Monday, March 23, 2015

Paintbrush cleaning and storage jar

Often we are throwing out and replacing paintbrushes that were left to sit in the bottom of a jar. This flares and ruins the brush and if left long enough dried out, brittle and useless. This can be expensive, time-consuming and just a plain waste.  But here is a jar that will keep your paintbrushes like new. It is a simple and easy DIY to make with found materials. And can be sold at arts and craft shows for several dollars.

 The jar stays sealed and suspends paintbrushes off the bottom of the jar. Liquids can be added to the jar for cleaning the brushes. The jar is airtight and thus maintains a plasticity of the bristles.

The lid consists of a mason jar ring, a mason jar lid with a hole cut in it and a piece of rubber cut from a tire innertube. Cut the innertube to the same size as the mason jar lid and place it on top of the mason jar lid when assembling. Punch several small holes in the rubber innertube, preferably with a leather punch. Make the diameter of the holes slightly smaller than the handle of the brushes being used. (This is to keep an airtight fit around the handle of the paintbrush and to help hold the brush in place when it is being suspended off the bottom of the jar. )It is important that you use some type of hole punch to keep the holes from splitting and allowing air in the jar.
I use a glass jar and metal lids because the paints and solvents I use would dissolve any other type of container. But if you're only using water-based paints then a plastic jar or cup could be used.

To add paintbrushes to the jar simply push the handle of the paint brush up through the bottom of the lid and through the holes in the rubber seal that you have made. Adjust the brush so that the brush is not sitting on the bottom of the jar and there you have it. The perfect paint brush cleaning and storage jar.