Author Topic: How long do your brushes last, really?  (Read 30918 times)

Offline offthewall

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How long do your brushes last, really?
« on: June 21, 2007, 08:47:24 PM »
I take damn good care of all of my supplies no matter what they are or what I paid for them.  I've always heard that if you treat your brushes well they will last for a long time. Well, I do treat them well, rinse them out thoroughly after every use and store them the way they should be.  I'm pretty much a Wooster and Corona guy and it seems like no matter how well I take care of them I can only really get about 4 to 5 solid repaint jobs out of them before they start to get all weird on me.  When I say repaint jobs I'm talking fairly good sized projects that require a good amount of use out of the brushes.

 When people say a long time what do they really mean, 1 month, 2, a year?  For me a long time would be between a month to 2 months of steady work 5 days a week.  It's not that I mind buying new brushes cause I rather like the new brush results, but how in the heck do you make it last that way longer.

I've heard of detergents, fabric softeners, brush conditioners- I think I've tried most of em atleast once or maybe twice with the same results as just plain hot or cold water.  I know this has been talked about on here before but in all honesty, how long or how many jobs can you expect to get out of 1 brush?  I use 3" angled nylon/poly blend almost always.   -matt

Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 08:53:26 PM »
Really? 3 months TOPS in a busy season. My oil brushes last much longer but don't see near as much action.

Offline Lynjowoman

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 09:05:15 PM »
They just don't make brushes like they use to. I have had brushes that would last a year or more, but that was a long--------- time ago. If a brush last through 1 job now you are lucky. I don't care how well you treat them, they just want last very long.

Lynjo
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Charlotte Whitton

Offline rmichael

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 09:52:15 PM »
I think what really ruins a good brush is paint build up in the ferrule ( at the bristle epoxy set ) paint build up there will cause the bristles to separate Helter-Skelter.
We clean ASAP with warm water/TSP solution... rinse very well and use a brush spinner and brush comb..... Of course they always get shucked....  ;)
Pro Painter 30 years ~ Down East Coastal NC

"Hell Son, It's always been about the work."

Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 11:05:34 PM »
I do all of the above too (minus the TSP). I always try to keep the paint less than half-way down on the bristles. I watch guys all the time dip their brushes and in an hour, its covering the ferrule. Geez....

I reckon on of the top reasons for brush failure would be improper loading of a cut pot (IE too full).

Edit: I also use the brush comb frequently while I'm painting, not just at cleanup.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 11:07:30 PM by ProWallGuy »

Offline BrushJockey

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 11:22:00 PM »
Brushes have a semi expendable approach for me. The 3-5 jobs in good cutting condition, then they become prime -rough duty- then a select few of the most beat up become prime faux tools, believe it or not!  Sometimes the crappier, the better!
"It would be ludicrous to think I'm new to this, I know this, this is what I do"  ( Prince and Geo Clinton..)

Offline Chip McCheckellson

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2007, 12:46:00 AM »
For my fellow newbies, i have a new tactic for painting outside in really hot weather. Simple really, i have one of those newish garden hose nozels that mist, ill mist my paint bucket every now and then, and ill also get the brush wet just a tad so the paint doesn't start drying on the bristles.
Please don't breed or buy while shelter pets die, opt to adopt.

Offline loumiron

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 04:25:42 AM »
I'm a Wooster and Purdy man. I can squeak out 3 or 4 interiors, 2 or 3 exteriors depending on how hot it is and how rough the surface is. I only get one log home project out of them when using Sikkens though. I always add in an extra $150 or so for 6 new Purdy 4inchers. I now hang them on a wire inside a bucket of thinner every night on the job site and then spin them out in the morning. You cannot allow them to dry while doing a project. They never get that crap totally out of them. Two days after a thorough cleaning, I mean the thinner is looking clear after rinsing, they still stiffen up like crazy.

