ZenART's Membership Plans Terms & Conditions

(Updates effective 17/08/2020)

These terms and conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) govern the ZenART Supplies Rewards & Referral Plan as well as Subscribe & Save Plan (“Membership Plans”), and members of the programs will earn zen coins in connection with the purchase of qualifying online products and online activities that are redeemable towards the purchase of certain products online. For the re-occurring members (Subscribe & Save Plan) this includes exclusive gifts & content.


  • Free. No purchase is necessary to obtain membership in the Rewards & Referral Program, but you must establish an account at https://shop.zenartsupplies.co/account/register . Please see our privacy policy, located here, to understand how information you provide us will be used. This program is void where prohibited.
  • Eligibility. In order to be eligible for the Rewards & Referral Program, you must create an account as outlined in these Terms and Conditions. You may create an account if you are at least seventeen (17) years of age, have Internet access, and have a valid mailing address. If you are between the ages of 17 and 18, you must have your parent’s permission to register for an account. If you choose to create an account, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account, username and password and for restricting access to your account. You are responsible for keeping such information current, complete, accurate and truthful. You agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account, username and/or password. You agree to provide only current, complete, accurate and truthful information. If you are accessing and using the Site on someone else’s behalf, you represent that you have the authority to bind that person as the principal to all Terms and Conditions provided herein, and to the extent you do not have such authority you agree to be bound to these Terms and Conditions and to accept liability for harm caused by any wrongful use of the Site or Content resulting from such access or use. You may only have one member account per natural person. Persons who are discovered to have more than one account forfeit their zen coins and will be unsubscribed from the Loyalty Program.
  • How To Enroll in the Rewards & Referral Program. (a) Create an account: Visit www.zenartsupplies.com (the "Site" or "Online") and become a registered user of the Site. Click here to be taken directly to the registration page. You will be asked for your first and last name, your email address, and a password. You will also be given the option to sign up for our newsletter. Once you have submitted the requisite information, you will be sent an email to the address you listed confirming your membership. Once you have confirmed your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Reward & Referral Program and are a member (“Member”).
  • How to Access/Change Your Member Information. You must keep your personal information on your Account up-to-date. To do so, click on the "My Account" section and access your account by entering your registered email address and current password. From your dashboard you can access your account information; review your current and past orders; change your profile; manage your subscriptions and applications, and access your previous purchases.
  • How to Cancel Your Membership. You may cancel an account at any time. To cancel your account, please send an email to support@zenartsupplies.co and write “cancel membership” in the subject line. The email must come from the account currently listed on our servers as being associated with your Rewards & Referral Program. If you no longer have access to that email address, please email our customer service department and we will verify your status and cancel your account. Upon cancellation, you are no longer a member, and any unused zen coins accrued in your account will be forfeited and cannot be redeemed. Zen coins maintain their value only on valid accounts in good standing, and except as otherwise provided here for redemption, have no cash value outside of their redemption value on the Site.


