Archive for the ‘brushes’ Category

It’s on! Purdy vs. Wooster

November 8, 2008

purdy vs wooster002a

They’re Purdy and Wooster; they must be good, right?

One look at these two brushes will shatter your conceptions about what you hate about painting.

Purdy CLEARCUT vs. WOOSTER PRO CLASSIC Easyflo. Put on your happy face, because if Purdy’s CLEARCUT and Wooster’s Easyflo doesn’t make you want to paint something, then… well… you’re either a hopeless painter or dead.

Review in the works and there will be a winner! Bring it!


OK. Had some time – but little time to throw together a tiny review on the results of these two brushes. Before I go and spew out the winner I have to say this was a tough decision. Both brushes have very similar characteristics and their own advantages on their differences but if I had to pack one brush to fly over to an island to do some panting I would take the Purdy Clearcut. Yep, I said it and never thought I would on a Purdy brush for acrylics.

I have to admit, Purdy did their homework on building this brush. I remember having words with Bruce about it and here it is readily available at any Sherwin Williams store, (I’m told).

The Wooster Brush is a bit more firm and while firmness has advantages, firmness can hold you back from doing amazing things with a brush. The Wooster Easy flo held more paint and has a wider footprint while cutting which is a huge advantage for keeping the brush straight cutting freehand.

With all the cutting I did with each brush, the Purdy Clearcut outperformed the Easy flo but not by much. I found the Easy flo to be a slight handicap in comparison but I’m talking from a progressive painting aspect. The average joe wouldn’t know the difference.



November 8, 2008


Selecting Paint Brushes
Suck Less at Painting #101 
Brush Hype
Brushes Close up
Brushes Close up UPDATED
Purdy Pro-Extra Glide 
Testing Brushes
Flaxen vs. Oregon
Loading a Brush
Wooster ProClassic Plus
Be Faster Cutting Ceilings
Cutting 8′ vs. 16′
Wooster Pro Classic Easyflo
Purdy Black China
Benjamin Moore 65125
Zibra grip-n-glide
Synthetics with Oil
Brush Handle Mod
How do they do it that fast? 

Also see Rolling, Frames & Covers


November 6, 2008

Have you ever been experienced?


We’re acknowledged trade snobs, so we readily admit it takes something special to make us take a step back and say “Wow”. We’ll also admit that Benjamin Moore’s 65125 nylon brush made us do just that. Just when we thought we’d seen all there is to see from brushes, along comes this hidden treasure which by the way we kept to ourselves for years. We can’t remember the last time we heard someone say, “What the world needs now is a good paint brush,” but we’re glad this apparent lack of demand didn’t stop Benjamin Moore from designing the best paint brush we ever tested.

In pimp-speak, the 65125 spanks all other brushes we’ve tried (all of Wooster’s, Purdy’s, Sherwin Williams, Bestt Liebco and really countless others). Benjamin Moore’s 65125 Nylon brush is so-sweet because of its unique blend of filaments to spread all paints and its ability to keep form in humid conditions. This brush feels firm and balanced in the hand yet spreads coatings soft and smooth with brushless finishes. The brush stays together giving us a sharp precision edge to cut with. Cutting in wood cased edges to the wall has never been easier. We never once experienced the brush folding up or flip flopping off an edge. The brush performs well even on the skinniest of edges. The 65125 is so finely tuned that we can cut the ¼” side fillet edges of double hung windows quickly and flawlessly.


We’re not sure what your current brush is capable of but the 65125 can accurately do 7’ of wall to trim in under 8 seconds flat and 14’ of wall to ceiling in under 60 secs. We had our cameras rolling because we could not believe our eyes. No matter when we zoomed in or snapped random footage, the 65125 was always in sharp form. The 65125 never let us down.

What we liked the most about this brush is its ability to save time and I mean really save time AND gain quality. Achieving a balance of high-end finishes at production rates is purely a science and this brush is part of that mathematical equation.

If you consider yourself a professional paint contractor and are content with your so called store bought pro brush then you have no need to find Guido in the ally selling these from under his coat. But, it you want to launch yourself into the next generation of proism then I suggest finding Guido in the back ally and get yourself one. See for yourself in this video.


Model: Benjamin Moore Nylon Brush 65125 (code named Champ)

Model tested (MSRP): $13.95

Standard Equipment: Solid contoured hardwood handle, stainless steel ferrule, angled sash, unique nylon & polyester blend for stiffness retention.

Street Price: $10 bucks plus a forty (brown bagged of course)

Usefulness: All paints, proven performer with acrylics, heavy oils and it’ll lay down varnish and sealer like nobodies business.

Grade: For professional use only. Stop pretending you are and get one!

Layout: Flat or angular sash. We still don’t know why flat brushes exist. It’s angular everything for us.

Size: 2 ½”

Length out: 2 15/16”

Thickness: 5/8”

Stiffness: Firm but soft, not flimsy or limp.

