Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going Less Lethal


Rock Harbor Duo-6x8

One from Rock Harbor in Orleans a few weeks ago. i love painting there. its got great parking, not many tourists hanging over my shoulder when i'm painting, and tons of great scenes like this one.

Have decided to use a less lethal form of cleaning my brushes and have been using all this week. the reason i did this was... i live in my studio, literally. the place i rent for my living and studio space is closed up 99% of the time. either the air is on or the heat and thus has no fresh air circulating around. not a good idea when youre cooped up with toxic thinner fumes. so i decided to use baby oil to wash my brushes out with. here's the beater jar i use with wire mesh down in the bottom for scrubbing the brush across. the paint falls in between the mesh to the bottom leaving the thinner clean after it settles down some. after a few months, you take the wire mesh out, scrape the sludge out, clean the jar, and pour new baby oil in till its a bit over the screen.

then i "paint" the baby oil on a phone book page until all the paint is off the brush, which may take a time or two. then i "paint" the clean brush across a roll of paper towels and Voila! a clean brush. nice thing too is the brushes i use, which are synthetics, last waaaayyy longer because the thinner used to burn them and cause them to fray real quick. now the oil seems to keep them conditioned like hair conditioner does for your hair.

glad to report that since i dont use toxic thinners in my living environment any more that i dont twitch or say stupid things nearly as much as before :D

anybody know where i can buy unscented baby oil? i dont like the perfumey smell of regular baby oil. may try vegetable or walnut oil if i cant find unscented baby oil.


Denise Rose said...

I don't know about unscented, but they also make baby oil GEL that is cool too! It is thicker than the oil and I have tried it with my brushes too and like it.

DGehman said...

Mike - baby oil is just mineral oil, which is just refined petroleum. Buy the stuff sold as a mineral oil laxative -- tons cheaper and no odor.

Whatever that fragrance is, it's pretty bad.

Breathtaking Vintage said...

I use baby oil, too but I've heard virgin olive oil is just as good. Probably more expensive, but I hear the brushes stay in great shape. You can also put your brushes and paint in the freezer so they'll keep better. I use this when staining wood. Put brush in a ziploc bag. Works great.

A Painter's Journal said...

I love the phone book idea Mike! Awesome! And you've inspired me to try to use walnut oils again. I got lazy and went back to OMS but I use synthetic brushes too so maybe this will help them last longer. I have a gallon jug of walnut oil from Woodland Nut Oils if you want to check them out.

Steve said...

This talk of oil has got me thinking about Skin So Soft, the Avon product...anyone try that? It has about a thousand uses, anyway, so maybe brush cleaning might be one of them.

mike rooney studios said...

denise- i like the thinner mineral oils but thanks for the idea!

dave- thanks for the suggestion

lynne- good ideas! like the one about the freezer

robin- found that vegatable oil works great, and CHEAP

steve- skin so soft is like baby oil. has that purfumey smell.some may not mind that tho'. even my wife has to put on just a touch of pefume and i dont like cologne because of my dislike for scented products.

Shellie Lewis said...

What OMS are you using? My workspace is a corner of my living room and a small adjacent 8' x 8' sun room. I have not had any trouble with the thinner and brush cleaner Gamsol by Gamblin [preferred] and Daler-Rowney Low Odor Thinner. I only have a small amount out for use and keep it firmly caped when not in use. Pasta jars help a lot. Both vehicles are subordinate to the smell of the oil paints themselves, and the smell of my three, large, waddling Basset Hounds.