How to Store Watercolor Brushes: 6 Great Storage Solutions

Sharing is caring!

Need to figure out how to store your watercolor brushes?

a collection of paintbrushes to demonstrate how to store your watercolor brushes

A superb painting begins with a good concept… and a great brush ( and a few other things). Quality supplies, in other words, make all the difference in your artwork. You’d want to go the additional mile to keep your dream brush pristine once you’ve fallen in love with it, right? When it comes to extending the life of your watercolor brushes, cleaning, maintaining, and finding out how to store watercolor brushes is critical. 

[Related Article: 15 Beautiful Stencils for Watercolor Painting & How to Use them]

**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**

6 Great Storage Solutions for Watercolor Brushes

Paint Brush Storage Case- Roll-Up

A roll-up paintbrush bag is ideal because it holds your brushes in place and can be stored neatly and easily in any drawer or cupboard, or easily slipped into your bag when you are on the go! This watercolor roll-up bag is durable and easy to clean. It has different-sized mini pockets to hold your brushes securely and is also great for organizing your pens, and pencils!

Paint Brush Holder for Long Paintbrushes

This paint brush holder is a great option for storing long brushes. It is made out of transparent plastic and so with a single glance you can see where your favorite paint brush has been stored! Durable and waterproof – but make sure your brushes are completely dry before storing them for long periods of time!

Brush Storage Box

This is quite a nifty little capsule! It is a paintbrush holder that is made out of environmentally friendly plastic material. It can also be used for pens and pencils and comes with a lanyard to make it portable and easy to carry. It has adjustable storage and can be extended from 21.5cm to 38cm!

Paint Brush Holder 15

This paint brush holder is essentially a bag that holds 15 paintbrushes neatly in place. The paintbrush flaps can be raised so that it is easy to take out the brushes while painting. This is also ideal for when you have washed them and need them to dry! Made out of durable and strong fabric this is a great option for keeping your brushes safe and organized!

Mezzo Artist Brush and Paint Tube Organizer Corner Rack

This corner rack is ideal for storing your watercolor brushes and paint tubes! (of course, it would also work for acrylic and oil paint brushes and tubes!). If you are lucky enough to have your own art studio, craft room, or even if you need a storage option for your classroom, this is a great solution.

mDesign Plastic Portable Craft Storage Organizer Caddy Tote

This grab and go storage caddy is great if you don’t have your own studio or craft room, and need to move to other rooms in your house! Easy to move it to your in bedroom, laundry room, kitchen, or garage to work on your watercolor painting. Made from durable plastic, this storage caddy will help keep your painting supplies organized and ready to use!

Top Tips for How to Store Watercolor Brushes

  • Never store a damp brush in an airtight container. 
  • Never store watercolor brushes bristle down in water or solvent.
  • Do not store your brushes with paint still left on them. Rinse and clean well with warm (not hot) water and mild soap.
  • Once clean, allow your watercolor brushes to dry on a kitchen towel or paper towel. 
  • When your brushes are 100% dry, you can store them vertically (bristles pointing upward). 
  • It is a good idea to use a brush carrier to carry your brushes when traveling or doing En-Plein air painting. But make sure to regularly air out the carrier and brushes to release the moisture from the bristles.
  • Don’t worry too much if your brush gets misshapen from being stored in a wonky position. Most often, you can reshape the bristles with some warm water and a gentle massage.
  • After cleaning brushes and removing the excess water, reshape the bristles with your fingers before allowing them to completely dry.

What do artists use to clean their brushes?

Some artists use specialized soap to wash their brushes. However, for watercolor brushes this isn’t necessary – in fact often those soaps can be quite abrasive. Your best option is to wash your brushes using mild hand soap at home.

What is the simplest method for cleaning paintbrushes?

  1. Rinse the paint off.
  2. Using a bristle brush, remove any excess old dry paint.
  3. Brush a normal, mild hand soap over the brush gently.
  4. To remove the paint, create a soapy mix by moving the brush in a circular motion in the palm of your hand.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  6. Rep the instructions until there is no longer any paint or pigment visible.

[Related Article: How to Use Pen & Watercolor]

How long do watercolor brushes last?

Brushes that are used many times a week should last at least six months for synthetic brushes and at least two years for natural hair brushes. The bristles should not splay, break, or fall out, so they should keep their unique spring, and shape.

How often should you clean watercolor brushes?

While watercolor is gentler on paintbrushes than oils and acrylics, you must clean everything thoroughly after each painting session.

How do you restore a watercolor brush?

A good way to restore frayed watercolor brush bristles is to dip the frayed brush into boiling water for about 5 seconds. Smooth the brush bristles with your fingers and then dip in gum arabic and allow it to dry. The gum arabic holds the bristles together and helps revitalize your brush.

Soaking your brushes in fabric softener on a regular basis will help them retain their suppleness and pliability, preventing them from becoming brittle and breaking.

As soon as you’re finished painting, rinse your palette with clear water: the less time the paint has to dry, the easier it will be to clean.

How to clean a watercolor palette

  1. Remove any paint that has gotten stuck in the compartments using a little sponge or a towel.
  2. Are there any dried paint spots? You can get rid of them with a little dishwashing soap.
  3. Using a rag or absorbent paper, dry your palette.
How to store watercolor brushes pin


I hope you now have a good idea of how to store watercolor brushes and how to keep your watercolor brushes in tip-top condition!

3 thoughts on “How to Store Watercolor Brushes: 6 Great Storage Solutions”

    • Hi Breena! I do have a list of my favorite stencils to use for watercolor painting. Have a looking under my art supplies tab…I will also put a link to the stencils in this post!
      Let me know if you can’t find it!


Leave a Comment

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!