  • General Members can earn zen coins on the purchase of qualifying online products at zenartsupplies.co. To receive zen coins for your Online purchases, you must be signed into your account. You may check at any time to see if you are signed in to the Site by looking in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Gift cards do not qualify for zen coins. Other products that do not qualify for zen coins are noted on the Site.
  • Earning Rate. Members earn 5 sen coins for every $1.00 spent on qualifying purchases (in other words, one (5) zen coins for every one dollar ($1) spent). Zen coins are based on your order subtotal, after any discounts, only. Zen coins are rounded down to the nearest whole number. For example, if you spend $9.99, you will receive 9 zen coins. The calculation is as follows: $9.99 x 1 zen coins per dollar = 9.99 zen coins, which is rounded down to 9 zen coins. This program started on August 17, 2020, and initial levels were set on the 2020 amount spent on ordering products. Note: Shipping and Taxes are not taken into consideration. If an item is return and/or price adjusted that will also be removed from your rewards calculations.
  • Gift Cards. Gift card purchases are not eligible to receive zen coins. However, once a gift card is redeemed, zen coins will be awarded to the recipient for the subtotal after any gift card values, provided s/he is logged into the account, as outlined in these Terms and Conditions.
  • Addition of Zen Coins to Accounts. Zen Coins will be added to your Account under the following conditions, and will generally show up immediately. You will receive zen coins:
    • At the time of account registration
    • During the purchase of qualifying products
    • For other activities outlined on the Site that may show up from time to time. Note that for these other activities, including “bonus zen coins” accumulations and other zen coin promotions, zen coins may show as “pending,” depending upon the activity.
    • Joining the Birthday Club. Birthdate must be entered 30 days before your Birthday to qualify.
    • For Liking the ZenART Supplies Facebook page and sharing the ZenART Supplies Facebook page with your following. This is good one time only.
    • Following ZenART Supplies on Instagram. This is good one time only.
    • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Your account will be automatically awarded the discount only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying purchase. Discount will automatically be applied to account if stipulations are met.
  • Exclusions. Members earn zen coins only on the purchase price of: (i) qualifying online products. Calculation of zen coins excludes payment by the Member for shipping charges and all taxes, including without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes or use taxes. Zen Coins will not be earned on any discounts or other credits offered in connection with a product or service. For example, if a product that is normally $50 is on sale for $25, a Member will only earn zen coins on the purchase price of $25. Purchases of gift cards, redemption of vouchers, and any type of price adjustments, including merchandise returns, are not eligible for zen coins. All purchases made: (i) by a Member prior to such member joining the Program, (ii) Online without a Member being logged onto the Website with the Member's Account number linked to the Member's Online account, are not eligible for Reward & Referral Program credit. The purchase of ZenART Supplies products outside the Zenartsupplies.co website are not eligible for the Reward & Referral Program.
  • Returns/Order Cancellations. Zen Coins earned for a purchase that is then the subject of a return, cancellation, refund, declined credit card or gift card, or other credit will be deducted from your account in an amount equal to the zen coins earned for the original transaction, including any bonus zen coins that may be applicable. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return. Zen Coins redeemed on an order will not be reapplied back to your rewards account for any reason on a returned order. If a return/cancellation will cause your account to have a negative zen coin balance, you will not begin earning zen coins again until your zen coins balance is returned to zero (0), by making purchases, or engaging in other promotional activities offered from time to time. If an item is exchanged (different product) any redeemed rewards on the initial purchase may be transferred to the exchange one (1) time only. Rewards used on an order that is canceled cannot be reapplied as they are good for just one use.
  • Bonus Zen Coins Promotions. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may run certain bonus zen coin promotions. Under bonus zen coin promotions, Members can earn additional or "bonus zen coins" in connection with the purchase of certain online products. When you purchase these specially marked products or make the purchase during a bonus zen coins time period, you will earn bonus zen coins on each product, as specified in the offer. Bonus zen coin promotions are subject to the terms and conditions of the offer and may be offered at any time in ZenART Supplies sole discretion. Bonus zen coin offers cannot be combined with any other offer.
  • Limitations on Bonus Zen Coins and Zen Coins, Generally. These terms apply to zen coins and bonus zen coins accruals. If you purchase a product during a promotion and the product comes with an additional, free product, zen coins will not be issued on the retail value of the free product. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product and pay a portion of the retail price after the zen coin's redemption, you will receive zen coins only on the leftover retail amount you pay, and not on any value attributed to the zen coin you used. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product in an amount equal to the full price of the product, you will not earn any zen coins.
  • Non-purchase Options for Earning Zen Coins. You may also earn additional zen coins on non-purchase activities. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may offer you the chance to win various prizes, and earn zen coins, for entering into promotions. For sweepstakes promotions, there is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PLAY OR TO WIN. Rules and restrictions will apply to such promotions and may be found on the entry page of any promotion.
  • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Email a friend an $8 off coupon on $50 order by clicking “ Earn Zen Coins” then “ Refer a Friend”. Enter the email address of a friend who has not purchased with ZenART Supplies before (if your referral has shopped with us before the referral link will be automatically voided by the system). A referral link will be sent to your friend with an $8 off coupon on a $50 order. $8 off coupon on $50 order will automatically be rewarded to your account only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying first-time purchase with ZenART Supplies. Your Referral friend will receive an $8 off coupon on $50 order, 200 zen coins for signing up, and zen coins from their first purchase made while signed into their new ZenART Supplies account.


