Al Young Studios Newsroom

Two cleaners not to be without

"Goo Gone" used as thinner and cleaner
Often in life, the "playing" part is a good deal more congenial than the "cleaning-up" part, and oil painting is hardly an exception.  Just when you're too whacked to paint any longer, the tools of the trade can require a rather onerous amount of scraping, swishing, rinsing, and scrubbing to stand ready for future painting sessions.  At our Studio, we've found that the pain has been eased considerably by two readily-available cleaning agents not always associated with artistic endeavors; and we've enjoyed their time-and-labor-saving benefits for a long time.  They are:

Goo Gone (a Magic American product) - pictured left

Awesome (a product of the R. F. Thompson Co.) - pictured below

We use Goo Gone as a paint thinner for swishing our brushes at the palette during painting sessions, and to rinse them at the end of the painting day.  Akin to Turpentine or OMS, its citrus scent is as pleasant as Grumtine, at a fraction of the cost. Details are available at the Magic American web site.  We buy the solvent in quantity, store it in the container in which it is shipped, and keep a bottle handy for dispensing it as part of each painting session.

No matter how often and ardently we resolve to keep bottles, medium cups, and brushes clean, accumulations of paint and medium always return. To clean up these accumulations we use a product aptly trademarked Awesome. Details are available at the R. F. Thompson Co. web site.  To further augment to its "awesome-ness," it's generally sold at dollar stores.  Awesome cuts through stubborn accumulations rather quickly, but often works best when the glass or metal objects are soaked. Though brushes can be soaked, we have found that brush bristles curl permanently if the brushes are left in the solution for long periods of time.  Usually soaking brushes for fifteen minutes or so loosens dried paint sufficiently. but without harming bristles.
"LA's Totally Awesome" used as cleaner and solvent

Awesome can also be used at the end of a paint session to rinse brushes before cleaning, but brushes should be washed with soap and water before the brushes are used in another paint session--otherwise, Awesome can begin to act as a solvent on previous paint layers.

As with any paint thinners or cleaners, always use in a well ventilated area (according to manufacturer's instructions) and cover when not in use.

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