Offline theopas7

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 09:29:44 AM »
otw,
 lets face it.paint brushes are our livelihood.and we as painters want the best possible brush for the
best job.we've all shopped around and through trial and error we end up with the brushes we use today.
i myself have ended up using the wooster brand of brush. there are other great brand's as well.
 there are as many ways to take care of a brush as there are painters. with that said heres mine. the first
thing i do is to soak my brush hairs to the heel allowing the water to load up into the heel. then i give my
brush a couple of kicks off the end of my shoe to remove the majority of the water from the heel after
which i then whip the brush with my hand to remove even more of the water. now its time to paint. when lunch or a break comes around sink my brush into the paint and cover it with a wet rag.at the end of the day i empty my pot and clean it with my brush. at this point half the paints out of the brush.i then wirebrush the bristles and heel until there is no dried paint on the brush. at that point i work all the paint out of the brush using tapwater. after i'm done i whip out the brush for the next day.
 my brushes last about a year and change to a new brush after they wear out. periodic grooming
occasional brush combing is done as well.i use a stailess steel wirebrush that i dip sikkens srd so the handle does'ntcrack or split for the water.dedicate that wirebrush to brush cleaning and tha will last you 3-5 years. :o

Jared

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 09:58:07 AM »
I have only killed one brush in the last 2 years.  Accidentally dropped it into a nearly-full 5.

Normal wear lifespan for me = about 1-2 years of use, depending on brush type & frequency of use.

Offline Workaholic

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 06:56:44 PM »
I have about 6 or seven brushes i use. I alternate between them. I am able to get about 18 months out of my brushes. I use the wire brush, tap water, and the comb. The last couple of years i stopped running oil for my trim, and in doing so i find that these acrylic enamels, to be much harder on the brushes. Manor Hall is killing my 3 1/2" trim brushes. I decided today that i was going to go back to ICI and run their trim paint for awhile, and see if maybe it is just something in the Manor Hall. Plus all the Manor Hall is white/pastel base.
If you are using oil, a brush will last a lot longer, oil is easier to clean and a lot more efficient. Those same 6-7 brushes could make it 2+ years.
 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 09:16:58 PM by Workaholic »
Sean

Offline BrushJockey

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 07:38:28 PM »
I have found that natural bristles wear back much quicker than synths, but the new primers are hard on brushes. They dry quick, stick really well and are hard to clean out.

I too have used the oil enamels much less, and it is too easy to slag off a cheaper oil brush like a yachtsman then to spend alot of time cleaning it. I will carry an oil brush in spirits until the end of the job, then maybe give it a good clean. otherwise, I probably got my 8 bucks out of it.

Put cleaning time against your per hour time and see if the brush made "mission"....
"It would be ludicrous to think I'm new to this, I know this, this is what I do"  ( Prince and Geo Clinton..)

Offline CarlThePainter

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2007, 08:26:14 PM »
Yeah I agree the acrylics trash brushes fast.  The greater percentage of acrylic in a paint, the shorter its life span.  This new formulation of BM Regal products especially....I can't even use the same brush all day long anymore.  The brush just gets too snotted up and the bristles are all heading in different directions.  I use the brush comb during the day but after a couple dips the bristles are all messed up again.


Offline Workaholic

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2007, 09:15:00 PM »
Carl
I know exactly what you mean the PPG wall paint we use can tweak a brush pretty quick. By the end of the day the brush is begging to be cleaned and straightend, and ready to be shucked.
Sean

Offline Stever

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Re: How long do your brushes last, really?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2007, 09:49:47 PM »
I can get 6 months to a year out of a brush. Woosters and Purdy's. But often only get about 3 months, as inevitably at some point at the end of a long job and I just want to get out of there, when I pack up my stuff I might wrap the brush in plastic and tell myself I'll clean it out at home. Nope, it gets forgotten and dries out.

But like ProWall says, I only let half the length of the bristles touch paint. Paint is very rarely getting up into the ferrule.

When working with acrylics, by mid day there might be too much goopy drying paint accumulating so I clean the brush and start from scratch with a fresh clean brush.

To clean i use running tap water. Smoosh the brush into the bottom of the sink with the tap water running over it. Use a wire brush to comb out the dried stuff. Then keep smooshing it back and forth under the running water till clean. Give it a quick spin with my hands, like you would spin a stick if you were trying to rub it to make a fire. No need to use an actual spinner tool. After spinning I work the bristles back into shape with my hands, instead of leaving them spread out from the spinning. Set it aside to dry overnight, or place it back in the paper cover it came in when i bought it.

But oil brushes don't last me long at all. 1 or 2 jobs usually. Cleaning them is a pain, and if wrapped in plastic and stored in a cool place, I can reuse the same brush day after day for a week or more, then just toss it out. The time it would take to clean it is worth more than the brush.

And, I'm 99% interiors only so my latex/acrylic brushes last longer

 

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