Monday, January 30, 2012

Quality Paint Brush: 4 Characteristics to Look For

There is a multitude of brushes on the market. But why would you spend money a high quality paint brush?

We have compiled a list of 4 qualities to look for in higher quality professionally rated paint brushes.
  1. Ease of Release
  2. Bristle Wear
  3. Bristle Tips
  4. Firmness and control

1. Ease of Release

Quality brushes make sense to purchase because they will release paint onto the substrate better than a lower quality brush. When buying a piant brush avoid a natural bristle brush. Although these brushes may hold a greater amount of paint it is because the paint clings to the pits and imperfections of the bristles, but they do not unload the paint onto the subtrate.

2. Bristle Wear

Wear of the bristles is another factor when buying a professional grade brush. The days of synthetic bristled brushes is here to stay so it makes sense to educate your self on them before buying. There are nylon, polyester, and a mutitude of other bristles to choose from. Of the materials available, nylon has one of the best wear properties but is too stiff, therefore difficult to control. While polyester on the other hand is too soft, and also difficult to control. Therefore companies will blend different brisles together to give the best mix of control and wear. This is an okay method to try to solve this issue but it leaves more to be desired.

As long as you are buying a brush from these companies you should not have issues with premature bristle wear:

  • Proform Technologies
  • Wooster 
  • Purdy 

3. Bristle Tips

The tips of bristles are important. The thicker the bristle the stiffer the brush but the greater the brush marks. Vice versa the thinner bristles will be more flexible but will leave less brush marks. Some manufacturers are acid tipping there bristles. Acid tipping is a process where thicker bristles are dipped into acid, resulting in a   tapper and razor sharp tip, giving the painter fewer brush marks and the greatest amount of control. Companies like Wooster and Proform Technologies have both utilized this new manufacturing process. Of the two companies Proform is on the top of our list, although, our opinions change with time as newer technologies emerge. In a desperate attempt to make worse brushes feel better to the painters, manufacturers will literally sand the tips of the brushes to try to give the user a sharper tip. We view this as an attemt to "pawn off" inferior products to professional painters and think poorly of maufacturers that do not adopt better technology to improve the process of painting. They do this to try to leave less brush marks. But the bristles generally wear down so quickly that it has a short lived benefit.

Other manufacturers actually split the tips of the bristles. This is a called "flagging the tips". We have found that this type of tip actally increases the width of the tip and leaves more brush marks. Avoid these brushes at all costs.

4. Firmness and Control

When considering a pro bush it is important to take the flex of the bristles into consideration. Some consider this to actually be a decision of preference. We have found this to be an inaccurate statement. Stiffer brushes allow for a greater amount of control and in turn will increase productivity. A slighty softer bristle tends to perform better indoors but will not produce the same results on an exterior paint job. Stiffer brushes will also maintain their overall shape better. When painting outside the higher temperatures will soften the brush and the painter ends up fighting the soft bristles for control. In turn this yeilds less productivity and will cost you time and money. So it makes sense to purchase a stiffer brush for exterior painting as it will become "softer" as you use it.  There are some painters that believe a brush that is more flexible will produce a more evenly distributed paint film. This is certainly not the case, as we have found that the film of a paint is more dependent on the type of bristle and the tips of the brush.

Even a DIY can reap the benefits of buying a professional paint brush. Pro brushes do not spatter and drip as much as inferior disposable brushes. It also allows you to finish faster to return to your favorite weekend activity. As with any job the right tools in the right hands improves the quality of work and finish. This applies to any aspect of life weather it be in computers, automotive repair, sports, sewing, and so on.    


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Friday, January 27, 2012

How to Remember Your Paint Colors!

Having trouble finding touch up paint your favorite room because you cant remember the color name or the store you bought the paint at?

How long did it take you to find the perfect color for your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, den or your favorite space in the house? An hour? Days? Weeks? Months? A year? Did you go back and forth from the paint store to your house and back again trying to find the perfect shade of khaki? We have. We feel your pain. 

But here is the deli-ma. Your walls are going to get some abuse. All walls do. Eventually you will have to touch up patch or even repaint entire walls. That's okay cause you remember the color of the paint was Ivory Sand... er wait it was Beach Bliss... no wait it was Ivory Bliss. Okay so you cant remember the name of the paint color off the top of your head. Just check the can with the label. Oh wait you accidentally painted over the label and cant read it. Hmm. Well you could just have the paint store match the color with that really expensive lazer matching doohickey. Yeah that works well. Remember what happened last time? You ended up repainting the entire room because now you know that there are hundreds of different shades of white which are impossible to match. 

We even changed the color of the photo to gray scale to make it look depressing and uninviting to try to get our point across. Marketing is a thing of beauty. Any ways... 

Our solution to this problem has been to write the name of the color, the store, and the sheen on the wall switch  closet to the door. Yeah we know its a clever idea. But its not always the best way to do this. We are constantly trying to push the envelope to figure out better ways to do everything. And we are not about to skimp out on getting our customers a fail proof way to remember the color of the wall paint even ten years later. 

Have the paint store print you up an extra sticky label the next time you have paint mixed for you. Tell them to leave the backing on the sticker because your gonna stick it to something else entirely. It doesn't matter what store mixes your paint: Lowes, Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, or where ever sells paint they all have the same ability to print extra labels. The computers they use can print out a thousand copies because the computer has no idea how many cans its labeling. What you do with the extra label is the cool part. 

Here is a step by step photo explanation of how to keep your favorite paint color close at hand: 

Its a pretty simple process. Simply put the sticker on the back of the switch cover, cut out the holes, and reattach the cover. Don't worry about getting the entire label on the back of the cover. Some stores make labels that are way to big for the cover. Just cut down the excess to fit it on the back while preserving any crucial information for the color sheen and store. 

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