Colors avail: Champagne

Dry weight: 4.2 oz.

Load capacity: 2.1 oz.

Loaded weight: 6.3 oz. can you say volume? One dip, one long 7’ stroke of genius

Speed: 0 -7’: 7.8 secs waterborne / 18.9 secs solvent base

Error Correction: none as tested, consistent accuracy and wet edge, won’t fold up under pressure.

STN clearance: Substrate-to-nose: 12”, sawed off version not yet available but easily achieved with hack saw

Trace Evidence: brushless capable

Accuracy: Sharp 90º +/-25 filaments

WOC: Width of cut – 3 ½” to a narrow ¼’ wide (tipd)

Warranty: If you cannot achieve a brushless finish with this brush then you might want to reconsider what you’re spreading.

Lengths cut: casing 540’, baseboard, 798’, ceiling 798’

Total length cut: 2,136’

Verdict: PROS: The accuracy and balance of this brush is purely unique. We don’t know who the guy was that pushed for perfection on this brush but we are sure glad he did.

CONS: Hard to find Guido.

We’ve been using these brushes for years day in and day out. If you clean, comb and keep these brushes you too will get years of use out of them. We had the opportunity to play Guido and have other paint contractors use this brush and the overall response was an overwhelming, “damn, that’s a nice brush”. Amen my fellow bruthas.

Our Top Pick for Latex Brushes is Benjamin Moore’s Nylon 65125”. – March, 2004

This review as well as all or our reviews are provided for you to review the comments and experiences by an independent paint contractor to assist you in what to expect with new or existing products.

For Oil-Based Stains

October 21, 2008

IMG_0535 - Copy

It is probably no argument that white china bristle is more common for applying oil-based penetrating stains so I am not going to try to tell you different. One thing to point out with the Purdy 100% Natural Black China Bristle vs. White China is how fast white china bristles wear and lose shape. What is most common with White China is the bristles as a whole become puckered out or fattened where the Black China tends to keep its shape much better and takes longer to wear.

There is no question white china bristle can carry a load of stain better than black china but if you are caught with 20+ solid wood doors to stain you might want to grab a black china brush and a wool applicator pad. Also the black china brush might work out better for you when you have a ton of intricate work.

Wooster Pro Classic Easyflo

October 20, 2008

To call Pro Classic Easyflo amazing is an understatement!

easyfloIt’s not so much what you spread – but what you use to spread it. If you are looking for a better way to lay down your favorite sauce, then Christmas has come early. In my opinion, the Benjamin Moore 65125 still rules as far as brushes go – it simply kicks ass for acrylics but if you are looking for a more readily available brush in some markets then the Wooster PRO CLASSIC Easyflo found at Lowes is a nice contender. The Wooster Pro Classic Plus appears to be replaced with the Easyflo.
easyflo3I should note: The brush cover states ‘All paints & stains’, don’t think you are going to get this brush to do what a Purdy White China or a Wooster Flaxen brush will do when spreading penetrating stains such as Minwax but if you need to spread solid stains then this brush will do a nice job and will carry a nice load.
easyflo4To put this brush into a category of similar brushes, you might want to look at the Benjamin Moore 65125 or the Purdy Clearcut for very similar precision characteristics and handling. One area where the Pro Classic Easyflo outperforms the Benjamin Moore 65125 is in ‘bend recovery’. The 65125 is a bit on the limp side in comparison.

More on brushes here and here. Click photos for larger view.

Purdy Clearcut – Clear Winner!

March 7, 2008


The next best thing to Purdy ClearCut is owning a box of them.

While there are hundreds of brushes available for interior painting, there are really only three that stand out and this is one of them. To be more specific, I primarily do interior painting and owning a 3" flat and 2.5" angular brush is all I need to do my job.

IMG_0753e Clearcut is a blend of nylon and polyester and comes in a variety of sizes. I never really thought Purdy ever had a brush in their line up for acrylics worth a damn up until now. This brush proves that Purdy is seriously committed to providing outstanding tools for our trade. I am impressed with this brush and if you know me, I rarely say I’m impressed. Click photos for larger views.


Wooster ProClassic Plus

October 11, 2007

This brush is no longer available at our Lowes.

Well it’s getting colder here in Ohio and for me that means painting in less than optimum conditions, which means changing up the brushes. Painting in new houses during the winter months often is not as warm as we like especially painting window sashes. I turn to the Wooster Brush Company for some help. The Wooster Pro Classic Plus 2 ½” Extra Firm brush will assist in moving heavier (thicker/colder) paints. This brush is found at Lowes Home stores along with other sizes.

Other advantages for using this brush are spreading oil-based paints and primers which are typically thicker products or painting outside in temperatures near 40 degrees. This brush can produce a very sharp cut.

See also: Brushes Closeup

Zibra grip-n-glide

August 4, 2007

NEW REVIEW Zibra grip-n-glide brushes. The focus of this review will be the 3" flat and 2 1/2" angular latex brushes. We have been using these brushes on the job for about a month painting walls, trim and doors with acrylics.

