How to clean gloss of paint brushes

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 16/06/2021

Cleaning gloss of a paintbrush can be a nightmare if you don’t have the right products, with the correct products though it is an absolute breeze. in this quick guide, I will show you how to do it step by step.

Oil or Water Based Gloss

If you expect that all gloss is oil-based you may be surprised to learn that more and more gloss paints are now water-based. As ecological rules change the days of oil-based paints are looking numbered and more and more manufacturers are moving to water-based paints, even for gloss.

If your gloss is water-based then cleaning the brush will be a breeze, just clean it under a running tap. However, if you are reading this article then I would assume you have been painting with an oil-based gloss, so what is the best way to clean that up?

Cleaning gloss of a pint brush with brush cleaner

This is definitely the easiest way to clean gloss of a paintbrush. I never used to use brush cleaner, always shunning it due to it being more expensive than turps. How much better could it be I thought? Well, it turns out it is quite a bit better.

Brush cleaner is so simple and easy to use as you can see in the quick step-by-step guide below.

Step 1 – Add brush cleaner to a glass jar

Brush Cleaner in Glass Jar

Brush Cleaner in Glass Jar

To start you simply need to add your brush cleaner to a glass or ceramic jar. Do not use a plastic cup as the brush cleaner can react with certain plastics.

Step 2 – Put the brush into the jar

Gloss Brush in paint cleaner

Gloss Brush in paint cleaner

Shove the brush into the cleaner and really push it into the bottom of the jar. Try and work the brush cleaner into all of the bristles of the brush. You can be quite aggressive here.

As you are doing this you will notice the colour of the brush cleaner change almost immediately. Mine went a much lighter blue as it pulled all of the white gloss off the brush.

Step 3 – Rinse With Water

After Rinsing With Water

After Rinsing With Water

Then simply rinse the brush with water and you are done.

The genius thing with brush cleaner is that unlike turpentine it sticks to water. So you can rinse brush cleaner with water, something that doesn’t work well with turps.

Cleaning Gloss off a paintbrush using turpentine

This is the traditional method of cleaning gloss of a paint brush and is the method I always used to use before I discovered the benefits of brush cleaner.

You follow the same steps as above. The main difference being you may have to repeat the cleaning step a few times.

Water does not bind to turps so rinsing the brushes can also be a pain.

Similar Articles

If you are looking at glossing more items then we have a whole section of the website dedicated to gloss, find all of the articles below.

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Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!