I hear everyone giving up on Purdy paintbrushes when I read through the Decorators Forum UK these days.
I use the 3″ XL elite monarch (red sleeve) all the time and they are, and always have been brilliant, as long as you clean them well and don’t abuse them. I’m a decorator, so I’m used to using my brushes for hours on end, pretty much every day. I never have a problem with making my brushes last. In fact, Purdy brushes just get better with time!
When I’m washing them out, I use warm water, not hot as that ruins them. I always use a wire brush and just dance it on the bristles right at the base where they go into the ferrule. You don’t want to go digging for gold with the wire brush as this will damage and curl the bristles up!
Keep all scrapers and 5-in-1 tools away from brushes when cleaning them. Dance the wire brush on the ferrule and at the base of the bristles just to break up any dried paint that has gathered there. That’s all you need, especially if you use water-based paints.
Every few months I might give a brush a soak in virosol to remove any dry paint that might be on there. It just stops build up and makes them look nice again. Virosol is an amazing product, available online, it will take dried paint of brushes with ease.
Another tip is to keep your brushes dry when in storage, so spin them out properly after washing them out and do not keep your cleaned brush in a plastic bag. I tend to keep mine on a shelf in my work van, or a wooden box. That way, I also prevent the bristles getting squashed and mis-shaped.
Here’s a picture of a brush I’ve been using pretty much every day for the past 6 months.
Looking After a Paint Brush – by Andrew Mackey