How to Remove Polyurethane from Brush

Last Updated on June 28, 2021 by Bright Calister

How to remove polyurethane from brush? Completing a painting hob brings an amazing feeling. Irrespective of whether it is your furniture, wall, or dining table, you are done painting. However, it is easy to feel downcast when you realize the mess left behind after each painting process. Also, when you see that your brush has polyurethane in it, you will realize the extent of the mess you made and must clean up.

The bad news is that you can’t leave the brush like that because it will become hard, making things worse. But, you don’t have to feel gloomy because the process of cleaning the polyurethane from the brush is not so difficult.

All you need to do is go through this article thoroughly, and you will learn the simple steps involved in the entire process. However, there are other things we shall discuss before we get to how to remove polyurethane from a brush.

Types of Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a type of coating that exists in liquid form. It is best used for painting purposes such as sealants, varnishes, etc. Additionally, you can use it in painting bookcases, bedding, and family frames.

It is known to dry in record time, and if you allow it dry, it won’t return to the liquid form no matter what you do. There are two types of polyurethane – oil-based and water-based. Recognizing which one to use will enable you to remove polyurethane from paintbrushes.

Oil-based polyurethane

This type of polyurethane is slightly more reliable than its water-based counterpart. Also, oil-based polyurethane is less expensive than water-based ones. Nonetheless, you will need to ventilate the area for a few days to dry out completely.

Additionally, it will help you eliminate the odor that comes with it because it can settle into the curtains, clothes, and beds in the room where it is used.

Water-based polyurethane

The popularity of water-based polyurethane has increased over the years because of the absence of odor, low toxicity, and the simplistic way it is removed compared to oil-based type.

On the contrary, water-based polyurethane doesn’t add color to wooden surfaces and maintains the material’s natural color. However, you need to use it cautiously even though it is has a lower level of toxicity.

Ways to clean polyurethane from brushes

How to Remove polyurethane from brush? There are two methods used to eliminate polyurethane from your brush. The method approach will rely on the type of polyurethane involved. For example, if you opt for water-based polyurethane, pouring water on the brush will be enough to get the job done.

On the other hand, oil-based polyurethane will need few more steps before you can get rid of them completely. All you need to do is to follow our deeply researched method to learn the best approach for both sets of polyurethane.

How to remove water-based polyurethane from a brush

The water-based type of polyurethane is the simplest to remove from a paintbrush. All that is needed is water and a cup or a bucket to soak the brush. Then, clean the bush after the polyurethane has been removed.

Soak the brush in water

Before you commence this process, take some time to read the instructions at the back of the can to indicate the type of polyurethane you are using. If the name water-based, then you can go ahead with this process. However, if the back of the can says oil-based, it is best to skip this process altogether.

Materials needed for the process

A couple of cups to rinse the water

Steps involved

  • Fill a cup with water.
  • Soak the paintbrush in the cup.
  • Spill the old water out.
  • Refill the cup.
  • Carry out this process up to four times.
  • When the water turns clear, it is a sign that you are done.
  • Go over to the sink
  • If you notice some paint residue left on the brush, you may want to wash it in your sink to remove it. You should take the following steps to complete this process.
  • Wear safety gloves to keep your hands safe.
  • Turn on the water tap on the sink.

It would be best if you were cautious when doing this task to avoid paint splatters all over the kitchen.
Wring out the brush as much as possible.

How to remove oil-based polyurethane from the brush

Like we said earlier, the removal of oil-based polyurethane requires more steps than water-based ones. However, it is not as complicated as it may sound. The materials you need include paint thinner, dish soap, water, and, most importantly, patience in the removal process.

It would be best to wear a dust mask and gloves. Also, ensure the area is well ventilated to protect yourself. It is possible, go outside when working on oil-based polyurethane. We are going to look at the steps involved in the removal of oil-based polyurethane types.

The use of paint thinner

A paint thinner is a word used to describe a solvent that removes polyurethane from a brush. You can buy it from a local hardware store. It is best to keep the windows in the work area open and wear a make to avoid poisoning from a paint thinner before using the solvent.

If you are using a paint thinner, the following steps will help you complete the process.

  • Add a tiny amount of the paint thinner to the cup, it would be best to avoid filling the cup up.
  • You should dip the brush into the cup containing the paint thinner.
  • Let the brush sit in the cup for at least 20 minutes.
  • After the allocated time, bend the brush from one side to the next.
  • Bend the brush to get up to the metal part because if you don’t do that, the brush will harden.
  • Ensure you don’t jam it straight down.
  • Wring out the brush as much as possible. Repeat the process till the paint thinner turns clean.
  • Wash the paint thinner out.

After you cleared the brush, the next step is to wash out the paint thinner. The following steps will help you do that.

  • Go to your sink in the kitchen.
  • Wear gloves to keep your skin from losing the natural oils.
  • Pour a dish soap on the brush.
  • Work the dish soap into the bristles of the brush.
  • Then, turn the water on.
  • Rinse the brush out as much as possible.
  • Continue to flush it with water until there are no soap bubbles left in the brush bristles.

Tips on cleaning and storing your brush

To avoid any damage to your brush after painting, you need to store it properly and clean it to prolong its lifespan. The following steps can help you clean the brush and store it.

  • Clean the brush immediately after using it to paint to prevent it from drying out.
  • Ensure you clean the brush thoroughly.
  • Use the process discussed above to clean the brush if you are using water-based polyurethane or oil-based polyurethane.
  • Wring out the brush before storing it.
  • Finally, wrap the brush.

Conclusion- How to Remove Polyurethane from Brush

From what was discussed here, you can see it is easy to clean polyurethane from a brush. You only need to take few steps to get the brush back to normal. The essential required material as a paint thinner depends on the kind of polyurethane you are using.

Also, the processes that are discussed here will help you prolong the lifespan of your paintbrush.

Important Reads

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Brush Marks

How Should Primer look on a Wall?

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