How To Get Kilz Primer Off Brush (Complete Guide)

Being a DIY painter doesn’t only include the fun of trying things out whenever you like. The real work is doing the less-fun part of DIY painting, like washing primers off your brushes and tidying up your workspace. 

For most first-timers, cleaning excess paint or primer off a paintbrush might be more challenging than expected.

To clean oil-based paints and primers off your brushes, soak the brush in a thinning liquid to soften the primer. Vinegar or paint thinner in a paint tray works best. Rinse your brush with warm, soapy water once it is soft enough.

But you can do more to facilitate the process and make it easier. Below, we detail how to get your brushes back to their best condition. 

soaking paint brushes in vinegar and fabric softener

How to Get Kilz Primer Out of Your Paintbrush Step by Step

It’s time to clean KIlz from the paintbrush. This time you need to follow these steps to get long-term use from your brush.

Start by Selecting the Right Materials

Most of the required materials are in your pantry or toolbox. Gather the following materials before starting:

  • Vinegar
  • Mineral oil
  • Dish soap
  • Fabric softener
  • Warm water
  • A rag
  • Bowl or paint tray to soak items in
  • Paint solvent
materials used to remove primer from brush

Don’t forget to include a garbage bag to store all the used materials in after cleaning. Paint solvents like mineral spirits and denatured alcohol are flammable, so you must discard them in line with state or federal regulations

Note: Working in an open, ventilated space for this process is preferable. Some solvents for cleaning paint brushes contain VOCs, which produce fumes that may cause health complications. 

The next step depends on the type of Kilz primer you’re working with. For example, the process for an oil-based primer is different from a latex-based one. For these steps, spread a polyethylene bag on the floor and arrange the required materials beforehand.

How To Get Latex-Based Kilz Primers Off Your Brushes

removing primer from paint brush

Just concluded a paint job with a latex-based Kilz primer? Then this section is for you. 

To remove latex-based primers from brushes, washing with mild soap in warm water should do the trick. 

Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow for the best results.

  1. Wipe off excess, loose paint from the surface, or scrape it off using a paint scraper.
  1. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water. Use a generous amount to ensure the bristles get entirely soaked.
  1. Work the brushes carefully with your hand. Soak the brush when necessary, giving it time to remove any stubborn paint stuck in-between bristles.
  1. Rinse out in clean water and dry the bristles side down. 

These steps should restore your brush if you use latex-based primers. But what if you’ve been using an oil-based one?

How to Get Oil-Based Kilz Primers Off Your Brushes

cleaned brush

It is a different ball game working with oil-based primers like Kilz Orginal. This process requires protective gear like rubber gloves and face masks. 

You must also do it in an open and ventilated space since you will be working with paint thinner. You’ll also have to properly dispose of any used materials after cleaning.

These steps will guide you through the process:

  1. Create a safe workspace. Paint thinners like mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, or turpentine are highly flammable. So it is crucial to carry out this process in a safe and well-ventilated space. It’s safest to go outdoors.
  1. Soak clogged brushes in an organic solvent. Fill a long, narrow container with your preferred solvent until the bristles are completely soaked in the solvent, taking care not to spill any solvent. Then, swirl the brush to loosen the primer.
  1. Wait for at least one minute for the primer to dissolve, then swish the brush around to loosen up the primer. Run a wire through the bristles to clean it thoroughly. You can always use another bowl of thinner if the first one gets filled with paint.
  1. Blot the brush on an absorbent surface and dispose of the thinner properly. Blotting the brush will ensure there is no thinner left on the brush. Disposing of paint thinner prevents fires.

Note: Pour the leftover mineral spirit into a glass container and store it in a well-ventilated space. Keeping it in the kitchen is a bad idea. 

If you used any rags to wipe off the solvent, gather them in a garbage bag and place them near the garbage bin outside. Call the nearest hazardous waste facility to dispose of it. 

Don’t try to pour the leftover solvent into the drain, as it will contaminate the water supply.