I have some fairly expensive brushes (Newton & Windsor series 7 with kolinsky saber). If I use alcohol based paints with these brushes, will they be ruined, or can I just clean them out with turpentine and all will be ok?

2 Answers 2


For 10 years I worked with alcohol based paints in my temporary tattoo biz. Besides using an airbrush I often used paint brushes of different quality. I would not use the turpentine to clean your brushes. Use instead isopropyl alcohol. I used it on sable brushes with no ill effect.


It depend on your brushes and if :

  • they contain glue or not to hold the hair
  • the hair are in synthetic material (should not be your case since you have kolinsky sable brushes)

In both case I would not use turpentine or other solvent on the brush since it will damage the glue and hair will go out and if the hairs are synthetic it will damage them.

The safest would be to have an old brush of the same brand of the one you intend to wash and make a test on them.

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