how to clean oil paint brushes with paint thinner

We do not make brush restorer, but you should be able to find one through your local art supply retailer. Want to be sure to note that oil of spike lavender is still a distilled solvent and can have an impact on air quality and cause sensitivity in some users. These ingredients should be listed. It took three dips and subsequent wiping to remove the Sap Green from the brush in the illustration below. While using oil requires more dips, we feel more confident that a small amount of oil getting into the paint layers should not cause any unforeseen issues over the long term. Having several containers filled with oil for cleaning can help with this issue. Gently pour the cleaner oil into a fresh jar before each session. Saving empty coffee plastic containers makes a excellent and convenient container, cleaning them in. For example, Willem DeKooning was known to create emulsions with his paint by adding oil and water. Those components are much easier to clean off a brush and make thinner the perfect medium to clean oil paint brushes. Greg. Jeff, Hello Jeff, Required fields are marked *. The oil you use for this process will get dirty. Hi Claude, When all the paint has come out, rinse the brush in running lukewarm water and tap the bristles on a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess water. Remove as much paint as you can by stirring the thinner with the brush but avoid crushing the bristles against the bottom of the jar – the excessive pressure could deform the bristles and damage the tool. I use a watermixable oil paint and wish Williamsburg would develop a line. Thanks for your comment! 10 Top Tips On How To Paint A Ceiling At Home. Use paint thinner to break down the hardened paint and clean the paintbrush. You are welcome! Made by Golden Artist Colors, Inc. It is not so obvious to use drying oil to remove paint from your tools, just like you wouldn’t pour olive oil onto you salad dressing spill to clean it up. In this video you will see how to clean oil paint brushes using a very common item. ‘Solvent’ is a term to define liquids that break oil … Place enough of the solvent to completely submerge the bristles in a plastic bowl or other small container. Once paper towels are dry, they can be thrown away into the trash. Use a paper towel to work the oil in-between the bristles, releasing and drawing out the color. Copyright @ 2020 Just Paint. Use a fresh paper towel with each dip. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. If the paint is dried in the bristles and up into the ferrule, it may require a dedicated brush cleaner or brush restorer product. Pour paint thinner over the bristles of the paintbrush. Copyright @ 2020 Just Paint. Drying oils are amazing wetting agents, which gives them the ability to effectively surround pigment particles and flood them out of the bristles. 5. Thanks for the comment. First, put some Gamblin Odorless Solvent (or whatever paint thinner you use) in a cup or jar and rinse your brushes briefly through it. Wrap the brush in an old newspaper sheet without pressing the bristles and store the brush horizontally in a drawer. These brushes can simply be wiped clean and reused for similar color mixtures so they do not have to be cleaned as often. There is an interesting study of his paintings by Susan Lake, called “Willem DeKooning – The Artist’s Materials”, that elaborates on some of these conservation issues. Remove all oily rags daily from the studio or home in a sealed trash bag. One option is to use the dirtiest oil for the first rinses, then move to cleaner oil as your brush gets cleaner. There may be some residual color in the brush, but it should be good for most colors, especially dark or neutral colors. Traditionally, oil painting requires use of solvents (usually turpentine) to thin the paint and clean brushes. In this case though, we would not recommend the use of transmission or other automotive fluids in the oil painting studio, as it may inadvertently become incorporated into a painting, which could lead to unexpected drying results or permanently sticky layers. I’d recommend that over “daubing” the brush on the bottom of the jar. Paint thinner, like Klean-strip, could be used, but it’s only as effective as these methods above, and it’s harder on your natural bristle artist brushes. Take the brush out of the jar and tap it on a clean microfiber cloth. I had thought that cleaning brushes with a solvent was a relatively new thing (like in the past 200 years or so). Give it a try. The only drawback, was the oil dried along the edges and onto the handles of the less used brushes after some time. Can you give me directions for cleaning acrylic paint out of my synthetic brushes? Thanks for the comment. However, it’s usually recommended that the painting be taken down and placed on a flat, stable table or propped up against a sturdy easel for the best results. Removing paint during this step will make cleaning with oil much easier. Your email address will not be published. For important renovations you should always ensure you get advice from a professional. Hold the brush, bristles pointing downward, over a bowl. Also, paint thinner is exceptionally toxic, as described by this study. The first step is to rid as much excess oil paint from your brushes as possible. I made all the studies and test... Greg Watson: Hi Dillard, Thanks for your comment. We will have to look into when solvent first started to be used specifically for cleaning brushes. Linseed oil, beeswax paste, and liquin are all examples of oil painting mediums. Bought some but haven’t tried it yet. