Art Teacher Hacks: Best Way for Students to Clean Paint Brushes

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Hey elementary art teachers! Do you LOVE to let your students paint but HATE it when they spill the dirty paint water? Me too! That’s why I practically stopped putting cups of water on the tables when my students paint. Instead, I taught my students to use messy mats to clean their paint brushes!

art teacher hacks how to clean paint brushes while making art


This FREE mini-training shows you exactly how I use messy mats to solve all the problems with brush cleaning while painting in my classroom. Believe it or not, water spillage is a major problem in the art room. Sometimes, I was tempted to not even let my classes paint because I was that tired of the water getting spilled. You end up having to mop the floor, wipe up the table, and figure out what to do with everyone’s ruined work. Sometimes, you end up having to call a parent because a student got their shirt or lap soaked. It is exhausting, but I have figured out the answer!

Professional Practice Goal

Elementary art teachers will learn my exact method for teaching kids to use messy mats instead of water to clean their brushes while creating artwork.

What’s Included:

  • 10 minute, mini training video
  • The following topics are addressed: What is a messy mat? How do you use a messy mat? Why should you use a messy mat? What do you do with a dry messy mat?

Coach Expertise


Founder and Creative Director of Party in the Art Room
Published Author and Speaker

Amanda Koonlaba, Ed. S. is an educator and artist years of experience teaching both visual art and traditional courses. Her career has been driven by the power of the arts to reach all learners. She is a published author and frequent speaker at education conferences.

Amanda earned her bachelor of education degree from Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. Additionally, she earned a masters of science in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University and an education specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. She lives in Mississippi with her husband, Cherdchai, and their three children.


Amanda’s work has been featured by the following and more:


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