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As Yamini said, you can clean the brush out how she mentioned, using a wire brush will help as well. In the end, Yamini is also right about going to buy a new brush. In the end, the old,cleaned brush will never be the same.
Putting the brush in plastic and then in the freezer is a good tip if you are using oil paint
But, it sounds as if you have matters well in hand, now. I understand CLR is dynamite on brush cleaning also.
Next time you paint, dip your brush in the appropriate thinner (mineral spirits (oil-based finishes and varnishes), denatured alcohol (shellac or shellac-based primers), lacquer thinner
(Appreciate all your gardening help over the years)
work it in as best you can. Wrap it in plastic and let it sit overnight. Then, use the wire brush like Dan recommended and lukewarm water. (The warmth of the water helps because latex will expand) It has saved me on the occasion when I have forgotten a dirty brush that was left in my car
BTW, this stuff is also my first emergency measure for getting latex paint off of clothing, fabrics and a vast assortment of other surfaces. . . occupational hazard. . . ask me how I know!!! LOL
(On occasion, I have been able to push as long as 2 days depending upon the quality of paint that is being used)
BTW, this is for water based products, I don't use solvent based products any more.
a vessel containing a solution of 1 part washing
soda, dissolved in 3 parts water. Do not immerse
the butt of the brush in the solution. Allow to re-
main in the solution several hours. The paint will
become so soft as to be readily washed out wilh soap
and water, no matter how hard it has become.
Kerosene oil is an excellent medium in which
to clean brushes which have been used in paint, or
varnish. Also to keep brushes soft, immerse the
bristles in this liquid. The bristles will remain
soft and pliable, whereas, benzine used for the
same purpose tends to make them harsh.