I have two ruined brushes. One was $50 dollars when new.
I pass this brush, stuck in its petrified paint around the class.
Then I demonstrate how to clean a brush. I show the students the
ferrule where paint can collect. I show them how to shake the brush
to release water and form the bristles or hairs with my fingers.
Like Woody I assign four students each class to clean the brushes in
buckets in the deep sink.
They have to pass each brush over a white paper towel to check for
I don't dry the brushes standing up. I have students "flick" the
clean brushes to align the wet bristles, form them with their
fingers and then the brushes are laid flat to dry.
The whole process takes about 10 minutes. The rest of the class
wipes down the tables, moves their work to the drying area, check
the paints to be sure tops are closed tightly.
I use those small snack size cups with tops that snap and fit well.
I also put a spoonfull of water on top of the paint in each cup
before sealing. It can be blended in the next time you use the
If all this sounds obsessive compulsive, my paints last forever - my
order isn't even used up by the end of the year - and brushes nearly