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blackvigil

Brushes, cleaner, etc

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I busted out my old hobby box and started inspecting my brushes. I have some nice ones, but also tons of garbage. I need to clean the good ones, and mothball the others for dirty work.

Does anyone have any recommendations for brush cleaner? I'm also interested in getting some new brushes. Any recommendations on good brushes that aren't super expensive? I've had good luck with citadel, army painter, and generic craft store clearance brushes. (If it matters, I'm using a combo of Citadel, Vallejo, and P3 paints.)

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Windsor & Newton Brush Restorer is gold when it comes to brushes that need a bit more attention. I use it on Brush Spa Day every couple of weeks. 

The Masters Brush Soap is good for more regular cleaning and conditioning after a regular painting sessions.

I like natural sable hair brushes for all detail work. Windsor & Newton Series 7 are my drug of choice. Be sure you order from a reputable place if you go this way, there are counterfeits out there. I recently picked up a daVinci Maestro and like it, though not as much as the W&Ns.

Natural hair brushes are a bit more expensive (but not that much more), but if you take care of them they'll outlast synthetic brushes many times over. Just something to consider when the tip of that newish taklon brush starts to fish-hook.

That being said, I do use synthetic brushes to block in colors, apply washes, Contrast paint, etc. I'm pretty happy with the Princeton Select Round #1 (bought mine at Blick's in Portland). I think the white handled Army Painter brush line is pretty good, and use them for my metallics. I don't like Reaper brushes, the ones I've bought really like to fork. I haven't bought GW brushes in years... that's not a value judgement, just haven't tried them. YMMV.

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I echo what Andy said.

I have 3 W&N brushes that are over a year old and still sharp as day 1. I use the Masters Brush Soap, and I keep the brushes well cared for, never put them in paint while dry (or the capilary action may draw the paint up into the ferrule) and if I think the paint is creeping up too high, I rinse them out right away. I do use them for acrylic washes sometimes, since the job of a brush is to get the pigment where it needs to be...but again *never* when dry, that wash will just go all up in there and mess things right up.

Going to be trying some different brush cleaner that's a soak-job for naturals and synthetics once it arrives.

I love me a pack of Blicks cheap synthetic brushes for metalics and enamels.

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You guys are selling me on those expensive brushes. Ha! I just cleaned out my old nasty collection, and I was able to salvage a few nice ones. I tossed at least 12 brushes, and kept about 10. I guess I'll get a couple nice ones, and then a pack of cheap synthetics. That seems like the best move.

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