How To Clean Enamel Paint From Paint Brushes? 4 Easy Methods

It is annoying as well as tiring while you’re thinking of getting rid of enamel paint from your brushes.

We know the deal, buddy. Even if you’re thinking of finding ways, knowing which alternative to choose is another hassle.

So, it’s common to ponder on how to clean enamel paint?

Well, you can use mineral spirit/ liquid fabric solution/ vinegar solution/paint thinner and let the brush soak on it. Then just wait patiently for 20-60 minutes and bring it out. Now, just wipe off the excess solution and let it air dry. And you’re all good.

In this article, we’ve dived deep into the 4 alternative methods how to clean the enamel paint off your brushes. Just hop in-

1.Gather materials: You will need paint thinner or mineral spirits, a container or jar, a clean cloth or paper towel, and a well-ventilated area or outdoor space for cleaning.
2.Remove excess paint: Use a scraper or the edge of a paint can to gently scrape off any excess enamel paint from the bristles of the paint brush. Be careful not to damage the bristles.
3.Soak in paint thinner: Pour enough paint thinner or mineral spirits into a container or jar to cover the bristles of the paint brush. Place the brush in the container and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. This will help dissolve the enamel paint.
4.Swirl and agitate: After soaking, use a brush comb or a wire brush to gently swirl and agitate the bristles in the paint thinner. This will help loosen the paint from the bristles.
5.Wipe off paint: Take the brush out of the paint thinner and use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off the loosened paint from the bristles. Repeat the process if necessary until the brush is clean.
6.Rinse with water: Once the majority of the paint has been removed, rinse the paint brush thoroughly with water to remove any remaining paint thinner residue.
7.Dry the brush: Shake off excess water and use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the bristles dry. Reshape the bristles if needed and let the brush air dry in a well-ventilated area or hang it upside down to dry.
8.Store properly: Once the brush is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place with the bristles facing up or hang it to prevent any deformation or damage to the bristles.

How to Remove Enamel Paint from Paintbrushes?

Let me guess the situation here, you’re trying to get rid of the enamel paint off your brushes but the paint won’t come off. Ugh! Frustrating right?

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We exactly know how stubborn enamel paint can be. But drop your worries because we’ve got your back with 4 alternative methods to remove enamel paint from your brush. 

Before going right to the methods why not look at which method you should follow based on the paintbrush you used?

On point right? So, just check it out.

Paintbrush TypeRemoval Method
Natural Bristle BrushMineral Spirit/Paint Thinner/Vinegar
Synthetic Bristle BrushLiquid Fabric Softener/Paint Thinner

Now that you’ve got a clear vision on which alternative is for you based on the brush type, why wait? Just scroll down and your problem will be solved in no time.

Use Mineral Spirit

Mineral Spirit

If you’re looking for the perfect method to wash enamel paint from paintbrushes without harming the natural bristles then this is the right method for your pal. But we thought you’ll need to be equipped before moving to the steps.

So here’s a list of tools that you’ll need-

Now that you’re well-equipped, just follow the steps and you will get rid of the paint on how to clean testors enamel paint off brushes.

Tips for effective cleaning

It is crucial to handle these chemicals with care as they pose risks to our health if not used correctly. Always wear gloves when handling these solvents to avoid skin irritation or absorption through the skin; furthermore, always work in a well-ventilated area when using these cleaning agents. When purchasing paint thinners or mineral spirits ensure they are compatible with enamel paints; otherwise, they might damage your brushes beyond repair.

Another tip is never reuse solvents between different color groups as contaminants might be left behind resulting in compromised results during painting sessions. By following these steps and tips effectively use of Paint Thinner or Mineral Spirits method will clean your enamel painted brushes effectively without damaging them – saving you both time and cost while extending their lifespan significantly!

Step 1 of 2: Soak the Brush in Mineral Spirit

soak brush in mineral spirits

First things first, just take a glass jar and put your brush inside. Now take the mineral spirit and pour pour pour, until it reaches the root of bristles.

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But if you were planning to dip the whole brush on it, then it’s a big NO. Because the brush handle consists of paint itself. So the solution might take off that paint as well. And you obviously don’t want that right?

If not then be a bit careful while pouring the spirit on the jar. So, after you’ve done with the dipping part let it sit for 20 minutes.

Step 2 of 2: Bring out the Brush

clean paint brush

Tick tock, times up. Enough torturing the paint residues, just bring the brush out and wrap it like your newborn.

Wait for 5mins and wipe any excess spirit on it using the towel. And Voila! Your paintbrush is clean as new.

A quick tip is to clean the brush with normal dish soap before reuse. It will help in cleaning any spirit on it.

