How to Clean Polyurethane off Brush: Perceive in Detail

The brushes which are highly staining come costly and they become better eventually if you know how to maintain them properly. The best cardinal rule of taking care of a brush is cleaning it completely after every usage. Polyurethane is a clear shield that is applied over paint and wood finish.

This thick substance is little more difficult to work with in comparison with the paint as during application any imperfection is stressed when the shield dries. Since you can’t remove polyurethane from your brush utilizing water only, you must know how to clean polyurethane off brush to clean your brushes properly.

What you will need

Brush cleaning is quite easy to keep in mind while you are painting, but because polyurethane stain is thick, you should not be tempted for letting the cleaning delayed, especially in case you plan on using the brush tomorrow again.

Oil and water-based stains can also clog bristles simply as the wood finishes do. You can easily clean fresh stain but reconditioning your brush with thicker stain may take slightly more time. Things that you need to clean off polyurethane completely are:

  • Paint thinner or solvent
  • Dish soap
  • A plastic bowl
  • Towel
  • Lukewarm water
  • A wire brush
  • A paper bag

Step-by-step Cleaning instructions:

Let us have a discussion on the steps you need to follow to clean off polyurethane stains from your brush:

Scrape off the stain

Remove as much of the stain as you can do. Then run the bristles or foam section forth and back across a piece of cardboard or wood for getting more off and finally rub the foam section on a rag.

Fill the plastic bowl with solvent or paint thinner

Now pour a proper paint thinner or solvent into the plastic bowl. You should just apply the solvent or paint thinner to the foam section or bristles of the brush for clearing off the polyurethane. Immerse the brush and then shake it forth and back for at least 1 or 2 minutes.

Now turn it upside down for allowing the solvent for penetrating into the bristles’ cluster closer to the handle. And finally, submerge it again and shake to wipe off more.

​Give the brush a second treatment

By discarding the solvent, you should give your brush a second treatment. When you are using paint thinner like turpentine or mineral spirits, pour it into a different container. You must be capable of reusing it after the stains settle out.

Now pour the paint thinner into the bowl and dip your brush tip into the bowl of paint thinner. Shield your brush totally with the solvent and add more paint thinner if you feel the requirement. Utilize a wire brush for combing the bristles for getting all the polyurethane pigments out.

​Leave your brush in the paint thinner

Now leave the brush in the plastic bowl of paint thinner for at least 15-20 minutes. Let the paint thinner penetrate the polyurethane within your brush completely. It will totally wipe off the polyurethane from your brush.

​Rinse with lukewarm water

After penetration, dry the bristles using a rag and take it over to the sink and use dish soap on the bristles. Use a wire brush to comb the bristles while turning on the lukewarm water and hold the brush under water for rinsing out the soap totally.

Keep combing the bristles using the wire brush and avoid using cold water as it can lead to the brush to harden. Never think of using highly hot water also as it can cause the glue sparing the bristles for loosening and falling out.

​Pat the brush dry

Now dry your brush with an old towel or a rag and then wrap a paper bag around the bristles and allow the brush to sit flat on your workbench for the whole night. You can even hang it on a hook in the morning to make it dry fully.


So, these are a few steps that you should follow if you are wondering how to clean polyurethane off brush. Make sure to take care of your brush to use it for a long period. And, if you find this tutorial useful, feel free to share your precious comment with us.

How to Clean Polyurethane off Brush: Perceive in Detail
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  • Updated March 3, 2019
  • Clean
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