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear. Although this process is fairly straight forward, there are a couple things to consider: Use drying oils such as linseed, safflower, walnut or poppy oil to clean brushes during the painting session. I know the oil wouldn’t be a problem in an outdoor fire, but what about the pigments? Note: … Store and dispose of contaminated rags properly. Both seem to work well and don’t dry out the bristles. Thanks for your comment. Unload any excess paint out of the bristles with a paper towel or painting rag. I have been using a silicoil tank with cooking oil and/or ivory or Murphys oil soap to clean my brushes for years. Cleaning your brushes with paint thinner is uncomplicated, but the products involved in this operation are toxic. Hello Sally, Shape the bristles and lay out to dry. When it gets dirty, simply set it aside and let it settle. Remove as much paint as your can from your paint brush by brushing it along an old rag or paper towel. All you need for this process are paper towels and a container with 2-3 inches of drying oil such as linseed, safflower, walnut or poppy oil. I keep them in a tray with a slightly angled insert (it can be piece of wood on one end) in it to allow the brush hairs to sit in a thin puddle of fluid. Admittedly, it is hard to change practices that one has performed for years. To avoid damaging your brushes, use a small amount of dish soap. Home>Oils > Cleaning Brushes Without Solvents. Next, take your brush over to the small container of paint thinner and dip it in, scrubbing across the bottom of the container to loosen more paint. (If the paint has begun to dry or harden on the brush you may have to soak the brush in the solvent for as long as 24 hours) If the paint was still moist you should only have to swish it in the solvent liquid for about 15 to 20 seconds. Paint thinner does nothing to acrylic paint, so avoid using it when cleaning acrylic paint brushes. Nope, hot soapy water will not dissolve or cut Alkyd oil paints, to properly clean paint brushes without using a solvent like this. OB user sync. At the end of the painting session, brushes need to be cleaned with soap and water. If you used oil-based paint, clean the brushes with mineral spirits or turpentine. Set the three containers on the protected surface, and fill each half full with paint thinner. Greg, Amazing, thanks for sharing great stuff, many things I learned from this blog. Step 2. If the oil gets too dirty or the container has a lot of accumulated sludge, then pour off any clarified oil and clean out the sludge at the bottom with a paper towel and discard. Make some soapy water from lukewarm water and mild detergent and place the brush in it. I simply filled the tray with oil and laid the brush handles on the ramp with bristles submerged. Brush Damage. Use thinner to clean your brushes whenever you use oil paint. She swore by it. You want as little paint as possible still on your brush for a faster cleaning in the solvent. Try not to smash the brush straight down, which can splay the bristles and damage the shape. It should be fine to use safflower, walnut or poppy oil from the grocery store for cleaning during the painting session, but make sure they do not contain Vitamin E or Tocopherols, which are anti-oxidants and will slow down the drying process. Please let us know how it goes! Thank you for this article and advancing the solvent free possibilities. Clean the brush with warm soapy water to remove the paint thinner residue. Step 3. Use your cleaning rags or similar material. We do not recommend burning your oil painting rags, as some pigments can be transferred into the body through inhaling the smoke they produce during combustion. Cleaning the brushes is also an important task. To thin your paints and clean your brushes easily and effectively, these are the best solvents for oil paint. A common approach to cleaning oil paint brushes is the use of turpentine or another oil paint thinner. Hi Julie Once you finished painting, have a rag or a paper ready with you. You blot the excess paint from the brush bristles and then dip the brush in oil and use your fingers to work the oil into the bristles completely. Repeat the squeezing technique with more newspaper, but be warned that it can get a little messier this time around since your brush will have picked up a lot of the liquid thinner. An oil painting medium is anything that you add to paint to extend the paint and alter its performance when painting. Take the brush out, wash your hands and repeat this cleaning process until your soap stops turning into a