How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes Between Colors

Oil painting can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby, but cleaning up can be a hassle, especially when it comes to cleaning your brushes between colors. If you don’t clean your brushes properly, your colors can become muddy and your painting can be ruined. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and tricks on how to clean oil paint brushes between colors.

Why is it important to clean your brushes between colors?

Cleaning your brushes between colors is important for several reasons. First, if you don’t clean your brushes properly, your colors can become muddy and your painting can be ruined. Second, if you leave oil paint on your brushes for too long, the paint can dry and harden, making it difficult to clean later. Finally, cleaning your brushes between colors can help extend the life of your brushes.

What supplies do you need?

Before you start cleaning your brushes, you’ll need a few supplies. You’ll need a jar or container to hold your cleaning solution, some paper towels or rags, and a brush cleaning solution. You can make your own cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of odorless mineral spirits and linseed oil, or you can buy a pre-made brush cleaner from an art supply store.

How do you clean your brushes?

To clean your brushes between colors, follow these simple steps: 1. Wipe off any excess paint from your brush using a paper towel or rag. 2. Dip your brush into your cleaning solution and swirl it around for a few seconds. 3. Remove your brush from the cleaning solution and wipe it off on a paper towel or rag. 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your brush is clean. 5. Once your brush is clean, reshape it and let it dry.


Q: Can I use soap and water to clean my brushes?

A: No, soap and water can damage your brushes and cause them to lose their shape. It’s best to use a brush cleaning solution.

Q: How often should I clean my brushes?

A: You should clean your brushes between colors and thoroughly clean them after each painting session.

Q: Can I reuse my cleaning solution?

A: Yes, you can reuse your cleaning solution until it becomes too dirty or cloudy.

Q: Can I use a hair dryer to dry my brushes?

A: No, a hair dryer can damage your brushes. It’s best to reshape your brushes and let them air dry.


Cleaning your brushes between colors is an important step in oil painting. By following these simple steps and using the right supplies, you can keep your brushes clean and extend their life. Remember to clean your brushes thoroughly after each painting session and reshape them before letting them air dry. Happy painting!