My Budget Brush Holder!

Budget Watercolour Brush Holder made by The Devon Artist, Paul Hopkinson
My budget brush holder – no more nasty splintered paint on the handles 🙂

My budget watercolour brush holder is very different to the traditional method of storing your brushes. Usually whilst painting you put them upside down with the bristles up in a holder. Indeed, you even find water pots with holes already made to stand your brushes in. The problem is that water left in your brush soaks down through the metal ferrule and into the wood handle. Consequently it causes that easily recognised, horrible brush handle, paint splinter!

Watercolour brushes damaged by water
Watercolour brushes damaged by water

Do you have the same problem with the paint on your brush handles splitting and peeling away? In the past I’ve even resorted to wrapping sellotape around the handle. However, it is never the same as the feel of smooth undamaged paint between your fingers. ☹️ So I got to thinking….. 🤔
Now I love to make things which solve a problem or that simply do what I want them to do. When I’m not painting or out bird watching I’m often to be found in the garage. I love being amongst my woodworking tools, hammering and creating. Albeit on a slightly bigger and in a more rustic style to my fine detailed paintings!
Firstly I got my ideas for the design down on paper.

Budget Watercolour Brush Holder made by The Devon Artist, Paul Hopkinson,
Budget brush stand diagram

As you can see from my photos this is a budget idea. So all you need is a cheap broom handle, a block of wood and a foam paint roller tube. You can also use grey foam pipe insulation, this is a little tougher to push your brushes into but does still work.

how to make your own watercolour brush holder
Side view of the budget brush holder

I would suggest a few alterations if the piece of wood you use for the base is lightweight. You may need something heavy over the base to prevent it moving when it is being used it with your brushes. Alternatively blu-tac it to your desk to stop it moving. My base was a piece of old oak so nice and heavy and really stable.

Old brushes but the handles look like new after storing them in my homemade brush stand. Make your own watercolour brush stand.
These are some of my old brushes – just look at the worn bristles! But the handles are like new!

Should you fancy having a go at making my ‘Budget Watercolour Brush Holder’ hopefully the photos here will be helpful.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you get on. Alternatively, perhaps you have another method of preserving the life of your brushes – I would love to know what it is. 😉

You may find this page useful, it details some of the watercolour equipment that I use or recommend. And this Pinterest board has photos of my painting materials too.

Until next time, bye for now,
Paul. 🎨🖌

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