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Brush care experiment


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Well, to the original points . . .

1) If water alone is degrading the glue holding the bristles in place, you've got some cheap-elf brushes.  In almost 30 years of painting, I've never encountered a brush that had water affect the glue holding the bristles.

2) Point up is fine.  There shouldn't be enough paint/water on your brushes at the time you put them away that it will matter.  The small amount of water on the brush will evaporate relatively quickly, and the bristles are too small to be pulled out of place by gravity. 

 

FYI, I've stored brushes point up, flat, and point down.  None has had a lick of difference on how long my brushes last.  What does have an effect?  Care.  I don't abuse my good brushes.  I wash them with brush-soap once in a while (probably 2-3 times a year).  I don't overload them with paint.  I try not to store the good ones in water (rinse and put away) - the cheap terrain brushes (synthetics I've had for a decade or longer will get stored in water because I used them to spread glue around, but I'm not really caring about these brushes at this point) get placed in the rinse water and left, but that's usually because I forget about them.  I don't do that with the good brushes.

 

 

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I recently saw a brush care video which mentioned a couple of things I don't agree with: 1. if water gets in the ferrule it can degrade the glue holding the hairs 2. brushes should not be st

You are not wrong. :-> Working on 3D textured surfaces is very tough on a brush. I replace my best quality every day brush every 9-18 months, and it's similar for most of the 'pro' painter types I

My brushes spend most of their time scattered around my desktop. 

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9 hours ago, BLZeebub said:

i haven't ever heard those tips.  I've heard ONLY ever store your brush tip-up, that paint in the ferrule will splay your hairs, and that super hot water can loosen the glue.  That video was bonkers mate!

 

I've read recommendations to store them tip them specially when drying. I guess this experiment is so I can see if they have a point.

 

 

9 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

Water alone won't degrade the glue in the ferrule... unless you leave it soaking in water for a very long time, and then it doesn't matter which way you store it.

 

Personally, I store all my brushes flat. 

 

Exactly what I wanted to find out. Painter who made the video was wondering if anyone did a long term experiment. I said I have the materials and would give it a shot. I'd like to document the progress weekly but I'll probably post result here monthly...if it survives that long.

 

 

4 hours ago, Doug's Workshop said:

Well, to the original points . . .

1) If water alone is degrading the glue holding the bristles in place, you've got some cheap-elf brushes.  In almost 30 years of painting, I've never encountered a brush that had water affect the glue holding the bristles.

2) Point up is fine.  There shouldn't be enough paint/water on your brushes at the time you put them away that it will matter.  The small amount of water on the brush will evaporate relatively quickly, and the bristles are too small to be pulled out of place by gravity. 

 

FYI, I've stored brushes point up, flat, and point down.  None has had a lick of difference on how long my brushes last.  What does have an effect?  Care.  I don't abuse my good brushes.  I wash them with brush-soap once in a while (probably 2-3 times a year).  I don't overload them with paint.  I try not to store the good ones in water (rinse and put away) - the cheap terrain brushes (synthetics I've had for a decade or longer will get stored in water because I used them to spread glue around, but I'm not really caring about these brushes at this point) get placed in the rinse water and left, but that's usually because I forget about them.  I don't do that with the good brushes.

 

 

 

1) Yeah. I'd like to believe the big name brands would know not to use water soluble glue specially for brushes made for watercolors.

2) I've only been painting for around 9 years but not only have I stored them tip up but I let them dry tip up.

 

I also only clean my brushes with brush soap about every few months or after I use metallics. In the 2nd picture, two brushes to the right of the brush participating in this experiment is my current Series 7 #1. I've been using it for at least a year now, maybe around 50 hours of use.

Almost all of the brushes I've retired were because the tips weren't as sharp as I wanted anymore.

 

 

9 hours ago, BLZeebub said:

... and that super hot water can loosen the glue.

 

This reminds me, I'd like to test this too.

 

Also cut the ferrule lengthwise to see what's inside.

 

The title of this thread should have been Brush torture test...

Edited by junex
fixed typo
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Point up, point down, or horizontal, IME it makes no difference.

 

What gets fluid in the ferrule is capillary action, and at the scales we're looking at, gravity is an insignificant force. Don't store them in water, don't bend the bristles while the brushes are stored, and clean the brushes regularly and you should be golden.

