paint brushes

  al's left peg 22:09 11 Jan 2010

Hi Guys,

I have got a fair bit of decorating to do over the next few weeks including varnishing. I have seen a type of foam paint brush on the net which I have never seen before. I would just like to know if anybody on here has used them, and do they give a good finish?

  Forum Editor 22:46 11 Jan 2010

If they did, every professional decorator in the land would be using them. They're not, because they don't.

  Quickbeam 23:16 11 Jan 2010

I buy them in packs of 5 from Wilko's and chuck 'em when I'm done. I don't do cleaning paint brushes whatever the finish!

  robgf 00:04 12 Jan 2010

I tried foam brushes some years ago and didn't get on very well, the finish was dire.
Experience has taught me that you get what you pay for with brushes, so I use lossless brushes for waterbased (easy to clean up) paint and cheap brushes for hard to clean paint, such as enamel.

If you are doing doors, get a mini roller and the appropriate sleeve, it is very easy to get a good finish nowadays. But buy the slightly better quality sleeves, rather than B&Q brand etc.

  ella33 00:16 12 Jan 2010

Paint pads can be good, I know someone who uses them all the time. I have only used foam brushes for tricky spots but have seen a professional decorator use them for special effects, so the result looked like wallpaper. I wouldn't use them for varnish.

  amonra 14:08 12 Jan 2010

I've used the small foam rollers for painting doors and found them quite good. Dont use them for mirror-finish varnishing, they only give a matt effect. As quickbeam said earlier, use them once then chuckem !

  MAT ALAN 14:54 12 Jan 2010

good prep, Cheap undercoat, dear topcoat, HARRIS paintbrushes...

  bjh 16:46 12 Jan 2010

I'd have to agree that, sadly, the quality of a finish is related to the quality of the applicator - and a good brush beats a cheap one, or a foam pad. Pads do a reasonable job with emulsion (and it's probably the fastest way to cover a large area, partly because it's less messy than a roller).

Varnish is probably one of the trickiest coatings to get a superb finish, as too many coats dull the result. With gloss, you can always add another coat to improve the finish but, with varnish, that's not the case.

Spend more time on preparation, make sure you clean all the dust and grot away, use a quality varnish and the best brush you can afford. A good brush will last years, if well cleaned.

My one strong tip is to recycle your cleaning fluids. Store used white spirit/turps in a sealed container in a cool garage, and wait for it to settle out. The paint residue will stick to the bottom (I use 2 litre plastic milk containers{clearly labelled!!!}) and can be chucked out. Recant the white spirit in another, repeat the process. What's left is almost as good as new - and it means you can use tons of cleaner on your posh brush, without waste.

  Forum Editor 16:51 12 Jan 2010

for woodwork at any rate (paint or varnish), are the round ones with string or copper binding. They're very much a traditional shape, and were used for centuries before flat brushes came along. When you use them you'll appreciate why.

For large flat areas use a 100mm foam roller, and apply several thin coats. If you really want a professional finish, flat the paint or varnish down between coats with a very fine aluminium oxide paper using very light pressure. To get a front door finish like the one at number 10 take the door off its hinges and lay it flat to paint it. Number 10 actually has two front doors - when one needs painting the duplicate replaces it, and so on.

  al's left peg 19:28 12 Jan 2010

Thanks guys,

I can safely say that you have given me a good idea of what to use for the forthcoming decorating. I will tick this as resolved now, once again thanks a lot.

  Bingalau 20:18 12 Jan 2010

I use pads for emulsion painting of ceilings and walls etc. but when painting doors do as the FE says. Take it off it hinges and lay it flat, sand it down and give it a damn good clean up before applying good quality paint with good quality brushes. Lay it on fairly thick and spread evenly in opposite directions, but finish only in one direction. Watch out for the edges.... Leave to dry in a clean dust proof area. By applying more coats you can get a finish like number ten Downing Street's front door.

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