Common Painting Myths

busted When I first posted my painting videos online there were only two other videos online, today, there are countless videos and paint related articles online.

Its unfortunate there is so much misinformation at everyone’s fingertips online (some of those videos people post make me cringe) and much of what I read is that same misinformation republished even in trade magazines over and over, same boring virtually meaningless stuff. But if you think about it, many of the people writing are getting their information online rather than from experience.

If you are a professional painter like me then you too are probably familiar with the misinformation. You want information beyond your current knowledge both with product and with acquired skills. You want to seek out something new, something you don’t already know that can benefit your business. For those new to the painting business, misinformation might send those readers on a costly expense of learning the truth the hard way. This is where the information on this blog becomes such a huge resource of information. I didn’t find this information anywhere online, I write about my real in-the-field applications, methods, products and experience. The information here isn’t secondhand and copied from various unreliable sources. There is no ‘grapevine’ effect.

Here are just a few myths busted on painting. I will try to add to the list for those who write in asking about things they read online or elsewhere. You have every reason to question it and validate it.

1) An Illinois-based decorating company wrote along these lines: Without the correct brush, it won’t lay out a nice finish. This is not true at all. What he is trying to explain has little to do with the brush and more to do with product. I can provide you with an ultra smooth finish using a whisk brush that people use to sweep up into a dust pan.

2) The same guy recommends Ox-hair or hog-bristle China brushes for applying oil-based product, but he says they can’t take the abuse of waterbornes. This was true years and years ago (more than 10 years ago). Now synthetic brushes far outperform china when spreading not only vanishes, sanding sealers and polys but also oil-based paint and even primer. Some perform better with stains both oil-based and waterborne.

3) It is said that nylon is soft, allowing paint to lay down smoothly, and cleans up easily. He recommends nylon bristles for woodwork and other areas that require a smooth finish”. Nylon is recommended for applying clears or painting over highly textured surfaces. The term "nylon" doesn’t mean you get a smooth finish at all.

4) He goes on to say the down side to nylon bristles is clogging easily, especially when used with fast drying paints. He believes for this reason, many brushes contain a blend of nylon and polyester”. I never heard anything about nylon clogging up. This sounds like poor pre-prepping a brush and or brush-work-style or methods and or poor product. I have no idea what that statement means. I do know however that polyester was added to a nylon brush for firmness and bend recovery purposes which he mentioned later. Polyester is not the culprit of brush marks, its one of four other things, 1) tipping, 2) flagging 3) product, 4) application.

5) A manager from a Sherwin Williams store in MO says the brush size matters: he explains cutting in with a dark color against a hard surface usually requires the precise edge of a “thin” brush. Thin has nothing at all to do with sharpness and an ability to cut an edge but everything to do with tipping. A 5/8” brush can be just as sharp as a 15/16” brush. Cutting sharp edges are in fact done more easily with a wider brush due to its fingerprint and stance on the wall provides more stability vs a thin brush.

6) He goes on to say thicker brushes are recommended for cutting in between a heavily textured wall and ceiling. Not quite. A heavily textured wall requires two things, first a soft nylon only brush and 2) the thicker the better. A firm thick brush will do no good on a “heavily textured wall and ceiling”.

7) He adds, there are regular brushes that have flagged bristle which he explains will hold more paint than a tipped bristle but won’t cut as fine a line. There is no such thing as a “regular” brush and flagging and tipping has absolutely nothing to do with how much paint a brush can hold.

8) And as if that wasn’t bad enough he says the fuzzy endings of flagged brushes are also better at eliminating brush strokes than finely pointed, tipped brushes. Not true at all. Flagged bristles are notorious for leaving brush marks despite brush manufacturer’s efforts to reduce the amount of brush marks. Fine tipped bristle is anyone’s best chance with any product to achieve smooth finishes.

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