Clean your brushes after each use. I do not enjoy cleaning brushes (who does?) but I do love, love a nice brush in beautiful condition so I take the time, every time, to clean my brushes after I use them. I do not roughly mush the bristles in the bottom of a jar or cup…I gently push the bristles around between my fingers, on the palm of my hand, on the bottom of the sink or on a metal mesh I keep in my sink–key word being GENTLY. I do not recommend leaving a brush soaking in water or cleaner very long. All CeCe Caldwell’s Chalk + Clay Paints products are water based so none need any kind of mineral spirit or paint thinner and I personally do not recommend using anything stronger than dish soap and vinegar when cleaning any brush (and if you make a habit of cleaning your brushes after each use you shouldn’t ‘need’ anything heavier) . Synthetic brushes do not need to be conditioned with oil soap and can be cleaned with just water or with dish soap and/or a bit of vinegar.
After cleaning and rinsing your brush, wrap it in paper (construction or kraft paper is preferred but paper towels will work). Wrapping your brush is how to retain the shape of the brush and prevents fraying. Also it is important to allow your brush to completely dry between uses and always comb your fingers firmly through the bristles to remove any loose hairs. It is normal for your brush to shed a bit before/during your first use and subsequently fewer bristles.