Tips for Storing Oil-Based Polyurethane Brushes Between Coats

As a DIY enthusiast or professional woodworker, you know the importance of applying oil-based polyurethane to your wooden projects. This type of finish provides a durable and long-lasting coat that protects the wood while adding a beautiful shine. However, if you’re working on larger projects or want to take time between coats, it’s essential to store your brush correctly.

In this blog post, we’ll share tips for storing an oil-based polyurethane brush between coats so that you can ensure the longevity of your brush and avoid any unwanted buildup or damage.

Clean Your Brush Before Storing

Before storing your oil-based polyurethane brush between coats, it’s crucial to clean it thoroughly first. Remove any excess paint from the bristles by gently scraping them with a putty knife. Then rinse them under warm water until all visible paint is gone.

For oil-based paints like polyurethane, use mineral spirits instead of water to clean your brushes properly. Pour some mineral spirits into a container and work the bristles through them until they are clean. Once cleaned properly, shake off any excess solvent but try not to bend or crush the bristles in doing so.

Wrap Your Brush Correctly

Once your brush has been cleaned carefully using mineral spirit/solvent followed by soap/detergent solutions depending upon its usage (between two coats vs after final coat), wrap it up tightly before storage; this will protect its shape as well as prevent drying out when left idle for longer durations.

Start by laying down wax paper on a flat surface where you will be able fold over one end about 1 inch beyond half-length creating enough barrier protection during storage period without dry-out risk due excessive air exposure . Next place paintbrush approx halfway along this crease with handle pointing towards bottom side while covering upper part too- thus keeping handle free from contact with other materials around!

Roll up the brush firmly with wax paper, making sure to fold in the ends tightly so that nothing can get inside and damage the bristles. Secure it further using rubber bands or twine to keep everything in place.

Alternatively, you could use specialized paintbrush sleeves that are designed for this purpose; they have an airtight seal creating a vacuum suction effect which helps maintain consistency of paint left on bristles while also keeping them moistened.

Store Your Brush

After wrapping your oil-based polyurethane brush properly, store it horizontally in either its original packaging or another appropriate container. Alternatively invest into protective containers like Painter’s Pyramid from Amazon where brushes can be stored safely and off any surface – avoiding accidental spills or damages.

Avoid storing your brushes upright as this will lead to bent bristles and shape deformation over time. Make sure your storage area is dry with minimal exposure to dust while consistently maintaining temperature at room level (between 60-75 degrees F), helping prolong life span of paints/brushes used on wooden surfaces .


Storing an oil-based polyurethane brush between coats doesn’t have to be a hassle. By following these simple tips for cleaning, wrapping correctly ,and proper storage techniques you can ensure longevity of your investment without compromise on quality outcome desired . Now you’re equipped with all the necessary information needed on how best manage care for such tools (like painting brushes) ensuring professional-quality work every step of way!

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