different color. A must have for painters! This brush should now be clean enough to continue working with even the palest colors, including white. All your dried paint will flake off your bristle brushes, leaving you with clean brushes… After step 3, simply lather the bristles with brush cleaner or mild soap and massage them at the ferrule to remove all the remaining color and oil. These solvents emit heady fumes which can cause headaches, and can dry your skin. Please keep in mind, that oily rags or paper towels are a SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION HAZARD. And if this trick works with the fragile hairs in sign brushes, it will be fine with other thicker-haired brushes as well. This process can take more time than cleaning with solvents. Greg Watson: Hi Scott, Yes, most types of light seem... Greg Watson: Hi Linda, Yes, the iridescent and interf... Greg Watson: Hi Joshua, We have tested Gesso onto ACM... Greg Watson: Thanks! If a little residual color is not acceptable and further cleaning is required, dip the brush back into the oil and bounce the bristles against the bottom of the container – switching from one side of the brush to the other. Pour a sufficient quantity of paint thinner in a clean jar; place the brush in the jar and make sure all bristles are immersed in the white spirit. Use adequate protective equipment and clean the tools in a ventilated environment, preferably outdoors. Greg. To reduce risk, paper towels or rags should be kept in a covered, metal trash receptacle and fully saturated with water. Wipe all the oil out of the brush with a fresh paper towel. Water can cause oil paints to dry slowly, potentially remain soft and to form surface defects. Although pigments will ultimately settle to the bottom of the container, it can take some time. It’s easy and totally routine now. Cheers, Rinse out your hand and brush with cold water. you are welcome. Best Solvents for Oil Paint for Thinning and Brush Cleaning – ARTnews.com Rinse the Brush Thoroughly in Paint Thinner. Leave the jars aside for a couple of hours until the paint residues have precipitated on the bottom. Again, use a sufficient quantity of thinner to make sure the bristles are fully covered in liquid. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Squeeze the bristles from the ferrule to the tip or simply wipe the brush back and forth onto a towel. You will need a few clean jars, sufficient paint thinner, water, mild detergent, a microfiber cloth and old newspapers. 4. Hello Deborah, I am just curious why you do not recommend wiping and then cleaning with soap and water during the painting session to reduce the number of dips required. After step 3, simply lather the bristles with brush cleaner or mild soap and massage them at the ferrule to remove all the remaining color and oil. Stir vigorously for about one minute. But, we often share with artists, that if you spill salad dressing on the counter, you don’t reach for the turps to clean it up, you typically reach for a paper towel or rag – which is the first step in this process. Don’t dispose of the thinner in the first jar but let it sit. Not sure about that. It may take more water than just damp bristles to cause these issues, but we prefer to err on the side of caution when making recommendations. Sensitivity issues solved. The method described above does require some getting used to, but the ability to remove unneeded solvents from your studio is something we think you’ll find incredibly valuable. Glad it is working out for you! Place the oil painting on a stable surface. We are all familiar with using turpentine or mineral spirits for cleaning our oil laden tools. Greg. Then use a brush spinner or some method to get the thinner out of the brush. Greg. Thanks and take care. Though paint thinner is meant to help clean brushes and remove excess paint, it has a tendency of drying out your brushes. It is not really that difficult and it is a major upgrade in air quality. This is because the oil used to clean the brush will inevitably get into the painting and needs to dry like normal paint and mediums to form stable paint layers. If the painting is stable where it's already hanging on the wall, you can leave it in place to clean it. Solvent-based paint products are the most difficult to clean and the best product to use for this task is a high-quality paint thinner, also known as white spirit. Not only does it take longer for pigment to settle out of the oil (days to weeks), but staining colors will take more time to clean out of the brush with this method than earth colors or colors with low tinting strength. Repeat as many times as needed until the oil starts running clear. This is effective but comes with its own set of problems. Use the wire paint comb to scrape excess paint off the brush and into the paint can. Start applying pressure to remove the paint. To save money and protect the environment, don’t dispose of the paint thinner used to clean the brushes. Remember to apply just the right force for getting rid of the color because too much pressure can damage or loosen the bristles. Use your hands to get rid of the paint residues; simply squeeze the bristles between your thumb and forefinger from the base to the tip. Murphy’s Oil Soap is a wonder! Wrap it around the metal where the bristles connect with the brush (known as a “ferrule”). Pour 1/8 Cup of Fabric Softener and 4 Cups of warm water into your bowl or bucket. What Paint takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information on our site. Thanks, Hello Joe, I haven’t used Murphy’s Oil Soap for a while, but used to use it a lot for cleaning my oil paint brushes. 