Wall Paint Brush Maintenance Tips

Brush – Usage & Maintenance

How to use and take care of your brushes.


  • When using a brush, first flick it back and forth to remove any dust and loose bristles, followed by washing in warm soapy water. Loose bristles brushed onto the surface during application are hard to remove and can ruin a perfect paint job.
  • It always better to soak the brush in water so as to moisten the bristles for a smoother, cleaner application.
  • Dip the brush about halfway into the paint. Tap it gently against the inside of the can to remove excess paint from both sides of the brush.
  • Never wipe it against the side of the can, as doing so will remove much of what was probably already enough after a light tapping. The brush must be well loaded, but be careful not to overload it.
  • Hold the brush like a pencil and apply long, steady strokes to avoid shaky spurts which will show up on the wall as flaws in the application.
  • Use the tip of the brush to apply the paint and not the flat side. This will give a better appearance to the paint job and the brush will last longer.
  • It is always recommended to start at the top and work your way down the walls.
  • Always maintain a "wet" edge during the application of the paint so as to eliminate lap marks and have a job that at the end looks seamless.
  • Always brush or roll into the wet edge and never away from it. Maintaining a wet edge is even more important with staining than with painting, as lap marks are more prominent.
  • When stopping the paint job, always stop at a corner.
  • If it becomes apparent that a new can will start in the middle of a wall, mix some of the new paint with the last of the old in the old can to ensure a merging of the colours, in the event that both cans are from different batches.
  • Invest in quality application tools such as brushes. A good quality brush may cost a lot at the outset but can give years of service, if well maintained during and after use.
  • To ensure a longer life of your paint brush, never stir the paint with the brush. Use Paint stirrers from hardware stores to stir the product before and sometimes during application.
  • Always clean brushes after use, with the solvent (thinner or water) as recommended on the paint label and never allow brushes to harden with paint in them, as this may permanently distort the bristles and or be near impossible to remove. While wet reshape bristles as they were before use and store in the original package if possible, in a cool dry place.
  • Never leave brushes to stand on their bristles as this too could permanently bend and distort the shape of the bristles, rendering the brush ineffective in delivering a smooth application in the future.
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