 

Or perhaps Liquitex. ::D:

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2 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

Point up, point down, or horizontal, IME it makes no difference.

 

What gets fluid in the ferrule is capillary action, and at the scales we're looking at, gravity is an insignificant force. Don't store them in water, don't bend the bristles while the brushes are stored, and clean the brushes regularly and you should be golden.

 

Or perhaps Liquitex. ::D:

 

+1 on the capillary action.

 

I think manufacturers are recommending storing them tip up because this is the safest way to store them without damaging the hairs even without a cap while taking up as little space a possible.

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My good brush tips were degrading when I used my good brushes to poke into nooks and crannies doing base coatings and blending shadings.  That ended when I began to use cheap brushes for nooks and crannies and saved the good brushes for more easily reached and more visible areas.  

I have a strong suspicion that the brushes we have that were designed for primarily flat unabrasive paper and canvas do not fair so well when used on plastic and metal minis with sharp edges along with said nooks and crannies.

.02 from a crotchety old pillpeddler ; )... some of you artsy folks may have a more learned answer

Edited by Pillpeddler
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Just now, Pillpeddler said:

 

I have a strong suspicion that the brushes we have that were designed for primarily flat unabrasive paper and canvas do not fair so well when used on plastic and metal minis with sharp edges along with said nooks and crannies.

.02 from a crotchety old pillpeddler ; )... some of you artsy folks may have a more learned answer

 

You're probably right. Looking at my old brushes which doesn't have as sharp a tip anymore through my magnifier I can notice the hairs with the broken tips.

 

However, with this experiment I am trying to show that neither storing nor letting your brushes dry tip up would ruin them.

 

Will come back to report on the 6th month's test (if I don't forget) unless something happens sooner.

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Geez!  We have scientists popping up everywhere.  I'm just envious because I didn't think of the obvious -- perform an experiment.

 

And I store my brushes every which way.  Makes no difference.  However, I clean my brushes after every painting session.  After they are clean, I roll the bristles around a bit in the cleaning soap, then pull them across a paper towel to achieve a perfect point, and then store them with that little bit of soap still in the bristles helping the brush hold its point.  When I take out a brush to use it, I rinse the bristles in clean water and I'm ready to go.

 

I developed this technique when I was using cheap brushes.  Haven't really thought what it might do to expensive sables.

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7 hours ago, Highlander said:

Geez!  We have scientists popping up everywhere.  I'm just envious because I didn't think of the obvious -- perform an experiment.

 

And I store my brushes every which way.  Makes no difference.  However, I clean my brushes after every painting session.  After they are clean, I roll the bristles around a bit in the cleaning soap, then pull them across a paper towel to achieve a perfect point, and then store them with that little bit of soap still in the bristles helping the brush hold its point.  When I take out a brush to use it, I rinse the bristles in clean water and I'm ready to go.

 

I developed this technique when I was using cheap brushes.  Haven't really thought what it might do to expensive sables.

I pretty much do the same thing.

 

Only difference is that I clean my brushes with soap multiple times during a paint session. Mostly when I do a major colour change. A little swirling in the Masters soap shows how much paint was left in.

 

The only real brush destroying I've had was dropping them on the hard floor point first. And since I don't dry brush with my good brushes anymore, I can confidently say that they'll remain in good condition for a long while.

Edited by Cranky Dog
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14 hours ago, Highlander said:

Geez!  We have scientists popping up everywhere.  I'm just envious because I didn't think of the obvious -- perform an experiment.

 

 

Of course the other option was to ask Winsor & Newton:

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What this experiment has thought me was that storing them or letting them dry tip down or horizontally may be unnecessary but does not harm the brush either. So in the end whatever works for everyone is fine I guess.

 

Just like cleaning of the brushes. I paint almost everyday for about 2-3 hours. Most of the time a final rinse in my water cup is all I need before storing my brush. I wash my brushes with brush soap maybe once every 2-3 months or after I use metallic paints.

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9 hours ago, junex said:

 

Of course the other option was to ask Windsor & Newton:

 

 

FTFY.

 

Another genius in the house.  Just ask?  I prefer to post endlessly, speculating all along the way.

 

I have enjoyed this thread.  It has resolved my brush care curiosity.  But it won't put these questions, which I have heard asked ever since I began miniature painting, to rest.

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