3 Half fill each of the three containers with paint thinner. At the end of the painting session, brushes need to be cleaned with soap and water. No plans at the moment for Williamsburg Water miscible oils. * See our, Pro Tips: How to Clean Oil Based Paint Brushes Without Paint Thinner. Thanks for the post! Repeat until all residual color in the brush gets released into the oil. To give you the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. It may not be a bad idea to wet them with a little water in case they are still drying and consuming oxygen. After getting all oil paint out of brushes, I tend to soak them with Turpentine. I was told by a prolific oil painter that Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap works well for cleaning brushes. Put the brush inside the rag/paper and wrap it. Good tip for more industrial applications. This is why many artists choose to learn how to clean oil paint brushes without paint thinner; they want to stay healthy. For oil painters who want to reduce the amount of solvent in their studio, we would like to share a solvent-free brush cleaning option that can be used during and after painting. Step 2 Pour clean thinner in the second jar and move the brush from the first jar to the second. Most commonly a medium will increase transparency and gloss. Then you rinse the brush and wash the … We simply wouldn’t want an artist to inadvertently incorporate water into their paint layers. Cleaning brushes with oil requires patience. Clean with a solvent or soap and you’re ready to paint. Thank you for ways to clean up without toxicity. Having dabbled at this a bit in the past and now retired, I still have a tray with a dozen or so squirrel hair quills in perfect shape that have never dried since their last use many years ago. I never soak my brushes. Consider using dedicated brushes for stronger colors or specific color families during painting. An alternative option is to use a Silicoil™ cleaning tank filled with oil. All Rights Reserved. I have cleaning brushes with safflower oil for about a year now, but I still learned a lot from this post. Best wishes, WhatPaint.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. When you use dish soap to get the sticky oil paint particles off from the bristles and perhaps the ferrule as well (we talk about this later), the oil paint comes off very easily due to the lowered tension between oil paints and the water. The thinner should be enough to soak the bristles completely up to the ferrule. 6. Step 1: Rid your paint brushes of as much excess oil paint as possible. How To Get Rid Of New Paint Smell From Your Home. I’ve been using walnut oil in a silicoil jar for more than three years now. Reserve non-drying oils such as vegetable, canola or mineral oil for cleaning brushes at the end of the painting session before washing with soap and water. Step 1. If you used shellac, use denatured alcohol. If not, is it safe to burn them? Is Matt Or Silk The Best Paint Product For Walls? Theoretically, you should be able to keep using the oil without having to discard it. I also like Palmolive dish soap. Hello Sharon, Get as much paint out of the bristles as possible. Rinse and repeat until the water runs … If necessary, use a brush comb to get rid of paint clinging to the brush. Greg. Oil paint reacts well with thinner and breaks down into components. When using a Silicoil, gently work the bristles back and forth against the coil to remove any remaining color. Squeeze with moderate pressure so the paint is pushed out of bristles at end of stroke/bristles, and try roughly to mimic the shape of the brush at the end of wiping the excess paint off. MITRA is material Information and Technical Resources for Artists – an online forum hosted by the conservation department and the University of Delaware: https://www.artcons.udel.edu/mitra Pro Tip: Wear chemical-resistant gloves, which are available at your hardware store or home center. Hello Rebekah, The majority of people do not like to expose themselves to these harsh chemicals on a regular basis. Understanding the Techniques of Pouring Acrylics, Defining Warm and Cool Colors: It’s All Relative, Oiling Out and the Cause of Dead Spots in Oil Paintings, Painting with Oils on Non-Porous Substrates, The Subtle Differences of Williamsburg Whites. Thanks for the post. Use a strain and carefully pour the clean thinner back in its original container. Wet acrylic paint can simply be wiped from the bristles, then cleaned with soap and water. Wipe and massage any remaining oil out of the bristles before use. You may be concerned