How to Clean Up Acrylic Paints

How to Clean Up Acrylic Paints. Acrylics are quick-drying paints, so timely cleanup is essential.

  1. Clean your brushes immediately after use by working the paint out from the ferrule toward the tip of the brush.

  2. Avoid leaving your brushes in liquid for extended periods of time. This ruins the shape of the brushes and makes the wood swell, which causes the ferrule to become loose once the wood dries out.

  3. Avoid letting acrylic (or oil) paint dry on your brush. If you accidentally do so, try a little bit of Dow Bathroom Cleaner (the Scrubbing Bubbles) before you throw it away.

  4. Wet the brush, squirt on some Dow, massage the bristles, then rinse. If that doesn't work, rinse the brush well and try acetone.

  5. Store your brushes upright, handle-end down in a cup, or flat in a box.

  6. Rinse paint-spattered clothes in cool water, spray with window cleaner and rinse. If the stain persists, try vodka. On the stain, that is.

  7. Wet or dried acrylic paint cleans up from hands with soap, warm water and a little scrubbing.

  8. Tip

    Before using your brushes, gently work the stiff bristles with your fingers under warm running water to remove the sizing that manufacturers put in to protect the brushes' shape. Dried acrylic paint will not come out of fabric.