Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/16/2005: "Necessity is the mother of invention"

OK, I was in this "Inventer's Club" when I lived in Anchorage, which was kind of a joke, me and a couple guys sitting around drinking beer and brainstorming. But joke or not, I've had some original ideas, I'm just lazy about following through with any of the work of getting a patent. So, I have this idea for something, maybe it already exists and if it does, let me know where I can get one.

What I need is an automatic paint brush cleaner, something for artist's oil brushes. Stick the end with the bristles into a mini car wash type thing that sprays soap and water and agitates the bristles and then rinses it off. There would need to be an adjustable seal for different brush sizes but i think it could work. I'm terrible at cleaning out my brushes. I have a huge pile of them, over a hundred probably, and NONE that are clean. A lot of them I left too long and they're ruined (that cake brush cleaner worked but it was still a lot of work and ran out quickly).

If I had a never ending supply of clean brushes I know I'd be a better painter. For one thing, there are times I'd like to paint but I can't face the stack of dirty brushes so I put it off. Secondly, I'd change brushes more often, rather than using the same one for different colors until it gets all muddied and looks like crap. God, as I write this I know how horribly lazy this sounds...but washing brushes is more of a psychological hang-up for me.

Come on, somebody hook me up!

Replies: 5 Comments

on Friday, June 17th, RR said

What you need Elise, is sponsorship from a good paint brush company, so that you can use your brush once and then just throw it away (recycle of course) and get a new one when you need it. They would give you an endless supply for advertising their brushes when you have your next show.

I am guilty of not cleaning brushes properly too, so I like your idea of the automated paint brush cleaner :hehe:

on Friday, June 17th, Howard said

I'm guilty of leaving my brushes soaking in water for days and days. I stick with nylon bristles to minimize the damage.

I've seen gizmos for cleaning house painting brushes. They look sort of like a bike pump. The handle of the brush fits in one end and as you pump it the brush spins. Just submerge the brush end in soapy water and pump away. It'd be nice if they had a smaller verson for art brushes.

on Friday, June 17th, Elise said

Great idea RR, I just don't think anyone would fall for it!
And Howard, I'll go see if my hardware store has one of those brush cleaners and see if I can figure out a way to fashion (McGiver style) a smaller one for artist sized brushes.

on Friday, June 17th,">Jackie said

E: How about attaching the brush-cleaning gizmo to a hamster wheel (with hamster running inside, of course). But then you'd have another unsavory task to procrastinate about doing: that of cleaning the hamster's cage! Hmmm...perhaps you could pay a neighborhood youngster to clean them - sort of an artists's apprentice... My son and nephew both loved washing dishes when they were young (from age 3 to about 9, anyway).

on Friday, June 17th, Elise said

I've actually thought of paying someone to do it, but the money I'd spend paying someone to clean them is probably more than the brushes are worth, I mostly buy cheap synthetic ones.


I think you're onto something with the hamster wheel though, I used to have a hamster and I never minded cleaner her cage at all.