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Signs That Say You Need to Replace Your Paintbrushes

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Your paintbrushes are valuable – even though they’re cheap, they’re among the most important tools you could have as a painter. So when the bristles do wear out over time, it’s time to find new ones to take their place.

Here are a few signs that tell you it’s time to replace your favorite brush:

1. They start dulling
Quality round brushes with soft hairs end in fine points as they are selected and arranged to end that way.

However, the more you use a brush, the more this fine point wears away until you can no longer produce thin lines with it the way you used to. If you find this to be the case when you’re painting, check the bristles – it might not be your trembling hands after all!

2. They “feel” worn out
If you have a slight feeling that your brushes are no longer the same as they were when they were new, trust that feeling – especially when your brushes used to have stiff hairs.

However, there’s no need to throw them away just yet! Old brushes are still great for pushing paint around in certain ways, and they’re much easier to clean or sacrifice when you don’t use them as much for your pieces anymore.

Having worn brushes is normal, and as you improve your work, you’ll find yourself going through a lot of brushes over the course of different pieces.

3. They start to spread
Everything from general wear and tear to dried paint can encourage the brush hairs to fan out in a way they’re not supposed to. But while you should be replacing that brush if you need one to make fine lines for your pieces, you don’t always have to throw them out.

One way you can save them (or prolong their use) is by giving them a slight trim at the edges to narrow them and retain their shapes. Another way is by continuing to use them – but instead of using them for fine lines, use them instead to paint more loose strokes.

4. They’re going bald
Brushes lose bristles over time, and the more you paint with them, the faster they wear down.

However, this could also be because of the added strain produced by the ferrule coming into contact with the dried paint, which is why you should always wash them after every use (this is especially true for acrylics, since they dry really quickly).

Having stray hairs also makes it difficult to make realistic pieces, so be sure to keep an eye out if it happens more often.