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Brush variations. Brushes differ of their means to hold their bristles from falling out, within the quantity of end they’ll carry and of their consolation. More costly brushes, such because the oxhair brush (high), don’t scale back brush marks noticeably over the very low-cost chip brush (center), or the froth brush (backside). The finishes themselves differ in how nicely they flatten out.

Putting some sense again into a easy job.

For most individuals, the primary expertise brushing comes with oil or latex paint, or with alkyd or polyurethane varnish. Each of those coatings is comparatively straightforward to brush.

Paint is straightforward as a result of it doesn’t have to go on completely; brush marks and different minor flaws are anticipated and accepted. Varnishes are straightforward as a result of they dry slowly, so there’s loads of time to unfold them out evenly and get the comb strokes lined up with the grain.

Polyurethane varnish is the end most generally brushed by novice woodworkers, and it’s the end that’s nearly at all times utilized in directions on how to brush (see The 7 Myths of Polyurethane.) There are numerous articles, a number of movies, and even segments of tv adverts that describe or exhibit how to brush varnish.

For a motive I don’t perceive, nearly all of those directions counsel or present brushing slowly, a number of on the extremely gradual velocity of eight seconds per foot. (Try it; I’ll wager you possibly can’t brush this gradual the primary time).

Reflected mild. When there’s no mild mirrored within the floor (above), you possibly can’t see issues as they develop. Move your head to decide up a reflection from some mild supply so you possibly can see what’s occurring – for instance, the runs and sags on this end (beneath). Once you see a downside, it’s normally straightforward to repair, most frequently by brushing again over the floor.

There was even a current TV advert from a main end provider that confirmed brushing all the width of a tabletop only one′ in from the tip of the boards (to be adopted presumably by the following foot, which would depart a distinct overlap) as an alternative of utilizing lengthy strokes operating the size of the highest.

Though this methodology is counterintuitive, and most of the people will determine in a short time that it produces unacceptable outcomes, the authority offered by TV and a brand-name firm can’t assist however lead some folks astray. (For instance, a senior salesman from a main paintbrush producer got here to my store as soon as and used this methodology whereas we have been attempting out completely different brushes.)

Though it’s additionally considerably counterintuitive, many directions counsel brushing throughout the grain, or diagonal to it, earlier than lining up the comb strokes with the grain. Other directions warning in opposition to shaking the end, and even stirring it, as a result of this may introduce air bubbles.

Brushing may be very easy, truly intuitively easy. It shouldn’t require a journal article like this one to put widespread sense again into the method.

The Basic Rule

Depositing end. Unless you’ve got a motive to take away among the end out of your brush, there’s no level in dragging it over the lip of the container or tapping it in opposition to the edges. The most effective methodology of transferring end to a massive floor is solely to deposit a brush load onto the work.

The most crucial rule for reaching good outcomes, and the rule you nearly by no means see, is to watch what you’re doing in a mirrored mild. This rule holds for spraying simply because it does for brushing.

Stretching end. Once you’ve got some end transferred to the work, stretch it finish to finish. If you want extra end to attain the ends, add extra. It’s finest to pour some end into one other container from the unique, so if you happen to ought to introduce some grime you received’t have contaminated your whole provide.

You can see what’s occurring in a reflection, and you may’t see if there isn’t one. As lengthy as you see a downside because it happens (normally a run, sag, drip or bubbles), it’s normally straightforward to repair just by brushing again over the floor.

Sand between coats. No matter which end you’re brushing, it’s nearly at all times finest to sand between coats to take away mud nibs. In most instances #320- or #400-grit sandpaper works nicely.

Bristles or different trash which will have fallen into the end are additionally straightforward to spot in a mirrored mild, and so they’re straightforward to take away with the tip of the comb or a small software reminiscent of a toothpick. The harm executed to the end can then be repaired by brushing again over.