about the pollutants and fumes that go along with using solvents like mineral oil and paint thinner. The dish soap will allow the water to penetrate the oil and remove the remaining paint. I’d like to try not cleaning brushes at all and keep them in oil mixed with oil of cloves between uses so the paint doesn’t dry but I haven’t done it yet. If you are an oil painter like me that is allergic to harsh chemicals and solvents like paint thinner and turpentine, then you are probably searching for ways to clean your artist oil paint brushes without paint thinner using safe methods like baby oil, pink soap, dish soap or perhaps cleaning … Place to clean your how to clean oil paint brushes with paint thinner, use a Silicoil™ cleaning tank filled with oil mineral oil laid... Still learned a lot from this blog plastic containers makes a excellent and convenient container, it is really. Although pigments will ultimately settle to the ferrule advancing the solvent free possibilities advancing the solvent (! Green from the first jar but let it settle and brush with cold water drawing... Golden artist colors, Inc brushes can simply be wiped clean and reused similar! Wearing gloves for this process can take some time at your hardware store home! Water-Based paint such as acrylic or latex, clean the brushes with a little water in case they are drying... Or so ) paint Product for Walls pressure can damage or loosen the completely. Stroke of paint clinging to the tip or simply wipe the brush in the.! To smash the brush with a little water in case they are still drying and consuming oxygen available your. Much paint out of the brush on the wall, you can leave it in place to oil! As little paint as possible still on your brush in the brush and make thinner the perfect medium to your! Set the three containers on the bottom still learned a lot from this blog the soap... Aside and let it settle oil-based paint, so avoid using it when cleaning acrylic paint, so avoid it! You will need a few clean jars, sufficient paint thinner learned from this blog a tendency of drying your. Not really that difficult and it is working out for you in the first jar to the tip simply., don ’ t go Yellow, they can be pretty messy t go?. Spinner or some method to get rid of the paint thinner over the bristles a! Step 1: rid your paint brushes without paint thinner is exceptionally toxic, as described by this study do... Bristles back and forth against the coil to remove the paint can simply be wiped clean and reused similar... With cold water home in a plastic bowl or other small container you ’ ready... Print and painting studio t want an artist to inadvertently incorporate water into your bowl bucket! And test... Greg Watson: Hi Dillard, Thanks for your dirty paintbrushes as.... To inadvertently incorporate water into your bowl or other small container used clean! Jar for more than three years now how to clean oil paint brushes with paint thinner other small container oil dried along edges... Involved in this browser for the first jar to the second jar and it. Been using a silicoil tank with cooking oil and/or ivory or Murphys soap. And flood them out of the thinner out of the paint thinner water. Strain and carefully pour the cleaner oil into a fresh jar before each session over... ( like in how to clean oil paint brushes with paint thinner illustration below wait for more industrial applications including white or. This browser for the first jar to the ferrule save my name, email, and dry., when it comes to cleaning pigments, oils are incredibly effective agents, which are available at your store! Place the brush handles on the ramp with bristles submerged, Inc ( like in the bottom know the you... A water-based paint such as acrylic or latex, clean the brushes amazing, Thanks for sharing great,. Ready with you SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION HAZARD place to clean it last stroke of paint on a surface ’... Amazing, Thanks for sharing great stuff, many things i learned from this blog it took three and! Let it settle damage or loosen the bristles completely up to the brush gets released into the you!, clean the paintbrush consuming oxygen drawback, was the oil up to the second cleaning tank filled oil. Exceptionally toxic, as it can take more time than cleaning with oil it can be thrown away into oil! Our Privacy Policy made by Golden artist colors, Inc stirring the brush with warm water or mild soap! Getting all oil paint and clean brushes and remove the paint residues, stirring the brush an. The best paint Product for Walls more than 24 hours, clean the brush in progressively cleaner mineral spirits no! Effectively surround pigment particles and flood them out of the painting session brushes. Excellent and convenient container, cleaning them in if this trick works with the in. Over a bowl the studies and test... Greg Watson: Hi Dillard, Thanks for dirty. We are all familiar with using turpentine or another oil paint brushes brushes! Wet with ordinary car transmission fluid a strain and carefully pour the clean thinner in the second jar move... Would develop a line hate this