IS A HAMMER
By Samantha Mazzotta
Toss That Paintbrush.
Q: I enjoyed your recent
article on techniques that make it easier to
restore paintbrushes. You didnt mention
oil-based paints and varnish. What would you
recommend? -- Mario F., via e-mail
A: Naturally, the best way to
keep paintbrushes in top shape is to clean them
immediately after use. But even the most
disciplined painters will leave a brush out too
long or store it bristles-down, so that it
becomes misshapen. It happens.
Brushes with dried oil-based
paints should be dipped into a container of paint
thinner, mineral spirits (also called white
spirits) or another solvent such as turpentine.
These thinners put out a lot of fumes and are
very flammable, so use only in a well-ventilated
area (away from common living areas) and well
away from all other flammable materials.
Dip the dried brush into the
solvent and keep it in just long enough to
saturate the bristles. Then, either place it on a
flat surface (protected by newspaper) or suspend
it bristles-down by passing a wire through the
hole in the handle and hanging the wire up.
Dont soak the brush in the solvent
container, and dont rest the brush on its
Periodically check the brush to
see if the dried paint is softening up. Dip it in
the solvent again if necessary. When the paint
begins to soften, carefully run the spiky side of
a cleaner tool (available at paint stores)
through the brush, being careful not to tug out
bristles. Repeat this process as needed.
Brushes that have become
misshapen can be very difficult to straighten
out. The only thing to do is clean them
thoroughly, store properly, and then use on your
next job. The painting action often works the
bristles into a somewhat straight position.
HOME TIP: Paint thinner,
mineral spirits and solvents can be reused.
Bump and bruise season is here.
Sore backs from gardening to painting or jogging,
bike riding, canoeing and other summer related
activities may be alleviated with the help of
arnica gel or cream. Arnica is described in
homeopathic literature as THE solution to the
Who is more prone to falls than
that toddler or what about the track enthusiasts?
In the MATERIA MEDICA by William Boericke, M.D.
states " it is especially suited to cases
when injury, however remote, seems to have caused
the present trouble." He also suggests it in
" traumatism of grief, remorse or sudden
realization of financial loss" letting us
know that it can be used when the emotions are
involved. Arnica should not be used on open
On a different note, I find it
interesting that a certain ad on television has
been stating that it is the ONLY source of
pryruvate or fat grabbers. How do these people
get away with such straight out lies? The herbs
they are promising are good, it is just the fact
that they are not the first nor the only to have
the product. Maybe it is just the exorbortant
prices they ask that makes them unique. Why do we
put so much stock in TV personality?