The best method to clean your paintbrushes, whether you’ve just painted with oil-based or water-based paints, would be to clean them immediately – this is a simple process as the paint isn’t dry yet, so you can easily remove the paint under a cold tap.

But the problem is many of us do not do this; after countless hours of painting our home or painting a garden shed, we just can’t be bothered with the added work of cleaning our paintbrushes there and then.

So you leave the paint to go hard on our brushes, ruining them. Throwing them away afterward and opting to buy another set for next time. Not only will this cost you unnecessarily $$$ from your wallet, but you are also creating unnecessary waste, which is less than ideal in today’s world.

Thanks to the providers of this content McIntosh Painters Melbourne we’ve got you covered. So you’ve got some paintbrushes that are full of hard paint; then we’re going to walk you through a step by step process on how to clean them.

How to Remove Acrylic paint from a paintbrush

So, you’ve got a collection of paintbrushes that are covered in rock hard acrylic paint thanks to your last home decoration project, and instead of throwing them away buying a new set, you’ve taken it upon yourself to clean them.

Here are the things you’re going to need:

  • A large bucket.
  • Water
  • Old rag
  • Clean cloth

Step 1. – Put your paintbrushes in the bucket.

With your large bucket in hand, you’re going to want to place your paintbrushes within, ensuring that they can be fully submerged into the water.

Although we only really care about cleaning the paint covered bristles, we might as well clean the handles too while we’re at it.

Step 2. – Add water and leave your brushes to soak.

Add enough water to the bucket so that the paintbrushes are fully submerged in the water.

Leave them for a couple of minutes so that the water can properly soak into the brushes, helping to release the paint.

Step 3 – Rinse your brushes.

After a couple of minutes, stir the brushes in the water, wiping each one against the side to remove the paint.

You could also grab an old rag to get the old paint off this way, whichever is most comfortable for you.

Once all of the paint seems to have come off, take another dry cloth/rag and ensure that the paintbrushes are dry and you’re all done.

How to Clean oil-based paint off your brushes

The way you would clean your oiled-based paint-covered brushes is slightly different from what would be done with your acrylic paint covered brushes, though it’s just as easy when using our step by step guide.

Here is what you’re going to need to make sure you can fully clean your brushes:

  • Dust Mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • Turpentine
  • Bucket
  • Old Rag
  • Clean cloth

Step 1. – Put your brushes into the bucket.

Ensure you are protected; put on your dust mask and safety glasses to help protect yourself from the fumes before you do anything else.

Just as we did when we were cleaning our acrylic paint brushes, you’re going to want to place your paintbrushes into the bucket, ensuring that they will get fully covered once we add the liquid.

Step 2. – Add turpentine to the bucket.

Pour some turpentine into the bucket so that the brushes are fully submerged.

Leave the brushes in there for several minutes to soak.

Step 3 – Leave for several minutes and rinse your brushes

Swirl your brushes around in the liquid and wipe them on the side of the bucket or grab an old rag and take any remaining paint off.

You’ll want to grab another rag afterward to ensure they are fully dry and clean.


Ideally, in the future, you’re going to want to clean your brushes as soon as you stop using them, rinsing them off with some water.

Though now that you’re equipped with the information, if you ever have paint covered brushes ever again, you are more than able to clean them up, allowing you to use them for your next DIY paint project.