The Procedure

Storing brushes. If you might be utilizing a brush nearly day-after-day, you possibly can retailer it by hanging the comb within the solvent for the end or by wrapping the comb in plastic wrap. Notice the holes within the brush deal with for suspending it in different-sized jars. You shouldn’t let the bristles relaxation on the underside for any size of time or they’ll undertake a everlasting curved form.

No matter which end you’re utilizing, the process for brushing is identical. The solely distinction is you’ve got much less time with faster-drying finishes, reminiscent of shellac and water-based end.

On any given object, start by brushing the least necessary components first. This means, any overlapping will happen on less-seen components. Tabletops, chair seats and backs, and cupboard doorways must be brushed final.

Be particularly cautious of runs and sags on vertical surfaces. Watch the floor in a mirrored mild as you sweep, and brush the end again out flat if it begins to sag. If you’ve utilized an excessive amount of end to get it to maintain to the floor, use your brush to switch among the end to one other half or take away the surplus end by dragging the comb bristles over the lip of a can or jar.

It doesn’t make any distinction through which path you sweep – with the grain or throughout it. Brushing throughout the grain doesn’t assist the end get into the pores; it soaks in fairly nicely by capillary motion.

Whichever path you sweep to start with, nevertheless, make sure to brush again over and line up the comb strokes with the grain if attainable. It will assist disguise the comb marks and knock off many of the bubbles, if there are any.

Lining up brush strokes might not be attainable on turnings and different irregular surfaces. But mild doesn’t mirror evenly off these surfaces, so brush marks don’t stand out anyway.

Flat horizontal surfaces are essentially the most crucial as a result of folks will see flaws simply in mirrored mild. To brush a massive, flat floor reminiscent of a tabletop, elevate your loaded brush out of the end container (the unique can, or a glass, metallic or plastic container into which you’ve poured among the end) and deposit the end onto the middle of the realm you plan to brush.

Then stretch the end out aspect to aspect all the way in which to each ends. If there’s not sufficient to attain each ends, add some end from the container. You’ll shortly get the texture for the way a lot end, or what number of brush hundreds, you want to deposit to make it to each ends.

There’s no motive to drag your brush over the sting of the container or faucet the comb in opposition to the within until you need to scale back the quantity of end you’re transferring otherwise you need to scale back the possibility of end dripping off the comb. Removing a a part of the end from the comb simply slows you down on massive surfaces. (You may even pour among the end onto the floor, then unfold the puddle from finish to finish to actually velocity issues up.)

Don’t fear about creating bubbles. There’s no means to keep away from them as a result of they’re principally attributable to the turbulence created by the comb motion (the identical as underwater bubbles created by the turbulence from a propeller), not by shaking or stirring.

Bubbles in a moist  end movie aren’t a downside anyway so long as they come out earlier than the end dries. Most will come out as you line up the comb strokes finish to finish.

To line up the strokes, convey your brush down onto the floor close to one finish in an airplane-landing movement and transfer the comb shortly throughout and off the opposite finish. Brush forwards and backwards throughout the floor on this method in a width no bigger than you possibly can handle earlier than the end begins to arrange.

You can work on a a lot wider space with varnish than with shellac or water-based end.

If you drag your brush over an edge as you land it on the floor, shortly unfold out the runs and drips, or wipe them off with a clear material.

Storing clear brushes. When the bristles are clear, shake out the water and return the comb to the holder it got here in or wrap the comb in paper so the bristles dry straight and keep clear. You can use a rubber band or masking tape to safe the paper.

With one part coated and the comb strokes lined up, deposit some extra end within the middle of the following part and start stretching out the end finish to finish. Work this newly utilized end again into the beforehand utilized end earlier than it begins to arrange.

Once a end stiffens, brushing over it’ll drag it and depart extreme brush marks. Here’s the place working quick is crucial when utilizing quicker drying finishes. Working quick sufficient so earlier strokes are nonetheless moist is named “keeping a wet edge.”

Continue working throughout the floor, being cautious not to drip on the end you’ve simply utilized. To keep away from doing this, maintain or place the container of end so that you aren’t swinging the comb over completed areas.

