Paint brush bristles falling out! How to keep them together?

Love to paint but hate to have your paint brush bristles falling out? I have the solution for you.

The bristles of our Paint brushes often get separated and fall out which is probably one of the most annoying things an artist can face. Just like everything needs to be taken care of, your paint brushes also need some maintenance.

How to keep paint brush bristles together? Always wash your paint brush right away after use, with soapy water or warm water and dry it properly before putting into your storage box until the bristles are soft and cleaned.

This is going to work for you but let me share some tips along the way so you can properly store your brushes after usage.

How to Keep Paint Brush Bristles Together After Use?

Step 1: Wash your paint brush after use

How to wash paint brush?

Now the question arises, how do I wash my paint brush the proper way for its bristles to stay together and prevented from falling out?  The answer to this query is an easy one.

We often wash our paint brush quickly with cold water in our taps because of which the bristles still start falling out.

So the perfect solution for this is to wash your paint brush with warm water, and a little amount of soapy water is going to work the best.

 It will help the paint absorbed in bristles to come out and make them soft again, keeping them together.

Step 2: Let your paintbrush dry thoroughly after washing it

Another thing you should be careful about is drying your paint brush properly before putting it into the storage box that you use. If you do not let the paint brushes dry properly, it will be another reason for paint brush bristles falling out.

When you see the bristles dried out properly without any water in them, then you are good to go to the next step. Keep the brush in an airy place where the water through bristles dries out completely and then head towards the next step.

Step 3: Proper storage of paint brushes

The way you store your paint brushes in any box or container (whatever you use for your convenience) matters a lot in maintaining soft and neat paint brush bristles. So make sure that you do not put the paint brush downwards or under some weight so that the bristles have pressure on them against some surface, or otherwise they will bend or separate which is going to make the above two steps useless.

Step 4: Separation of paint brushes according to their usage

Now the next thing that you need to take care of is the usage of your paint brushes.

I would suggest you to separate your paint brushes depending on the type of work and the type of paint you use them with.

For example, choose some of them for using with acrylic paints, and some others for oil paint work. Similarly, if you do different types of art, then specify them for each work; some for abstract, some for calligraphy and so on. This will help you use them confidently with convenience.

All these steps are definitely going to help you in preventing your brushes from falling out or the bristles from getting separated.

If you already have messed up some of your brushes, don’t worry it can be improved to a state where they can be used again.

Paint Brush Bristles Falling Out/ Separating! Let’s Repair Them!

In case you have already got your paint brush bristles falling out, still there should be no worries for you because I have a solution for this, too.

Take a bowl or any container filled with boiled water. Pick the damaged brushes and simply soak them into the warm water for some time (which is going to vary depending upon the condition of your brush).

For how long should you keep the brushes in warm water? The time can be changed between an hour (maximum) and 15 minutes (minimum) depending upon the condition of the brushes.

The heat in the water will help the paint get out of the bristles which is going to help them return back to their original and clean form.

Make sure you do not leave the brushes in the water for too long or it may cause opposite effects on the brushes causing major damage.

How To Repair Damaged Bristles with Fabric Softener?

I liked this one on Amazon If your brushes are much more damaged than to be fixed simply by water, then you can go for a fabric softener.

Take a cup of the fabric softener and a gallon of water and put your brushes inside it to bring them to their original look. The time period is the same as that for warm water. Make sure to chack your brushes at regular intervals so you know when to take them out.

The quantity can be adjusted depending upon the number of brushes you are going to soak in it and also their condition i.e. how much work do they need to get done on them.

This is going to do wonders for your dried out or damaged brushes and will help you a lot in achieving a flawless work by using them once again.

Once you have tried this out and improved your brush conditions, make sure to follow these other steps for maintaining this condition throughout.

Causes and preventions for your paint brush bristles falling out

So basically, the major reason for this is the paint that is left in your paint brush after you finish your work. You might be thinking that you do wash the brush but it still turns out to be hard and fallen out, that is because even after washing the brush, all of the paint does not come out which makes your paint still affected.

There are few steps that are going to help your tools stay away from these problems, so make sure you add them in your routine whenever you do any art work:

  • After a brush, while you switch to the other brush, put the previous one in a jar filled with a little amount of warm water so that it does not dry out for the next use.
  • Make sure you do not use your brushes in irregular patterns and with an excessive force or the pressure will cause the bristles to fall out.
  • Try slightly soaking them in water while using so the paint remains wet and does not get into the bristles completely dried.
  • For a good consistency, try switching among two to three brushes for each type of work.
  • After using the brushes, wash the base of the bristles properly.
  • Wash your brushes properly after using them. Make sure you do not apply pressure or force on them which may cause the bristles to fall out or lose their shape.
  • Always store your brushes in a position that is head-side up otherwise the bristles will lose their shape and get damaged.
  • It will be better if you take a large plastic artistic bag or a pouch whose size is significantly larger than the brushes to put them in. It will help to keep them safe and also free without having any pressure on them. Moreover it will provide a protection for the brushes and so the results will last for long.

But once again, do make sure you dry them out perfectly after washing and the bag that you choose is a free sized one to provide them a free and sufficient space.


We need to take care of our brushes for them to work long for us. Make sure to wash them regularly with proper steps to get the best out of them.

Even if your brushes have some damage, you can try and minimize it by using the techniques mentioned above.

I hope that this article helped you. Happy Painting!