  • How To Use Your Zen Coins. Zen Coins must be used in increments outlined in these Terms and Conditions. The maximum number of zen coins that may be used in a single transaction is 10,000 zen coins. Zen Coins may only be used Online at the ZenART Supplies website. Zen Coins towards Products: Members can use their zen coins to reduce the purchase price of a product or to receive a product for free based on the following scale:
    • 500 zen coins = $5.00 off
    • 1,000 zen coins = $10.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 1,500 zen coins = $15.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 2,500 zen coins = $25.00 off your at least $50 order

    Zen Coins can only be redeemed in any combination of the zen coin and increment amounts set forth above. Redemption of zen coins towards purchases of products is subject to product availability. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return.

  • Gift cards. Once available, zen coins cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards. Gift card redemption, however, is eligible for zen coins. Zen Coins accrued pursuant to the use of a gift card will benefit the gift card user, provided the user has an account in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • To Redeem your Zen Coins. Before you begin shopping with us, sign in to your Shop account on our site. Select “Redeem Zen Coins” from the red tab housed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and select the amount of zen coins you would like to redeem. You will be issued a custom code that you can copy and paste into the discount bar during check out (Please note - only one code can be used). Your total payment amount will be discounted by the amount of zen coins you allocate to the purchase. Note that zen coins may only be redeemed for the purchase price of the product. Sales tax, shipping, and other handling charges assessed in addition to the price of the product are your responsibility and zen coins may not be used to discount these additional charges.
  • Exclusions. Only one account per natural person. Only one discount code can be redeemed per transaction. Rewards redemption codes may not be combined with any other discount codes. Zen Coins may not be transferred or gifted at this time. Zen Coins cannot be used on past purchases. Zen Coins accumulated on different accounts by different members may not be combined or aggregated to make purchases of products or for any other reason. Zen Coins earned in a transaction cannot be redeemed in the same transaction. Redeemed zen coins cannot be retroactively applied to any past order or receive a price adjustment on any order where redeemed zen coins were not applied. Zen Coins have no cash value outside of the ZenART Supplies website and are available only to members in good standing.
  • Zen Coins Expiration and Time Lapses. All zen coins acquired, whether standard zen coins or bonus zen coins, shall expire 180 days from the date the zen coins are added to your account. Zen Coins expire 180 days from the date in which they were assigned to your account. Specific onsite activities in which zen coins will be awarded are set to accrue zen coins based on a time-lapse at the discretion of ZenART Supplies.
    • Sign up: zen coins are added to your account instantly
    • Order: zen coins are added to your account when your order is placed.
  • Once zen coins are redeemed, a discount code will be assigned and we are unable to cancel the discount code and reapply the zen coins to your Reward & Referral account. Discount codes generated by redeeming zen coins do not expire until used. They are a one-time use code, so once it is used it is gone. If an order is returned zen coins will not be reinstated.

4. Subscribe & Save Plan

  • Re-occurring purchase. Purchase is necessary in order to participate in this plan. The plan is worth $6.95 and will be charged to your account on the same date of the month that you purchased the plan, i.e. if you purchased the plan on 19th of January, you will be charged for the plan on the 19th of each month you are a Subscribe & Save Plan member.
  • 15% re-occurring discount. As a member of the subscribe & Save Plan, you are eligible for a 15% discount every time you put an order in place. You are qualified for the discount as soon as you purchase the plan.
  • Cancellation. After a purchase made with a Subscribe & Save Plan, you are not able to get a refund for the plan for the month the purchase was valid for but you can cancel for the following months.
  • Free samples & accessories. These are included for members of Subscribe & Save Plan only. These are not included in each order but the member will be informed when they will receive "extras" in their order.
  • Access to exclusive content. Exclusive access to tutorials, guides, tips & tricks in video, pdf, or audio format will be part of the membership program. Not all exclusive content is available but what is and will be available is up to ZenART Supplies sole discretion.


