Looking After a Paint Brush so it Lasts

Updated May 8, 2024 | Posted Dec 9, 2019 | Professional insight, Tool Insight | 5 comments

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 by clicking here, 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.

paintbrush maintain
paintbrush, wire brush, scraper, warm water, hot, maintain, maintenance, paintbrushes, emulsion

Blog written by Andrew Mackey – Professional Painter and Decorator

Updated May 8, 2024 | Posted Dec 9, 2019 | 5 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.
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  1. Simon Young

    Haven’t used Purdy’s in a long time…. The reason? Others are better now. Purdy’s simply didn’t evolve, in fact the quality got worse. They were the top brush a few years ago, now they are distinctively mid range. For the ££ you pay there are far superior brushes now. Richards/Oldfeilds /Zachary /Premier /monarch/carona etc… I find some of the “cheaper brands” can hold there own with purdy’s now, the likes of Kana advance & prodec ice fusion etc at a sometimes half the price.

    • Andy

      I cant say I agree. Prodec ice fusion are no good for acrylic primer like some of the others you mentioned, purdy are. I use purdy for everything except oil paints, I’m old school and use Hamilton pure bristle for oil

  2. Ian mackenzie

    Still think purdy are the best impressed with oldfield and ice fusion Hamilton for oil

    • Robert Kane

      I’ve been using the ice fusion brushes lately and am getting on well with them but I always have and always will use Hamilton’s 😁👍🧑‍🎨

  3. Stuart Carlisle

    Think purdy are still the best around,easy to wash out and for perfect cutting in.


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