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How Long Do Paint Brushes Last?

As an artist, you have to buy a lot of tools! You won’t want to replace them all the time, so you should take care of them. If you go through many paintbrushes, you’ll want to know how to make them last longer.

So, how long do paint brushes last? You can expect most paint brushes to last between three to six months when you take care of them. However, if you paint less often, you can expect them to last longer. Your brushes will eventually wear out no matter how well you take care of them.

What type of brush you’re using can change the longevity of the paintbrush. This article will cover how long you can expect different paint brushes to last. If you’re ready, let’s keep reading!

How To Make Paint Brushes Last

Some of your painting habits might actually be destroying your brushes! You’ll want to make adjustments and try your best to take better care of them. First, you should buy higher-quality brushes- they last longer, and the bristles won’t fall out as quickly.

My favorite brushes to use for acrylics and gouache paintings are these Arteza Paintbrushes. They are professional artists quality, and can last a while!

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Next, don’t leave your paint brushes sitting in the water. Many artists are guilty of this! Instead of leaving them in water, lay them down on a paper towel next to you. When you leave a brush in water for hours, the weight of the brush pushes on the bristles, bending them.

For brushes that need extra cleaning, I like to use this Pink Soap Cleaner. It gets the paint off easily and without damaging your brushes. I highly recommend using this cleaner for stubborn brushes.

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You should also clean the bristles well after each use. When the paint dries in the bristles, it can quickly ruin them. The bristles will also spread out, making it harder to paint with them. After cleaning, store the brushes with the bristles facing upwards. That way, the bristles don’t hold all the weight of the brush.

Finally, don’t mix your paints with the paintbrush! Many artists do this since the brush is already in their hands. However, it’s incredibly damaging. The brush’s bristles become frayed and fall out much faster when you do this. Instead, use a palette knife or other tool for mixing.

How Long Do Acrylic Paint Brushes Last?

Acrylic brushes can last between three to six months. However, you can easily get them to last up to a year when you take care of them properly. You’ll also want to wash them after each use, don’t leave them sitting in water for long periods, and gently dry the bristles with a rag.

It’s also good to clean your acrylic brushes using warm, soapy water. Pour some into a container, gently swirl the brushes around until all the pigment comes off. Dap the bristles on a rag to dry them.

You can also use a paint brush cleaner like this one. It safely cleans your brushes, while protecting the bristles. You can also use this for any brush with any type of paint!

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Rinse the brushes one last time, then reshape the bristles. You want them to air dry in the proper shape! 

Overall, cleaning acrylic brushes is simple and fast. You should make it a habit to give them a good cleaning after each time you paint.

How Long Do Oil Paint Brushes Last?

Oil paint brushes tend to last longer than acrylic ones because they usually consist of animal hair instead of synthetic bristles. You can expect them to last about one to two years with consistent use. If you use them less often, they could last 20 years!

You should always clean your brushes when you finish painting. You don’t want to leave them sitting in mineral spirits because they are highly damaging to the bristles. Use a moisturizing soap to clean the brushes for better results. 

Lightly dipping the brush in mineral spirits will help loosen the oil paints so that you can clean them. However, mineral or baby oil also loosens the paint without harming the bristles.

I like to use U.S. Art Supply Paint Thinner because its odorless, and very effective at cleaning oil paint brushes.

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After washing the brushes, reshape them, then store them with the bristles facing upwards. They’ll hold their shape much better that way.

How Long Do Paint Rollers Last?

You can expect a paint roller to last you five cycles before it starts shedding too much for you to continue using it. If you want to make your paint roller last longer, use these tips:

  • Wrap the roller in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge
  • Wash the paint roller with detergent
  • Don’t leave the paint to dry on the roller

If you can follow all these tips, you’ll get more use out of the roller. However, paint rollers don’t last nearly as long as paintbrushes. You’ll want to make sure you take care of them and get a high-quality roller if you want this tool to last a long time.

Check out my other article that talks about reusing a paint roller, and everything else you need to know!

Do Paint Brushes Expire?

Paint brushes technically don’t expire. However, you need to clean the paint off the bristles well. Not maintaining the brush, bad painting habits, and using them too roughly can cause the brushes to break down early.

Overall, your paintbrush won’t come with an expiration date. How long your new brush lasts depends on how well you take care of it. If you never open the packaging, the brush will last forever.

Do Paint Brushes Wear Out?

Paint brushes do wear out. No matter how well you take care of your brushes, they will start wearing out eventually. The bristles experience a lot of friction on the canvas when you paint, causing damage over time. The hairs can start falling out as the brush wears out.

There are several signs that your paintbrush wore out. First, the bristles won’t hold their shape anymore. They’ll look frayed and stick out. You won’t get good lines from brushes like this anymore. 

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Next, a worn out brush sheds bristles constantly and might have bald spots. You won’t have to pick hairs out of your painting continually! These worn-out brushes also stay dirty, no matter how much you clean them.

Lastly, the brush no longer has its point. If your brush is missing a tip, it’s time to replace it!

How Long Can You Reuse a Paint Brush?

You can reuse a paintbrush until it wears out too much to give you the desired results. Some artists use their brushes a lot longer than others before they replace them- it’s up to you! You can use the brush for about three to six months until they become too worn out.

Transon is another great brand that offers high quality brushes. This set comes with 12 brushes, and it’s great for acrylics, oils and even gouache paints!

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Overall, you can continue reusing a paintbrush until the signs of wear are too strong to continue. Some people reuse the same brushes for years, while others replace them monthly. The brushes’ longevity also depends on the quality of the brushes that you buy.

How Do You Store Paint Brushes Long Term?

If you want to store brushes for a long time, make sure you don’t keep them with the bristles facing down! Doing so is sure to ruin them. Instead, place them in a special hard case made for brushes.

The case lets the brushes lay on their side and offers protection. If you want to take the brushes with you while traveling, a hard case like this is also essential.

I also recommend getting a cloth case like this one, to safely store your brushes. Your brushes are still protected, and it can be easier to travel with since you just roll or unroll your case.

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You can also store the brushes by hanging them up, with the bristles facing the floor. Since they’re in the air, the bristles will be fine like this! If you need to store the brushes for years, this is the best option.

Is It Okay To Leave Paint Brushes in Water Overnight?

You should never leave your paintbrushes in water overnight! The water can break down the paint on the brush, cause the wooden handle to swell, cause rusting, and severely damage the bristles.

If you leave the brushes in water overnight, they might be okay the next day. However, the damage might be too minor to notice at first. If you keep leaving them in water, you’re sure to ruin them quickly.

Overall, never leave your brushes in water overnight! Instead, clean them, leave them out to dry, and store them properly. You’ll need to do this every time you paint! Cleaning your brushes often might sound like a hassle, but it doesn’t take much time.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you can expect most types of paintbrushes to last three to six months with consistent use. If you use them more or less often, that amount of time will change. Plus, higher-quality brushes will last longer than cost-efficient ones.

You can make your brushes last longer with proper care and storage. Make sure to clean them, let them air dry, and store them so the bristles won’t fray. If you can do all that, you’re sure to get more use out of them!

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your paint brushes are stored safely! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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