Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Shellac based primer brush cleanup

Quickstep's picture

I use shellac on furniture, and as most of you probably know, it's not necessary to clean a brush that's been used for shellac. You just let it dry hard, then re-dissolve the shellac in the brush before the next use by putting it in some alcohol prior to use.

I this possible with shellac based primers?

(post #75231, reply #1 of 7)

 I assume you are referring to BIN.

 I have a friend who painted professionally and used to occasionally clean them in Spic N Span

Usually, though--- just used a cheap china bristle chip brush or  old rollers and through them away afterwards.


(post #75231, reply #2 of 7)

I dont think you can re-disolve the shellac based paint like you can plain shellac.

Probably has to do with the pigment in the paint.


(post #75231, reply #3 of 7)

I don't think that it would be any different.

But it might be a bit slower.

BTW amonia and water does a great job of cleaning up fresh brushes.

And I think if you would let it soak it would work on old ones also.

But it might take a while of soaking, working, and rinsing, and repeat to get the buildup out of th but of the brush.

Hey every group has to have one. And I have been elected to be the one. I should make that my tagline.
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #75231, reply #4 of 7)

never tried just letting it dry. I use my Purdy brushes even for the BIN primer because the chips lose too many bristles. So I always clean my brushes with denatured alcohol after using BIN. Sometimes I use a little hand cleaner worked into the bristles and rinsed with water after the alcohol cleaning.

(post #75231, reply #5 of 7)

Bill is right about this. You can do it but it makes the process much slower. The pigment gets really built up in the butt of the brush, and it's very hard to get rid of once it has hardened. Just bite the bullet and have a coffee can of denatured alcohol there where you wash the major part of the primer out and then finish it off with hot hot water and dish soap. I just did it last night priming up some built ins I made for my study.
Cleaning rollers and brushes is just one of those jobs that is a necessary hate doing but it has to be done. I have many good Purdy brushes that are hardened with paints and finishes when i was too much in a rush to clean. I keep thinking that one day I'll buy a gallon of brush cleaner and just let them soak.

Yeah, right.

(post #75231, reply #6 of 7)

I wouldn't use you very best brush to apply BIN, but I can vouch that ammonia works just as well as alcohol to clean your brushes of the stuff..and it's a whole lot cheaper. Hell, I love ammonia. Use that crap for everything. Try it; you'll be a believer too.

(post #75231, reply #7 of 7)

If you  happen to read the back of the label of the shellac based will tell you to use either denatured alcohol or use ammonia in place others have already noted, either cleaner works equally well.  At work, we sometimes cut the handle a bit short on our brushes and leave the brush inside the can between uses...but after a while, the brush still starts to clog.