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Fixing "Fishhooking" on brush


Mirya
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Hi all! I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for fixing the fishhook tip that develops on brushes after awhile. Is it even possible? I tried brush shaper with no success (although it's possible/likely there's a technique I don't know about that would make the brush shaper work better) I'd love to replace my brushes less frequently, and salvage some I already have :-)

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Hi Mirya,

 

Synthetic brushes are prone to this. I haven't found a way to fully cure it, but conditioning with Masters Soap may help. Wren (awesome painter lady supreme) suggested boiling the tip (not the ferrule. 

 

Natural bristle brushes don't tend to fishhook and are worth the extra cost compared to synthetics, usually. Everyone has a few synthetics around for some purposes though. 

Winsor & Newton, Rosemary & Co, DaVinci, and Raphael are some favorite brands for natural kolinsky sable brushes. They range from $10-20 per brush but last years with a little TLC. 

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You don't have to boil them directly. I pour boiling water into a glass dish, dip the brush in and roll it against the side and then pull it out.

But I second the recommendation to buy a quality brush. No synthetic currently on the market can get (or keep) that pinpoint fine tip of a good Kolinsky. You don't need it for everything in painting, but there's a lot of things that are easier with it, and some you likely can't do at all without it.

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