Use Fabric Softener/ Detergent

Fabric Detergent

Synthetic bristles are easy to wash” if you’ve heard it before then you’re absolutely correct. All you need to do is follow the steps-

Step 1 of 2: Dip the Brush in Liquid Fabric Softener

Well if you still see any spot of enamel paint on the paintbrush then it’s time to soak the brush in a wonder solution.

Yes, you read it right. But to make the wonder solution you’ll need-

  • 250ML of Liquid Fabric Softener/Detergent.
  • 250ML of Water.

Now it’s time to bring out your inner chemist and mix the aforementioned ingredients together. And here you go. The wonder solution is just ready to be used. Put your brush on the solution. Remember to place the brush in an upside-down position to make sure that the bristles are well soaked.

No wonder, you have to wait for your “wonder solution” to do actual wonders. So be patient for an hour and the result will surprise you.

Step 2 of 2: Let the Brush Dry

After waiting patiently for an hour, it’s time for the big reveal. The paint came off right?

Didn’t we mention that the solution does wonders? See, we weren’t bluffing.

Now just air dry your brush and use it wherever needed without any worries.

Tips for Effective Cleaning

This method works best for freshly used brushes with wet enamel paint on them – don’t let dried enamel sit on your brush! Also, make sure you use liquid fabric softener instead of dryer sheets as they won’t be as effective in breaking up and removing enamel paint from your brush bristles. Be sure to rinse your brushes well under running water after soaking to ensure all debris has been removed from between the bristles.

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This gentle yet effective cleaning method will help prolong the lifespan of your favorite painting tools while keeping them free from harsh chemicals that could damage their bristles over time. Give it a try next time you’re cleaning up after a painting project!

Use Vinegar


So, vinegar is quite popular for cleaning right? As we’re talking about cleaning enamel paint off brushes, how can we leave vinegar behind? Why not make a DIY vinegar solution then? For that, you’ll need for cleaning paint brushes with vinegar-

  • 1 Cup of White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Distilled Water

Now, mix these together and wait 30mins. After the mentioned time, you’ll have brushes that look as new as when you bought them.

If not, just repeat the process until all the paint is gone.

Use Paint Thinner

Paint Thinner

If the previous methods couldn’t fulfill your purpose and kept you wondering how to clean enamel paint

Well, the procedure is quite simple on how to clean paint brushes with paint thinner. Just take a glass jar and fill it halfway with the paint thinner. Put your brush on it and wait for 15mins. Then shake the brush to let all the remaining paint dissolve in water.

Take it out and put it on a sheet to dry. See, the brush is ready to be used.

Importance of Proper Brush Maintenance to Prolong Their Lifespan

Maintaining your paint brushes is essential to prolong their lifespan. Proper brush cleaning helps maintain the shape and quality of the bristles while preventing them from hardening or becoming brittle over time.

Overuse or neglecting proper brush cleaning can lead to damage to the bristles or handle, which will eventually lead you to replace them prematurely; this can be quite costly in the long run.


Question: How to clean enamel paint from the brush handle?

Answer: To clean the paint off the brush handle you’ll need to use paint thinner. Just soak the brush handle on the paint thinner and wait 15 minutes. The paint will come off by then.

Question: How to protect my hands while using a paint thinner?

Answer: Well, to protect your hands from the thinner, make sure to use gloves. Even after putting the brush out do not let any dripping thinner touch you.

Question: Does enamel paint clean up with water?

Answer: No, enamel paint does not clean up with water.

Question: Can enamel paint be cleaned?

Answer: Yes, enamel paint can be cleaned using the appropriate solvents or thinners.

Question: Can enamel paint be washed off?

Answer: No, enamel paint cannot be easily washed off with water.

Question: Is enamel paint oil-based?

Answer: Enamel paint can be either oil-based or water-based.

Question: Can you brush on enamel paint?

Answer: Yes, you can brush on enamel paint.

Question: What chemical removes enamel paint?

Answer: Chemicals such as mineral spirits or paint thinner can remove enamel paint.

Question: Does vinegar remove enamel?

Answer: Vinegar is not an effective method to remove enamel paint.

Question: Does acetone remove enamel?

Answer: Acetone can be used to remove enamel paint, but it can also damage some surfaces.

Question: What is the best way to clean enamel?

Answer: The best way to clean enamel is to use a gentle cleaner and a soft cloth.

Question: How do you paint enamel without brush marks?

Answer: To paint enamel without brush marks, use a high-quality brush, thin the paint appropriately, and apply in thin coats.

Question: Does enamel paint need thinner?

Answer: Enamel paint may need to be thinned with a compatible solvent or thinner.

Here is a nice video on how to clean brush after enamel paint.

Parting Words

That’s all from us. Hope you have a clear idea of how to clean enamel paint from your paintbrushes.

It’s time to put that knowledge to work. We would love to hear which method worked for you and good luck with the steps on how to clean acrylic enamel paint brushes.

Do leave a comment.

Thank you!!

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