How to Use Brush Butler

Fill the Brush Butler® with cleaning solution 2/3 to 3/4 up the texture ring area. Start with the smallest brushes first and progress to the larger ones. Brush Butler is designed to clean brushes up to ¾” wide. Use a rag to wipe brush when moving from one bay to another to ensure you don’t carry cloudy solution into the clear solution.

Clean the excess paint off your brush

Wipe your brush on a rag or paper towel to remove the loose paint. Then rinse your brush in the main bay. Always start cleaning each brush in this section, even when cleaning multiple brushes.

Clean the brush completely

Wipe your brush along the textured area to clean your brush completely. This section should remain mostly clean even when cleaning many brushes. Wipe your brush on a rag or paper towel to check for any pigment color. If you still see pigment continue cleaning in this section until no pigment is seen.

Rinse the brush completely

Move your brush to one of the outer sections around the perimeter. Press your brush down into one of those sections and against the bottom and side of the base to rinse the brush completely. Pressing should open and separate the bristles, and helps to get a thorough rinse.

Condition your brush

Simply rinse your brush in your chosen conditioner.  Then wipe it on a clean rag or paper towel.  Wrap the bristles within the rag and squeeze to remove the excess conditioner. This replaces the cleaning solution in the brush and keeps your brush soft until next use. Be sure to reshape the brush tip after conditioning. When you store your brush take care to make sure the bristles are kept in position.

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Recommended Cleaning Solutions

For oil paints use odorless mineral spirits (OMS).

OMS works well to dissolve paint, and is thin enough so dissolved paint settles to the bottom in a matter of hours. The OMS in the Brush Butler® is completely reusable, and will self clarify and be ready to use with clean solution the next time you paint.

Other cleaning solutions to use in Brush Butler® includes Baby Oil, Mineral Oil, and the product “Bristle Magic. Keep in mind, though, the thicker viscosity of these products means the dissolved paint may not settle for a long period of time. While OMS is the most often used solution, there other alternatives for those with sensitivities to OMS.

For acrylic, watercolors, and other water soluble paints use tap water.

You may find the water remains cloudy after cleaning brushes – even after many hours. This is because some of these paints use binders, or pigments that remain suspended because they are lighter than the water. More frequent water changes in Brush Butler® may be needed. Be sure to contain the water with dissolved paint and dispose of properly.

Recommended Conditioning Solutions
• Conditioners sold in art supply stores
• Baby Oil
• Murphy’s Oil Soap with Water, mixed 50/50

How to Clean Brush Butler®

After you’ve been using Brush Butler for a while, the dissolved paint will begin to accumulate.

Remove the insert from the base

Using the finger grip, simply lift the insert out from the base. If you do this after cleaning your brushes, allow your dissolved sediment to settle out before going to the next step (usually several hours to overnight).
If you do this before cleaning your brushes and the solution is settled, go to the next step.

Place the cover upside down and carefully pour the settled solution into the cover bowl.

Now that the dissolved sediment has all settled to the bottom, slowly pour the clear solution into the cover bowl.  Take care to avoid loosening the settled paint near the bottom. 

Wipe the sediment out of the base and insert with a rag or paper towel.

Simply wipe clean the base with a rag or paper towel.  The wide round shape and smooth surface allows easy access for cleaning.   Wipe the insert of any sediment that may be on its surface. 

Pour the solution back into the base

Return the clear solution in the cover bowl back to the base, and place the insert back in the base.  That’s it!  You’re ready to clean more brushes as usual! 


NOTE: Over time a small amount of solution will be lost during brush cleaning and cleaning of Brush Butler.  Simply add a little cleaning solution as needed up to about 2/3 to ¾ up the texture ring area.  Keep filled for best and easiest brush cleaning.

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