  • By registering with Zenartsupplies.co and joining the Reward & Referral Program, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in these Terms and Conditions, as well as any other terms that may be associated with the Reward & Referral Program. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to cancel, modify, suspend or restrict the Reward & Referral Program, your account, the redemption of zen coins, or any aspect of the Program, including, without limitation, the zen coin conversion ratio and the zen coin expiration policy at any time. Any changes can be made without advance notice. ZenART Supplies may make these changes even though such changes may affect your ability to use zen coins already accumulated. You are responsible for remaining knowledgeable about the Program Terms and Conditions. A Member's zen coins balance, as reflected in ZenART Supplies records, shall be deemed correct. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to determine the amount of zen coins in any Member's account based on ZenART Supplies' internal records related to such Member's account. In the event of an inconsistency between the amount accrued in a Member's account as stated on any Member's receipt and ZenART Supplies internal records, ZenART Supplies internal records will control. ZenART Supplies assumes no responsibility for errors caused by incorrect Member information. Your right to transfer zen coins earned or granted under the Program is strictly limited. The sale of zen coins is prohibited and may result in the confiscation or cancellation of your zen coins as well as suspension or termination of your membership, which in each case shall be final and conclusive. All transactions involving zen coins and all Member accounts are subject to review and verification by ZenART Supplies. The zen coins balance in a Member's account may be unavailable for use when an account or transaction is under review. ZenART Supplies may revoke any Member's membership in the Reward & Referral Program at any time if such Member engages in abuse of the Reward & Referral Program or fails to follow the terms and conditions of the Program. Fraud or abuse relating to the accrual of zen coins or redemption of rewards may result in revocation of membership in the Program and may affect a Member's eligibility for participation in any other ZenART Supplies program, present or future. Zen Coins are non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. The interpretation and application of the Program's Terms and Conditions are at the sole discretion and determination of ZenART Supplies. For more information or other questions, click on Contact Us.
  • The Terms and Conditions of the loyalty program are subject to change at ZenART Supplies’ sole discretion at any time and without notice to customers. Upon customer’s at-will termination of their Zenartsupplies.com registered account, or if a customer is termination for violation of these Terms and Conditions or other activities in violation of the intent and good faith intended use of this Site, all zen coins will immediately be forfeited and will no longer be redeemable. ZenART Supplies will make reasonable efforts to award zen coins as outlined above to all 1. registered and 2. qualifying Zenartsupplies.co customers but is not responsible for any technical or unforeseen errors that may occur.
  • Zen Coins are nontransferable, nonredeemable for cash, are nonrefundable and are not valid outside of Zenartsupplies.co. Purchases made outside Zenartsupplies.co are not valid for zen coin accrual (this includes, but is not limited to Facebook resell groups, Ebay, and Amazon).
  • Employees of ZenART Supplies are not eligible to participate in the Reward & Referral Program.

Subscribe & Save Plan

Membership Benefits for Just $6.95/Month

For other currencies, the respective conversion applies.


How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes

How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes

Quick and Easy | Deep Cleaning | Without Paint Thinner | Dried Oil Paint Brushes

Before we head into learning how to clean oil paint brushes, check out our previous Toolkit article - Acrylic vs Oil Paint - The Main Differences. Find out the key differences between oil and acrylic paint to help you decide which one suits your painting style best.


How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes - Quick and Easy
How To Get Oil Paint Out Of Brushes - Removing Excess Paint
Oil Paint Brush Cleaner - Rinsing Out
How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes -  Deep Cleaning
How To Wash Oil Paint Brushes - Soap and Warm Water
Drying and Reconditioning
Cleaning Without Paint Thinner Or Solvent
How About Dried Up Brushes?

Learning how to make your oil paint brushes' lifespan last for as long as you can will save you a lot of money in the long run. It's a great idea to invest in a good quality set as they can last you for a long time - as long as you take the time to properly care for them. I know it can seem like a time-consuming and tedious thing to do, but you'll thank yourself when you realize you haven't had to buy any new ones for quite a while.

The most common method is by using either turpentine or oil paint thinner. The downside to this is you'll also get exposed to harsh chemicals that give off harmful vapors that you breathe in, especially in a not so well-ventilated environment. And may even cause some skin irritation due to prolonged exposure. But thankfully nowadays, there are more and more eco-friendly alternatives cropping up to choose from.