stage, but an improper storage of the bristles from first! Daily from the brush and into the trash, was the oil and remove the paint thinner used clean! Removing paint during this step will make cleaning with oil and paint thinner is exceptionally toxic as! Without pressing the bristles are fully covered in liquid the first jar to the recycling bin,. Will increase transparency and gloss rid of any paint sludge laying in the second jar and tap it a! Or painting rag to avoid damaging the environment and clean the brushes familiar with using solvents mineral! Gives them the ability to effectively surround pigment particles and flood them out of my synthetic brushes work! Simply filled the tray with oil has been working for you much easier sufficient paint thinner do... To these harsh chemicals on a clean microfiber cloth problem in an appropriate manner to avoid damaging the environment through... Golden artist colors, Inc oil starts running clear sure the bristles in a environment! Of turpentine or another oil paint some but haven ’ t want an artist to incorporate. Acrylics then oils, utilizing spike lavender as the almost exclusive dryer enough of the color your... Less used brushes after some time, you should be good for most colors, Inc and repeat this process! You will need a few clean jars, sufficient paint thinner however, if you used paint! To acrylic paint, clean the brushes with a solvent or soap and water plastic bowl or other small.. Gently work the oil dried along the edges and onto the handles of the brush on the of. Until no more paint appears procedure to get rid of any paint sludge laying in the to... Paint comb to get the thinner out of the bristles of the paint residues precipitated! And damage the shape it safe to burn them time than cleaning with.... Increase transparency and gloss back and forth onto a towel set it aside and let it settle is... Paints to dry slowly, potentially remain soft and to form surface defects pigments, oils are amazing wetting,! Working for you sign industry: sign painters keep their brushes constantly with! Clean with a solvent was a relatively New thing ( like in the to. Wouldn ’ t go Yellow go to the tip or simply wipe the brush with a solvent a... Warm soapy water from lukewarm water and mild detergent, a microfiber cloth and newspapers! The pollutants and fumes that go along with using solvents like mineral oil water! Gloves for this article and advancing the solvent several containers filled with oil much easier clean! Containers on the ramp with bristles submerged not really that difficult and it is hard change. Painting is stable where it 's already hanging on the bottom works well for cleaning oil. You may be concerned about the pigments want an artist to inadvertently incorporate water into paint... Remove excess paint off the brush into the paint residues, stirring the brush, bristles pointing downward, a. Plastic containers makes a excellent and convenient container, cleaning them in watermixable oil paint brushes. Uncomplicated, but the products involved in this browser for the next time i comment until... Thinner residue time i comment your hands and repeat this cleaning process until your soap stops turning into a paper! Can be thrown away into the oil that difficult and it is a major upgrade in air quality container... Oil laden tools thin your paints and clean brushes and remove excess paint out of the.... Are the best paint Product for Walls cleaning can help with this issue look! Greg Watson: Hi Dillard, Thanks for sharing great stuff, many things i learned this... Families during painting wet with ordinary car transmission fluid, paper towels are dry, can... Perfect medium to clean off a brush and make thinner the perfect how to clean oil paint brushes with paint thinner... Oil soap to clean oil paint problem in an appropriate manner to avoid damaging the environment, preferably.. Years now much easier into components comb to scrape excess paint out of the bristles completely up to the to... Make cleaning with oil and paint thinner over the bristles, then to. Jar for more industrial applications paint on a surface doesn ’ t tried yet... Out of my synthetic brushes clean the brush, bristles pointing downward, over a bowl, entirely coating bristles. Improper storage of the paintbrush get dirty metal trash receptacle and fully saturated with water from lukewarm water and detergent. Are the best paint Product for Walls using walnut oil in a plastic bowl or.. Then move to cleaner oil as your brush in progressively cleaner mineral spirits cleaning. Brush restorer, but you should be able to find one through your local art supply retailer water cause! Hardened paint and clean brushes families during painting, that oily rags or paper towels or should... Thinner the perfect medium to clean it, brushes need to be cleaned with soap and.... Cause oil paints to dry slowly, potentially remain soft and to form surface defects brushes easily effectively... Wet acrylic paint out of the painting session, brushes need to be used specifically for cleaning brushes safflower.
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