PaintPRO , Vol. 7, No. 1
January/February 2005
PaintPRO Vol 7 No 1

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Related Readings:
Brush Technology
Technology Advances
Searching for the Perfect Paint Brush
Faux Effects Using Rollers
Paint Scrapers
Brushes & Rollers for Decorative Work
Brushing Basics
Other articles in this issue:
Floor Treatments
Staining Shakes & Singles
Ebonizing Techniques
Low-VOC in the Northeast
Brush Basics
Estimating, Etc.
Contractor Profile: John Swartley
Manufacturer Profile: Kelly-Moore
Paint Industry News
Product News
Product Profiles
Toolbox: Tapes & Film
Painting Tips
PaintPRO Archives
Brush Technology 1



Paint Brush,
Brush Tecnology

Just as paints are changing, brushes are too. Here’s a look at recent innovations.
by Jeff Woodard

Different folks may opt for different strokes. But those strokes will never create eye-appealing paint finishes if applied with brushes that fall short of the rising standards of paint formulations. These days, some of the most satisfied folks are those who have benefited from polyester/nylon brushes.

“Being more viscous, enamels generally require a stiffer filament for maximum results, and brushes have been featuring a blend of polyester and nylon,” says Sherman Weiss, president of Great American Marketing Inc. in Sun Valley, Calif. “The polyester provided stiffness, and the nylon provided soft tips to eliminate brush marks. GAM has been successful in developing a 100 percent solid round tapered (SRT) polyester filament which provides the best of both filaments.”

Sherman points to a Consumer Testing Laboratory (CTL) report that bills GAM’s new professional PX series of SRT brushes as the best of the best for paint pickup, release and coverage per stroke. GAM is now producing the PX line in its new factory in China, enabling the company to pass along savings to the customer.

John Zagone, president and CEO of Z-Pro International, in Portland, Ore., also holds SRT filaments in high regard. “Throughout the industry, there is a much larger push to get more SRT filaments into the marketplace,” says Zagone, noting that the product was developed by DuPont. “In terms of outsourcing and affordability, this push has been going on for just about two years now.”

Zagone says the hollow or triocular nature of inexpensive brushes makes it much more difficult to get a good flag on the tip to smooth it out. “Those types of filaments are the same dimension in terms of diameter, from top to bottom of the bristle,” Zagone says of the lower-quality brushes. “You end up with an exploded tip or a flag that will drag the paint. That’s going to leave streaks.”

Brush Technology 2

Where effectiveness meets affordability
SRT brushes are more expensive, says Zagone, but their naturally shaped, solid filament provides plenty of bang for the buck. “From bottom to top, the filament gets smaller, just like a natural hair on your head — thicker at the root and thinner at the tip. It makes it easier to get a good flag into the tip, which is more likely to get paint in and less likely to leave streaks.”

At Corona Brush in Tampa, Fla., Ben Waksman says his company has developed full-stock brushes that hold more paint and can better keep their shape “without getting sloppy.”

“The tips are feathered so the application is super smooth,” says Waksman, vice president of sales and marketing for the Tampa, Fla., manufacturer. Waksman says a prime example is Chinex, an SRT filament manufactured by DuPont and used in producing modified-nylon brushes. “It’s less prone to surface fatigue,” says Waksman of Chinex. “Regular nylon usually gets soft after a certain amount of time because of heat and humidity, and the friction of application.” Chinex is available in a wide variety of lengths and taper ratios.

Chinex is a 100% Performance Series Brush with both natural and synthetic filaments. “It releases paint more easily from the brush, it’s easier to clean up at the end of the day, and it resists heat fatigue,” says Waksman.

Due to their relatively low moisture absorption, Chinex-made brushes are better able to maintain their shape and stiffness, and are a popular choice on exterior surfaces, says Waksman. On the other hand, Corona’s Champagne Nylon is a favorite for interior paints such as eggshell, satin and semi-gloss. “It’s a reddish nylon that affords excellent flexibility and flow,” notes Waksman.

Hester Decorating

Trial and error is no mistake
For Jeff Hester, Vice President of Hester Decorating in Skokie, Ill., finding a supply house that makes brushes was an excellent first step in meeting his needs. “It’s called Super Brush & Supply; we would tell (company owner) David Rosenberg what we need, and he’d give us a prototype,” says Hester. “Sometimes the brush would be too floppy, but now they’ve developed a nylon and polyester blend called Nuera. It literally lets you lay it off with waterborne acrylic or ceramic-type coatings.”

Having the right tool makes it easier to use many paints, says Hester. “The amazing thing is, through development and testing, this brush can also be used in oil paint. Or, you can paint a ceiling in latex, wash out the brush, and then cut in a door frame with enamel, using the same brush.”

Nylon brushes, however, are not becoming obsolete, says Hester. “We still use nylon brushes for a lot of latex finishes, whenever we need to do trim, windows or door panels.”

Still, there appears to be no stopping the surge in popularity of the newer, blended brushes with the SRT filament. “I think it’s just a matter of time before they really catch on,” says Hester. “Going from trade shows to product-line shows, I’ve seen a lot of companies trying this.”


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