Brush Maintenance for Dummies
This is slightly embarrassing for me to ask. Despite many years as a professional woodworker, I've never developed a good habit or routine for cleaning brushes after use. I've worked in some situations where brushes were used so frequently that they were stored in solvent. I've also worked for some shops that stuck with disposable brushes (ick). I now spray most finishes, but occasionally brush polyurethane, varnish or lacquer; when I do, I inevitably find myself unsure of how to clean the brush thoroughly enough that its bristles don't glue themselves together as they dry, without using a ridiculous amount of solvent. The poor brush usually sits around in a soup can of mineral spirits(or whatever solvent seems appropriate), stinking up my shop and getting misshapen.
I'd very much appreciate some remedial instruction, perhaps followed up with a few advanced strategies, on how to easily and effectively clean and store paint brushes that have been dipped in solvent-based finishes.