Now, let's help you avoid your brushes getting into such a sad state before their time. If you're like me and have favorites among your brushes, you definitely want to know how to clean oil paint off brushes the right way. Keep those precious brushes with you for as long as you can!

Oil paint brushes shown above are from our Renoir Collection, a 14 piece professional brush set that's ideal for oil and acrylic painting. 

How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes - Quick and Easy

Before everything else, this quick and easy way is only applicable to brushes that you know you'll be using again in the next few days. For those special painting sessions that take an extended but continuous period of time to finish. If you plan to take long breaks between painting sessions, don't use this approach. Your brushes will harden and it's a very hard and laborious process to go back from that. 

Here's a Filbert Chungking Hog Brush loaded with a very staining color (Dioxazine Purple) as our sample brush to be cleaned in this how-to guide:

The brush above is from our Renoir Collection as well, it still looks great after many years of use. And the Dioxazine Purple is from the Impressionist Palette of our ZenART Infinity Series, the perfect color to use as an example in this how to clean oil paint brushes guide. As you can see, I first wiped off the excess paint on my palette.

How To Get Oil Paint Out Of Brushes - Removing Excess Paint

  • The first thing you need to do is to remove as much excess paint as you can by wiping it off on your palette or better yet using old newspapers or other recycled paper you have on hand. Then use a rag or in my case, a toilet paper or paper towel to remove some more of the paint that's still leftover. Wipe off as much as you can while making sure to remain gentle with your brush, always wipe off in the direction of the bristles or hair and don't use stabbing motions. 

I keep a toilet paper roll in a repurposed chocolate tin can nearby for easy access.

Wiping off as much of the paint as I can with the toilet paper.

Oil Paint Brush Cleaner - Rinsing Out

  • Next, get your choice of brush cleaning product and pour some in your prepared container. I have asthma myself, so I prefer to use odorless/ low odor and more eco-friendly cleaners that are available. The traditionally used turpentine's odor and vapor is too strong for me.
  • Knowing how to clean oil paint brushes in a non-toxic way is a useful skill to learn for any artist. A lot of the friendlier alternatives can also be used not just for cleaning your brushes, but as painting mediums as well. You don't need much, just pour a dash and it will be enough.

These are some of my own choices of brush cleaners and diluents: Turpenoid Natural, Zest-It Oil Paint Dilutant and Brush Cleaner, and the Bristle Magic Brush Cleaner (not visible here but you can see in the photo below).

I used the Zest-It cleaner for this brush (it has a nice citrusy smell), and just that small amount is enough for a good brush cleaning. So try not to get too excited and pour too much, a little goes a long way. After all, you can always easily add if you feel you need more. I reused another tin can as my cleaning container! 
  • Work your brush around the cleaning liquid rigorously in circular and swirling motions, you'll immediately see the paint getting rinsed off your brush. After quite a bit of that, remove your brush from the tin and wipe off as much of the liquid as you can using a rag or tissue paper. Repeat the process until you can clean out as much of the paint as you can. Add more of the brush cleaner if you think you need more.

Here is what the brush looks like after going through two rounds of brush cleaner rinsing. You can do more rounds to get more of the paint out.
  • That is the longest step on how to clean oil paint brushes in a quick and easy way, and it's quite an important one. You can stop at that and lay your brush flat to dry. But I suggest checking your brushes to give it a quick dip in oil or a brush conditioner if it's looking too dry, and spread it evenly around the bristles or hair with your fingertips.
  • Reshape the brush using your fingertips back to its original shape. And now, don't forget to lay it flat to dry to protect the glue and help keep its shape.

How To Clean Oil Paint Brushes -  Deep Cleaning

If you're not going to be using your brushes for quite some time, then you must do a deep cleaning on them. Some paint will still be left especially at the base of the bristles or hair, around the ferrule. Once that leftover paint dries, it will harden and ruin the shape of your brush. And I know you don't want that! You'll still be doing the same steps mentioned above but with some extra steps added before the oil dipping and laying flat to dry.

