It's possible to spend a (not so) small fortune assembling an oil painting starter kit. Ask me how I know. There's no way around the paints and brushes, but here's a really clever hack for those cleaning jars. Thank you, Kim Bjorgo-Thorne, for sharing it with us!
How to Make a Brush Cleaning Assembly
by Kim Bjorgo-Thorne
One of the tricks I learned from art classes back in the day was to make my own brush cleaner assembly for oil painting.
You need two metal cans; a tuna or cat food can and a coffee can. Remove the labels and clean them thoroughly.
Get a hammer and a 16-penny nail and carefully poke holes in the bottom of the tuna can. Lots of holes. Work only on the bottom towards the inside of the can or you will make sharp edges.
When you are finished, put the small can in the large one.Fill with turpenoid for cleaning or baby oil, if you just need a place to rest brushes you will use again. Add no more than comes above the center of the small can, which will have "dented in" when you added the holes.
The small can had a gentle surface to scrub brushes against and it also keeps the brush ferrules from soaking in the solution.
Thanks again, Kim. This is awesome!