scale modelling sites, including Scalemates. He is an active and progressive Facebook Group Expert, Presenter, and Scale Modelling Club Video Host.