If you look after your paint brushes they should last a long time.
Firstly lets look at how to look after them whilst they are not in use. Where do you store your brushes? Brushes should be stored horizontally ie lying down, not hanging, not upright and most importantly not bristle side down in a jar. To keep your the fibers of your brushes from damage they need to be store so they are not being bent in anyway. There are plenty of storage options available in your local art supply store, craft store or even a thrift shop. Personally I have my watercolour brushes stored in a brush roll and my other brushes in brush boxes that are clearly labeled for each type of painting medium ie all the brushes I use for oil painting are in one box marked “oil” and acrylic in another etc.
When using my brushes I have paper towels or rags next to my palette and water pot to lie the used brushes onto when they are not in use. Brushes should never be left in the water pot or paint, as this can cause damage to the fibers and the glues that keep them attached to the brush.
It is also important to clean your brushes before the paint has a chance to dry into the fibers.
- Watercolour and gouache brushes can be was with any mild soap and rinsed well, let them dry before storing.
- Oil and Acrylic paint needs to be wiped onto a rag before a brush cleaner is massaged into the fibers, the excess cleaner is then wiped off before the cleaner is washed off the brushes with a mild soap, let them dry before storing.
If you treat your brushes well they will last a long time, as some can be expensive to purchase it is just a matter of getting value for your investment.