I am excited to see such a huge effort put into making these great paint brushes particularly the 2 ½” angled brush. The first day I used one of these brushes I must have had a permanent look of amazement on my face and somewhat disbelief of the things I was capable of doing with these brushes.

The Zibra brushes are anything but normal

Zibra is a little late to the brush market, but the company comes with a gift its competitors can’t match: Exclusive High Performance Filaments, the solid round tapered kind. The filaments provide unmatched control-of-cut and load capacity like no other brush – skips and misses are a thing of the past. Not only was the load capacity a huge benefit but also the brush has the ability to lay down a load with ease, exceptional release! The filaments did not bend after sitting over night in a bucket of paint or water, impressive to say the least. Almost every brush on the market today will bend after sitting just minutes in a bucket of paint. The brush always snaps back to position and is ready to reload.

The benefits of the 2 ½” brush seem endless while the 3” was difficult to use. While cutting a not-so-perfect ceiling line with plenty of lands and grooves, the 2 ½” brush laid paint in the grooves as if they weren’t there. You’ll find exceptional control of this brush cutting ceilings lines with the ability to straighten up a jagged edge or clean up over beading with ease.

So with all those good things to say there has to be some bad and there is, both brushes are difficult to clean. I found it took much longer to clean the brushes but if you separate the filaments and look into the ferrule, you’ll understand why. While you are looking between the filaments, you may also note the massive cavity that holds the paint for your cut, it’s like a storage compartment in there.

You know how there are products such as various cars that have a history of outlasting and performing unlike any other car? Well, this brush is like one of those high performance cars.

The photo on the left is an exploded view of the filaments on the Zibra 3" Wall Latex Brush. Much of my review was/is based on the 2 1/2" angled latex brush. Note the busted, twisted, frayed tips. I’m not sure if this is defective or by design. The 2 1/2" angle is nothing like this photo.

I had trouble cutting in ceiling lines and casings with the 3” brush. The 3" Zibra performs like most every other brush on the market, lousy. Note the middle portion of filaments, there are 3 filament clusters on this brush. The middle portions length is identical to the others. Big mistake! First of all, this design is a bit odd compared to most other brushes and you can see in the photo the large area between the 3 clusters of filaments. While the middle portion is minimal in thickness, its length needs to be shorter than the other two, it’s too bulky at the tip. The 3” brush won’t chisel to a point; it remains heavy at the tips mainly in the center. When the brush is loaded nicely, (after 10 mins of use) the outer filaments glide off the surface while the inner (middle) portion of filaments glide the brush in a pivoting manor. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the outer portion of filaments (close to a casing) to cut the casing tight. The middle portion of filaments on this brush serves one purpose, to hold the paint in the center of the brush.

I would like to see the 3” brush with a shorter length of filaments in the center or remove the center portion and double up the outer filaments. Brushes with various filaments lengths just work well. Also I would like to see a hollow cut at the tips of this brush vs. the blunt cut.

Loading a brush

April 30, 2007
This article covers how to load a brush. Use a cutting can with approximately 2” of paint in the can. Start by somewhat forcefully dunking the brush quickly into the paint several times making jabs until the brush becomes loaded with paint. It is not necessary to touch bottom, if fact, try not to.
Your brush should now look like this on both sides and the bristles should look packed with paint.
If you hold the brush with your right hand, use the rim of the can and gently remove the paint from the side visible to you, do not remove paint from the bottom of the brush. The paint on the bottom is what will be placed on the wall or trim and the side you wiped off will be used to cut cleanly against an object such as a door casing.
I am right handed. This photo shows the remaining paint on the opposite side of the object you are cutting next to. The other side is the side you previously wiped off and will be placed on a wall to cut against an object such as a door casing.
This is the other side. The amount shown on this side of the brush is good for cutting cleanly against objects without tape. The paint on the other side (previous) photo helps the brush glide and also can be used to cut further when this side runs dry.

When I paint I carefully place paint on the bristles based on what I am doing at the time. If I were cutting the corner of the wall, my brush will be loaded on both sides to get into the corner of the wall similar to photo #2. If I am cutting a ceiling line, my brush will be loaded like (photo #3) on both sides. When painting items such as trim, the brush is loaded more like photo #3. If I need to cut tight into an area, the brush might look more like photo #1 with very little paint to cut something sharp.

Brush Handle Mod

April 29, 2007

Take more control of your brush. This simple modification to the handle will better assist your cutting accuracy by placing your thumb more securely on the handle instead of pivoting on the edge. The placement of my thumb rarely moves when I cut casings and trim so this is where I decided to make the thumb support. The only time I notice a repositioning of my thumb is in some situations on a ceiling line.

I used a rounded wood file and wrapped sandpaper around a piece of 1 ¼” PVC to smooth it up.