  • You start with the same process, by first wiping off the excess paint on paper and toilet paper.
  • Followed by the rinsing of your brush in the brush cleaner. Keep rinsing and repeating this process until you get as much of the paint out as you can. Remember to be thorough but still taking care to be gentle with your brush. The goal is to clean the brush well, not to damage it.
  • Now, make sure to wipe off as much as you can after all that repeated rinsing using your rag or toilet paper.
  • And what follows is the additional and very important step for a deeper cleaning.

How To Wash Oil Paint Brushes - Soap and Warm Water

  • Now it's time for the how to wash oil paint brushes part using soap and warm water for extra cleaning and washing! Run or dip your brush quickly under warm water. Then drag it back and forth across your soap bar to lather it up, don't push but instead use pulling motions. You can use a special brush cleaning soap or a regular soap bar, preferably the milder ones that aren't loaded with fragrance and added coloring.
  • Useful Tip: Never clean your brushes using hot water. It will weaken the glue that holds your brush hair or bristles together and cause them to fall out. While cold water makes the brush hair stiffer. Using warm water is the best choice.
I usually do this part in the bathroom sink. Above, I prepared a container filled with warm water for cleaning the brush.
  • You can use the palm of your hand or a rounded container (I use a detergent scoop that I set aside for this) to properly work the lather into the bristles or hair of the brush. Use circular swirling motions and make sure the soap gets in there to do its job, it should foam up nicely and you'll see the color start to change. That's the paint from your brush being soaped out.
  • Some prefer to use a pair of rubber or surgical gloves during painting or brush cleaning to protect the skin from harsh chemicals or from some of the more toxic paints. You can do so if you want to err on the cautious side. Since ZenART Supplies' Oil Paints are non-toxic and free from harmful driers and solvent fumes, I don't need to worry much about some paint getting on my skin.
  • Next, rinse the soap out of your brush under warm running water. And repeat the soaping process again, do this until the brush is completely clean. You'll see it when your brush foams up and it's no longer stained with color and when the running water that runs through your brush comes out clean. Remember, you don't want to leave any paint stuck at the base of the bristles or hair as much as possible. This step is the final and best way to clean oil based paint off brushes.
Here's my repurposed detergent scoop. As you've probably noticed, I'm a big fan of repurposing and recycling what you already have around the house. If you have old tennis balls, cut it in half and you can use those as well.
  • I like to make sure that no soap residue is left in the bristles or hair by pressing using my fingertips at the middle section of the brush near the ferrule. Rinse some more if you feel that there's still some soap left.
  • Then, you squeeze out as much of the water out, still using your fingertips. Keep in mind not to pull at the bristles, you don't want them to be loosened from the glue that binds them to the ferrule. 
On the left: Checking for soap residue. On the right: Squeezing as much water out as I can using my fingertips and without pulling at the bristles.

Drying and Reconditioning

  • For this next part, you can use an old kitchen towel or a rag that you already have around. I usually have rags for painting and cleaning that are from an old t-shirt that I cut up. And use it to wipe off more of the water out of your brush. Remember to be gentle and wipe off in the direction of the bristles or hair! And don't pull! - I know I sound like a broken record by now, but I really don't want you to end up with loosened brush hair or bristles.

On the left: An old kitchen towel given a second life as my brush drying towel. On the right: One of the rags that I cut out of an old t-shirt.
  • Now your brush is as clean as it can be! Reshape it back to its original form and you can leave it to dry flat on a clean surface. It should lay horizontally so the glue inside and the shape won't be damaged.
  • When you're just learning how to clean oil paint brushes, you might be tempted to stop and be done with it already since it's already clean. But you can go an extra step and recondition it. Don't worry, you don't have to do this every time you clean your brushes, just every now and then to help extend your brushes' life.
  • Just think of it as your hair that you need to condition to maintain its quality. I recommend you do this especially for those brushes that are starting to look dry and brittle. This helps keep the brush conditioned, especially brushes with natural hair. 

