How can I increase the life of a paintbrush?

There are several precautions you can take while painting and after painting that will increase the life of a paintbrush. Before you begin painting, apply masking tape over the end of the brush where the bristles meet the handle. Allow about 12 mm (1/2 in.) of bristle coverage. Paint will not penetrate the ends of the bristles, which are very difficult to clean. When you do clean the brush, remove the masking tape. When you are finished painting, clean the brush as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder the paint becomes, making cleaning difficult. Latex paint is the easiest to work with, as it washes out with water. Oil paint has to be cleaned with paint thinner or turpentine. If you finish a coat of oil paint and plan to apply another coat the following day, there is no need to clean the brush. Wrap the brush in foil or plastic and place it in the freezer. Cold temperature prevents oil paint from hardening. Make sure that you allow the brush to thaw for about 45 minutes before you resume painting.