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Forum topic by Jeff_in_LSMO posted 08-07-2019 05:56 PM 411 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeff_in_LSMO

353 posts in 2851 days


08-07-2019 05:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: brush finish recommendation

Looking for recommendations on brushes. Tired of reading reviews. In your opinion, what works, what doesn’t, where did you buy, etc.? Asking for oil based, water based, shellac, etc.

Thanks in advance.


12 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2356 posts in 3149 days


#1 posted 08-07-2019 06:02 PM

Paul Sellers applies shellac using something called a “Hake brush”. These are available from artist supply stores and of course eBay, Amazon etc. They are make from goat or sheep hair – often in China. They come in different widths, but generally for shellac, I think no wider than 1.5” or maybe 2” would be good. I’ve bought a couple of them but not used them yet. Previously I applied shellac with some little cotton things intended to remove make-up, which somebody recommended and which I found unsatisfactory.

I think with any natural bristle brush, pre-washing it and shaking out any shedding bristles is in order.

https://paulsellers.com/2012/12/questions-answered-taking-care-of-a-hake-brush/

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5756 posts in 3004 days


#2 posted 08-07-2019 06:38 PM

For oil based finishes (principally varnish) I use Red Tree 2” Badger natural bristle brushes. With the three jar cleaning method I use, I have one that’s at least 15 years old and still in good shape. I have one I also use with shellac, and it’s dedicated to that use only. I don’t clean this brush after use, just let it get hard. Then before I use it again, I suspend in a small jar of DNA for 30 minutes or so before it’s needed…viola, it’s ready to use. Most waterborne stuff I spray, but for the items I do brush I just use Purdy paint brushes.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1871 posts in 2828 days


#3 posted 08-07-2019 06:58 PM

Hobby Lobby sells taklon brushes and I’ve got a full range of sizes from 3” wide to pinpoint. They are super fine synthetic brushes that have the feel of natural bristles but won’t soften when soaked in water-based finishes.

The only real downside to these is they don’t hold a lot of finish. Frequent re-dipping is necessary but I don’t brush on large surfaces anyway.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1892 posts in 2005 days


#4 posted 08-07-2019 07:03 PM

Brushes? Try to avoid them by spraying > 70% of my finishes.

Use cheap disposable ‘chip’ brushes for shellac sealer coats, or stains/dyes that get sanded, or rubbed down after application.
Use foam brushes for 1st and 2nd coat of Arm-R-Seal poly.
Use small natural bristle artist brushes for touch up or repair work.

+1 Fred Hargis: If I absolutely have to brush on a final finish, I have a couple of Badger natural brushes and Purdy’s in the paint supplies box. Badger for Varnish, Purdy for paint.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5987 posts in 3324 days


#5 posted 08-07-2019 07:31 PM



Brushes? Try to avoid them by spraying > 70% of my finishes

Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz

My thoughts exactly. Except for me it’s 95%.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1005 posts in 3304 days


#6 posted 08-07-2019 09:05 PM

And some of us NEVER spray! Maybe someday. To each his own. And brush makers need a job too! I mostly use Purdy.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4186 posts in 2500 days


#7 posted 08-07-2019 09:09 PM

I use only and shellac with a clean brush. For small things, I may use last coat with rattle can.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2015 posts in 674 days


#8 posted 08-08-2019 02:04 AM

99.9% brush work with Purdy and Wooster

not too many people know it, but, you can buy “seconds”
paint brushes on E-Bay for half the cost of new brushes.
but – you have to buy a lot of 6 or 12.
the only defect that I find in these brushes is that the metal
ferrule has nicks, brads pressed in too far or machine marks in it.
the bristles and handles are as you would expect in a new brush.
they do not include the cardboard cover. (make your own).

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View coxhaus's profile

coxhaus

145 posts in 1406 days


#9 posted 08-08-2019 06:24 AM

Go to Sherwin Williams and tell them what you are going to do. Buy brush. Don’t fret.

You need different brushes for all that stuff you are going to do.

View farmfromkansas's profile

farmfromkansas

125 posts in 125 days


#10 posted 08-09-2019 12:44 PM

I used to use the throwaway brushes from Harbor freight, but got tired of the loss of bristles in the finish, so went to Menards and bought a decent 3” china bristle brush for oil base finish. I store it in a plastic jar between coats with paint thinner in it, so the brush stays soaking in thinner, just get it out and shake it before giving another coat, then when the project is finished, clean it well and store for the next project.

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

173 posts in 883 days


#11 posted 08-09-2019 01:01 PM

You want some type of water-color brush for shellac. That would include the hake and Taklon brushes mentioned above, as well as the round “mops” that some recommend. I bought a 1” Taklon and a larger hake brush, and both have been fine.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

215 posts in 112 days


#12 posted 08-09-2019 03:43 PM


99.9% brush work with Purdy and Wooster

not too many people know it, but, you can buy “seconds”
paint brushes on E-Bay for half the cost of new brushes.
but – you have to buy a lot of 6 or 12.
the only defect that I find in these brushes is that the metal
ferrule has nicks, brads pressed in too far or machine marks in it.
the bristles and handles are as you would expect in a new brush.
they do not include the cardboard cover. (make your own).

.

- John Smith


For latex I just love the Purdy red nylox bristles with the white tips. Never use with oil based finishes. Always clean up after with soap and water and use a brass wire brush to clean any dried paint.

For oil base I only use china bristle and you must thoroughly clean up after use and I mean no residue left in the paint thinner. If you still see some hint of paint you will end up with a stiff brush. With china bristle if you ever let it touch water plan on throwing it out immediately the hair shrinks and curls really bad. Save your old thinner in a bucket or jug and after awhile when the solids settle it will be clear as water. Perfect for the first cleaning. Some of these brushes cost $30+ So they need a lot of care. Some of mine I have had 20 years or more.

Speaking of sprayers I have a big Graco airless sprayer that takes about a quart of paint to fill the hose so that is not what I need for furniture. What spray rigs do you all like for small projects? Every so often I see some Rockler sales but am never sure what does the job well. Most have great reviews and bad reviews so it is hard to determine bad product from user error.

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