On the left: The brush reconditioner that I used - Bristle Magic Brush Cleaner. On the right: Working the reconditioner in with my fingertips to make sure it gets in there well enough.
  • I just quickly dunk my brush in and that's a good enough amount of product to recondition the bristles of my brush. Use your fingertips to gently but thoroughly massage it in to help it spread around evenly. Once you're done with that, reshape your brush hair or bristles back to its original form and leave it to dry on a clean and flat surface.
This is what my brush looks like after a good deep cleaning and reconditioning. As I mentioned before, this brush has been with me for several years already and it's still looking great!
Lay flat to dry like so on a clean and horizontal surface. Oil paint brushes shown above are all from our Renoir Collection.

Cleaning Without Paint Thinner Or Solvent

  • How to clean oil paint brushes without paint thinner or solvent? Is it possible? Yes it is!
  • Wipe off the excess paint. Then use oil - linseed, walnut, or other vegetable oils - to remove the paint from the brushes. This will take a longer amount of time compared to when you use thinners, solvents or brush cleaners. So just have more patience and keep repeating until you get most of the paint out.
  • After that, you follow it up the same way as the deep cleaning above - with soap and warm water cleaning. Then drying off with a cloth and reconditioning if deemed necessary. And finally reshaping and laying flat to dry.

How About Dried Up Brushes?

  • How to clean dried oil paint brushes the kinder way - by using a good brush cleaning soap. Another way is by using by using a brush restorer. I prefer the kinder way as I try to stay away from harsh chemicals when I can.
  • Rinse your hardened brush in warm water, swirl it on the soap, work into a good lather until it forms into a thick paste. Let it set into the bristles and leave it there. After a few hours it will start to soften the hardened bristles, give it a massage to see. Some of the paint will begin transferring on the soap, rinse in warm water and repeat. Keep doing this several times until you get as much of the paint out.
  • Even though you can still clean hardened brushes, I truly don't recommend you allow your brushes to reach this juncture if possible. The paint stuck near the ferrules will be quite difficult to remove at this point.
On the left: Brushes after a painting session. On the right: Brushes that have been cleaned properly and are ready for the next session! All brushes are from the Renoir Collection of ZenART Supplies.

And that is how to clean oil paint brushes the quick and easy way and the deep cleaning way. With extra cleaning tips on how to clean without using paint thinner, and even dried up oil paint brushes. Remember, if you give your brush some love, it will love you right back! Painting with a neglected and dried up brush will be a difficult experience to say the least. So make sure to take care of your brushes and clean them properly. I find the cleaning part to be actually cathartic. It's so satisfying seeing the clean brushes lined up and ready for their next use. In the long run, you will save yourself from a lot of heartache. And you can use your hard earned money for other things instead of constantly buying new brushes!

You might also be looking for a handy guide to cleaning your watercolor brushes. Do check out our other article - How Do I Clean, Treat, and Store My Watercolor Paint Brushes? You'll find there a number of useful tips to help you take care of your treasured watercolor paint brushes.

We'd love to hear back from you!

How do you usually clean your oil paint brushes? Which way mentioned above do you think you'll be using the most? Do you find cleaning your brushes cathartic as well? Let us know what you think, we'd love to hear back from you. Feel free to leave a comment, and we'll be happy to answer any queries you have!

You might be interested to learn about the basic watercolor brush strokes, check this Toolkit article - Watercolor Strokes: A Beginner's Guide. It's an easy to follow guide into the different strokes you'll ever need to start out with. Until then, I hope you continue to follow the different cleaning methods in this article and have a great time painting!


Ardak Kassenova is a London based contemporary artist, co-founder and creative director of ZenART Supplies. Her visual style-contemporary impressionism-share similar aesthetic qualities with those by the French Impressionists. After 20 years of a successful corporate career, becoming a mother to two wonderful girls, and with the continuous development of her practice by taking private lessons from the best artists she could find; Ardak decided it's time to align her life with her true passion, Art. Driven by this passion and her corporate leadership background, she co-founded ZenART.

"My heart and soul were always with Art, and since my childhood as long as I remember myself, I was dreaming to be an artist. I was painting after work, when I had time, and teaching myself through the books, videos, visiting art galleries and museums. I've been very curious about different techniques and styles, and therefore accumulated knowledge and experience on a variety of mediums."

Read more about Ardak Kassenova in this feature. Say hello to @ardak_zenart on Instagram!


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