One of the startling things about the painting business, both fine art and craft are the numbers of cleaning products available to keep your brushes in spiffy shape, in the pink of life. Realistically, acrylic art paint is much easier to clean than latex house paint. Soap and water and just water plus a fair degree of patience. Or, apparently Murphy’s Oil is considered an excellent cleaner. Almost all the art supply manufacturers have their own version of the best cleaner.
One is called Power Wash, ” the most powerful non-toxic water based synthetic brush cleaner on the market,” Brush Plus,from Plaid, an old favorite comes with a plethora of precautions on the label, but it does really work well and its 40% cheaper than Power Wash. Deco-Art has their Deco-Magic which is also a jewelry cleaner, and Turpenoid Natural, which works well on oils. Several years ago at a trade show we sold a honking quantity of Mona Lisa brush shaper, a “brush restoration” product that really did was it supposed to do.
I suppose if the painter had taken care of their brushes, the point would be moot. Getting into more esoteric terrain, I have always thought the Silcoil system we get from Winsor-Newton intriguing, a glass jar with a magic coil that cleans when activated by a Silicoil fluid, ” an extremely slippery fluid which causes color solids and liquids to slip and slide from the artist’s brushes.” The fluid can apparently be used over and over again, but it probably ends up in the drain. So, if you are really feeling cheap in the face of all these offerings, you can buy odorless mineral solvent which we sell for $17 / gallon.