Brush restorer ... any good?

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by Babelfish, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Babelfish A Fixture

    I've seen various magical "brush restorer" fluids in art shops - and I know that Vallejo do one - that purport to restore your brushes to (almost) pristine condition, but I've never actually tried them.

    Does anyone have any experience of them (good or bad) and if so any brand recommendations and/or tips for using them?

    - Steve
  2. valiant A Fixture

    I swear by Cellulose Thinners. Then a wash in warm, soapy water.....(y)
    Helm, Babelfish and Chris Oldfield like this.
  3. Chris Oldfield Well-Known Member

    I use Vallejo brush cleaner & brush restorer Steve. The brush cleaner smells very similar to isopropanol (not that I make a habit of sniffing it), so I suspect regular isopropanol would do the same job.

    One thing I have found is that if I give my brushes a good swirl in brush cleaner after a Vallejo painting session, it does tend to shift those deep paint deposits which no amount of cleaning in water will move, so that’s a definite point in its favour.

    As for the brush restorer, I give my regularly used brushes a good dunking in this about once a month & find it’s good for restoring the softness of the hairs & points. It also helps get rid of those pesky single hairs which you sometimes find sticking out from the head of the brush when you’ve put it back into its plastic tube to protect the shape, & one has snuck out the side.

    One thing I always do is to wash the brushes out in soapy water to keep the shape (I once heard someone suggest Swarfega, the non-gritty variety, was good for doing this & he painted regularly with great results, so I’ve no reason to doubt him) but sometimes if there’s not going to be a long gap between painting sessions then I’ll just give them a dip in the brush restorer because it’s quicker.

    I’d say give it a go if bench time is at a premium, & I’ve found Vallejo is the one that works for me. I don’t know of any other brands BTW, because I haven’t visited an art shop for a long time.

    Babelfish likes this.
  4. Alex A Fixture

    W&N brush restorer is amazing. It is so powerful that it will remove any labels, any ink from any surface, etc.
    Overnignt soak will remove any dry acrylic paint (and oil paint as well).
    It is not alcool based
    Babelfish likes this.
  5. Banjer Active Member

    W &N restorer works for me too but I find once the point has gone from a brush it is lost forever. ( Unless someone knows different).

    megroot and Babelfish like this.
  6. Babelfish A Fixture

    Some really useful information there guys, thank you all. Much appreciated. (y)

    - Steve
    Chris Oldfield likes this.
  7. Kimmo Well-Known Member

    Babelfish likes this.
  8. socko47 Active Member

    theBaron and Babelfish like this.
  9. Ronaldo Well-Known Member

    Once the point is gone , you have lost the point :rolleyes: you might get better results resurrecting the dead , once its fooked that's the end , relegate it to a blending brush position.
    position . there is no magical formula which will restore it to brand new :eek::D
    malc and Banjer like this.
  10. yellowcat A Fixture

    I have been using Master's Brush Cleaner for ages. It cleans and restore oil, acrylics, watercolour, enamel and even lacquer.


    This is an old trick to straighten curve brush hair.
    To restore curved hair just wet the brush a bit and press it against a light bulb. The heat from the light bulb will straighten the hair. You may need to do this a few tries. This works to straighten the tip too.


    Happy painting!

  11. Ronaldo Well-Known Member

    might be cheaper just to buy a new brush :rolleyes:
  12. clrsgt A Fixture

    I use the Masters as well. It works well for brushes and it also works well to remove paint from clothing or the rug but don't over do it at it can bleach out the color to a degree.
    Babelfish likes this.
  13. Oda A Fixture

    I use Vallejo's restorer and it is an absolute value for money product.It can restore even heavily worn brushes.Worth a try.

    Babelfish likes this.
  14. Blind Pew A Fixture

    I got some paint & varnish remover from Wilco. It was a fiver for what seems to be a lifetime supply. I think screwfix sell the same stuff as well.
    And yes, it is really good. It breathes life into dead brushes and the stuff it can take out of apparently clean brushes is good.
    Babelfish likes this.
  15. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    I use Masters Steve,bought it from Jacksons and it is first class. I use it for oils and have a separate cleaner for Acrylics.

    See you on Saturday?......Keith
  16. theBaron A Fixture

    Murphy's Oil Soap? That's interesting, Doc! I use it for cleaning woodwork around the house, but now I'll have to try it as a preservative on my brushes. Makes sense-it contains oils similar to lanolin and other oils that are used to preserve natural bristles.

  17. fogie A Fixture

    Same as Felix, I use Masters and have done so for years. Working principle.........if it ain't broke then don't mend it - right ?

  18. socko47 Active Member

    Hey Brad, I checked with my friend and she got this tip from one of her painting instructors. I have used Master's and Chelsea's Lavender & Olive Oil Soap. Always heard of W & N Brush cleaner, Walnut Oil, Safflower Oil, and using regular hair conditioner to help return natural oils to natural hair brushes. Murphy's certainly will give you more than just for brushes, as you have found, and at a price you cannot beat. Prost back at you. :)
    oldtrousers likes this.
  19. This post just saved me some $$ on brushes, cant wait to try using some of these techniques

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