You can work from the close to aspect to the far, or the far to the close to. It doesn’t make any distinction.

It’s nearly at all times clever to sand between coats to take away mud nibs and different minor issues. Unless they’re extreme, use stearated #320-grit sandpaper or #400-grit Norton 3X or 3M Sandblaster sandpaper. These sandpapers are extensively obtainable at dwelling facilities and paint shops.

Brushes and Brush Marks

Cheap brushes are sometimes blamed for brush marks, so most directions encourage you to spend extra and purchase a higher high quality brush.

I’ve tried dozens of occasions during the last 20 years to verify that it’s the standard of the comb that’s answerable for the severity of brush marks, and I’ve by no means succeeded. It at all times comes down to the product itself being accountable. Some manufacturers of varnish or water-based end lay down degree higher than others.

In an effort to be taught extra about brushes and their attainable function in inflicting brush marks, I as soon as visited a massive paintbrush producer. The advertising and marketing director, plant supervisor and the technicians who designed the brushes all informed me they didn’t know the way to make a brush that wouldn’t depart brush marks.

They designed brushes to maintain extra paint or end and to launch it extra evenly over the longest distance (each crucial for portray massive surfaces).

This confirmed what all my trials had informed me. More costly brushes really feel higher to use, shed bristles much less and normally maintain extra end. But costly brushes don’t scale back brush marks.

Neither do foam brushes, for that matter. There’s no motive you possibly can’t substitute a low-cost, disposable foam brush for an costly bristle brush if brush marks are your solely concern.

Choosing a Brush

I discover bristle brushes way more satisfying to use, nevertheless, and selecting one is fairly straightforward. It comes down to paying sufficient to get a brush that doesn’t shed bristles (about $6 to $eight for a 2″-wide brush).

Keep in thoughts that pure (“China”) bristles lose their spring in water, so you need to select a artificial (nylon or polyester) brush in case you are brushing a water-based end. Either sort of brush can be utilized with varnish and shellac.

Cleaning Brushes

Washing a brush. After a couple of rinses within the solvent for the end (and in lacquer thinner or brush cleaner for a varnish brush) wash the comb underneath a faucet. Wash till you get a lot of suds to point out that the bristles are clear.

If you sweep finishes day-after-day, you possibly can wrap your brush in plastic wrap or grasp it in a single day within the thinner for the end. Otherwise, you need to clear your brush whether it is of fine high quality.

Clean water-based end in the identical method as latex paint. Hold the comb underneath a faucet for a minute or two whereas spreading and massaging the bristles along with your fingers. Then wash the bristles completely with cleaning soap and water till you get suds.

Dishwater detergent is normally helpful and is completely satisfactory.

Clean shellac by scrunching the bristles in opposition to the underside of a jar that accommodates a couple inches of a combination of about one-third family ammonia and two-thirds sizzling water. Then wash with cleaning soap and water.

Cleaning shellac with ammonia and water is far quicker and simpler than cleansing with alcohol.

Clean alkyd or polyurethane varnish by first rinsing (scrunching) the comb in a number of inches of mineral spirits (paint thinner). Do this as soon as after which at the very least yet one more time in clear mineral spirits.

Then rinse the comb in lacquer thinner or “brush cleaner.” You can use both of those for all of the rinsings, however they’re costlier. Then wash in cleaning soap and water, normally two or thrice till you get suds.

The function of the lacquer thinner or brush cleaner is to take away the oily mineral spirits so it takes fewer washings to get suds.

Finally, with the comb clear, return it to the holder it got here in or wrap it in paper. This will make sure the bristles dry out straight and keep clear. You can use masking tape or a rubber band to maintain the wrapping closed.

Product Recommendations

Here are some provides and instruments we discover important in our on a regular basis work across the store. We might obtain a fee from gross sales referred by our hyperlinks; nevertheless, we’ve got fastidiously chosen these merchandise for his or her usefulness and high quality.

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