When we asked Jon Lovejoy, of Edina Hirshfields for some advice on painting and brush storage he shared some great tips. Jon has worked at Hirshfields for 33 years, and just a few years ago threw away a brush he bought shortly after he began working at the company. He estimated owning and using it for 30 years! Apparently, it can be done.
What are his secrets?
For starters, Jon’s favorite brush is a 2 ½” nylon, angular brush. (In the store you can look for the Wooster brand.) He likes how it fits perfectly in your hand and is just the right size for most any job.
After use, his advice is to clean it well! Spend the needed time, (it will save money in the end) and DON’T push down on the brush and open the bristles by plunging it into water. That will damage the bristles. Use the edges instead.
After you get the paint fully rinsed out and let it dry, he suggests storing it in the original package it came in. This will keep the bristles protected and maintain their shape. It also keeps your paint supply container more organized.
Jon’s new favorite tool to save time and effort is called the Shur-line Brush and Roller Cleaner, available for purchase at Hirshfields. To use, simply snap your brush into it and then clean it in water. It is a spin cleaner, and saves you from ruining your brush by bending and twisting it during rinsing.
One other tried and true piece of advice from Jon, “A small brush for a small space is not always the right choice. By using a wider brush and turning it to the short side, it will fan out beautifully and give you a great finish. It also holds more paint and in the end saves all that time and hassle dipping repeatedly.”
So in the future, make your brushes last longer with some of these tips – and get beautiful painting in the process!
Update: Jon has retired from Hirshfield’s and we’re wondering if he is still using his trusty old paint brush.