Hi all. I was cruising the internet and came across a tutorial web site that explained that when painting in oil, you should clean your brushes with turps and then wash them out with soap and warm water.
I hope this doesn't start a huge debate, but there is a better way. Cleaning out your brushes with soap and water is messy and it will ruin your brushes faster. I know this has been taught for ages and I was told in high school to clean them like this - but it is wrong.
Oil and water don't mix.
I was a professional sign painter for 18 years and I learned from the old masters of sign painting that you clean your brushes in turps (or mineral spirits) and then you dip them in oil and store them. You dip them in it good so that the oil gets in the heal of the brush, that way any paint residue won't be able to dry in the brush while it is stored.
The best oil for this is Kneedsfoot oil, but motor oil will work and so will transmission fluid. I use the red transmission fluid myself to store my brushes in. The brushes last longer and stay soft like they are new for years (or until I wear them out painting with them). Don't use Lindseed oil - (lindseed oil doesn't work and will dry out and ruin your brushes.)
Then, when you are ready to use the brush again, clean it out good in turps or mineral spirits and start painting again. I've been doing this for years and it works great!
Note: This does not apply to acrylic brushes - only brushes used for oil.
(You should have a completely different set of brushes for oil and a different set of brushes for acrylic.)
If anyone else uses this process for cleaning brushes - please confirm it. There are lots of artists out there who are still cleaning their oil brushes out in their sinks (which is messy) and don't know they are shortening the life of their brushes by mixing them in oil and in water.
If this info is new to you and you don't agree - please try it before you start a debate over it.