Doin’ It All Wrong

I clean my brushes in acetone. (GASP!)


I know. I’m ruining them. I’m only ever supposed to clean them in monomer.


Well ... that’s not cutting it.


Managing to work consistently without eventually getting my brushes clogged with acrylic has been a skill that has mostly eluded me since the first time I picked up a sculpting brush.


Yeah, I’ve gotten much better over the years — well, I had gotten better. Then this rockstar craze came along.


When I started mixing glitter with my acrylic (back in the 1900s,) I didn’t bother capping it with clear. This occasionally resulted in filing through the color finish of the glitter, which was fine by me most of the time and fine by most of my clients until everyone else in town started doing the glitter thing too. Everyone else capped with clear acrylic and so I started doing it that way too.


But this is specifically when all that hard work I’d put into figuring out how to use my sculpting brush consistently day in and day out without having to "clean" it went up in smoke. All that clear capping does my brushes in.


I’m not sure if it’s because I do it all wet and sloppy, if it’s because I have a tendency to reverse my stroke (laying the bead at the tip and brushing up toward the cuticle), or if it has to do with working with so much clear powder (I have traditionally done very little work with clear), but my brushes constantly resemble a first-week manicuring student’s.


And monomer takes forever to melt through it. So I soak ‘em in acetone just like I’ve always been advised not to. It works swell and I still keep my brushes for about a year at a time.


Maybe if I could find a brush that was worth spending more than 30 bucks on and maybe if the acetone seriously did shorten the life of the brush noticeably … but I believe I’ve already addressed my issues with quality brushes. 


In the meantime, I will continue to rebuff the "advice" of the experts who haven’t been able to give me any actually helpful advice on preventing the problem to begin with and I’ll keep rotating my brushes through the acetone.

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