Masters Brush Cleaner, review

If you do a lot of painting you’ll undoubtedly go through a lot of brushes. I did. But not any more.

I used to get through a lot of brushes.

I’d buy them but regardless of cost or brand, they didn’t last. Being inexperienced back then, I just put this down to the brushes being poorly made, nothing is made as well as they used to be I’d think.

But then I discovered Masters Brush Cleaner made by the delightfully named General Pencil Co.

It claims to clean brushes after acrylic, oil or watercolour painting and having used it for some time now it really does work, even shifting truly gummed-up brushes and does a much better job than the usual cleaning fluids.

Wet the brush and clean it as best you can and then rub it on the Masters cake and then swirl it around in your palm. Within a few minutes, you’ll have a lather of paint.  Rinse it and repeat a few times and your brush will feel like new again.

It also acts as a preserver. After cleaning, a wipe over with the stuff and then shaping it keeps them in better condition for next use.

The video below demonstrates how to use it and how effective it can be.

masters brush cleanerAs a result, I’ve not had to buy any more brushes since it was recommended to me by a model-making friend.

It’s not the cheapest stuff in the world but the cost is easily made up for by  not having the buy replacement brushes and better results. And don’t be fooled by the small 75ml container; it doesn’t look like it’ll last long but the current pot has lasted well over a year now.

If you paint, get yourself some Masters Brush Cleaner you won’t be disappointed.


Full disclosure: The reviews I share here come from hands-on experience establised over many decades of making and building models and model railways. I personally test each product, often for weeks or months, before writing about it. For this review, I purchased the product myself at the regular price, and the seller had no idea it would end up featured here. No special treatment or behind-the-scenes deals – just honest feedback on my experiences of using this product.

Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.
  1. Your brush cleaner is a great idea. Any artist (like me) will find it a godsend, especially if one uses oil paint or acrylic, especially the latter, as it dries so quickly. Of course one can use Acrylic thinner if painting in several washes.

    Alec R.

  2. Hi Andy and all fellow railway modelers! Great tip on the brush cleaning stuff – I’ll at once use it for oil based paints. For watercolour and acrylic paints I regularly use this method:
    1) Soak the brush in cold tap water before use
    2) After each colour, wipe off on paper tissue and follow up by thoroughly stirring the brush in a jar with clean water
    3) Suck excess water away on tissue paper and let dry in free circulating room temperature air
    The initial soak places water in the base of the brush hairs, where it dilutes the paint’s binding medium. Otherwise it is impossible to remove the binding medium of the paint from the very narrow interstices between the brush hairs in the base. Lots of vigorous but not brusque movement of the brush in the rinsing jar will then dilute the binding medium to near nil concentration. When the brush has been cleaned, the water will slowly evaporate. I learned this method from a Japanese artist, and my brushes stay in top condition year after year.
    Happy modeling

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