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Soap & Water Cleanup

I was the poster several days ago of the subject:  URGENT: How Long to wait before applying second coat.  I have put two coats of the Flood TWF-Semi Transparent Wood Finish down but, for the first time, am not having a great deal of success cleaning up a, to me, very expensive brush:  a four-inch wide brush which cost me about $20, ten years ago.


Repeated applications of soap and water just don't seem to be doing the job this time.  I have soaked it overnight in a dish detergent solution and with a stiff bristle brush, tried to "comb out" the paint.  This has worked very well in the past leaving me with a nice, clean, soft brush.  But it just isn't working this time and darned if I know why.  My brush is certainly cleaner after the soakings and comb outs, but not nearly as clean as I have gotten it in the past.


Don't want to ruin a very nice brush by throwing the wrong chemical at it and would welcome any advice:  paint thinner, turps, repeated overnight soaking in something other than dish detergent?


Many thanks.

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Posted 2013-09-10T15:08:56+0000  by CH1938 CH1938

Hello CH1938!


Yes, I have experienced the same thing with this product.


The manufacturer says Flood is a "proprietary blend of oil and acrylic."


They also say, "Clean up easy with soap and water."


However, when I rolled the deck, the applicator was hardly worth cleaning.


While old school approaches, like brushing, are known to produce great results, the hybrid products we use today sometimes require a modified approach.



It is most likely that your ten-year old brush is ruined.


I would recommend a series of quick clean and rinse attempts to save the brush ... or simply apply the cost of the solvent toward a new brush and use a throw away applicator next time.



Manufacturers have found that the oil-like properties help the stain absorb into the surface and the acrylic properties help seal the surface for a longer lasting finish.


Unlike their predecessors, these products are not completely on or the other ... but they also last longer than oil by itself.

Posted 2013-09-10T15:45:12+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Thanks for that feedback.


The curious thing is that I used this same brush with the Flood TWF-Semi Transparent Wood Finish twice before; once three years ago and

again three years before that and on both those occasions, after a cleanup with soap and water, it was clean, soft, and like new again.


Confounds me why it didn't clean up like new once again.


Ah, well, I got many good years of use out of it.



Posted 2013-09-10T16:35:02+0000  by CH1938

Thanks for the feedback CH1938!


That is right ... it was probably the application temp.


Most exterior products have a range of temps within which they are recommended for application.


As you approach the high end of that range, the product gives off the solvent more rapidly and "flash dries."


Where you see this most often is on exterior doors that face the sun.


If you paint when the sun is on the door, you paint flash dries and every brush stroke stands out.


In your case, the product probably flash dried on the brush ... first a thin coating and then several layers.



You got great results for years ... a sign of a painter that takes care of his tools.


The best brushes are worth their price in quality results.


You're a great example of using quality tools, taking care of them properly, getting outstanding results for years, and making the most of your investment!


Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

Posted 2013-09-10T16:54:12+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Many of the emulsified oil products are supposedly water clean-up, but you had better give your brushes several washings in WARM, soapy water, otherwise they may be stiff the next day.


During my contracting days i used a lot of Benjamin Moore's water based, oil modified housepaints. Often the brushes would be stiff the next day. i would give them a quick dip in lacquer thinner which would loosen up the bristles.


I once painted a red  exterior door with Moore's oil modified latex. I went to wash the brush out in the laundry sink and I couldn't get it out of the brush or off my hands. I ran to see if I had absentmindedly grabbed oil paint by mistake. No, it was their emulsified latex paint. i went out to the truck and rinsed the brush in mineral sprits and my hands and then went back to wash it again in warm water and soap.


You might want to give your brushes, which have been in TWF, a pre-rinse in mineral spirits followed by washing them in warm, soapy water.

Posted 2013-09-10T20:31:07+0000  by ordjen

Thanks very much.  I have a can of mineral spirits and i'll give it a try.

Posted 2013-09-10T22:58:58+0000  by CH1938
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