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Hello guys,

 

question:  a few days ago I was told that you can fix the hook that will ultimately happen in a synthetic brush by dipping it in boiling water and reshaping it.  Has anybody ever done this/heard of this/tried this and what were your results?

 

Asking right now as Rosemary and Co weasel butt brushes can't be imported currently but they do have some synthetic brushes that they say are the bees knees.  I'm still a bit leery though as my synthetic brushes have always croaked rather quickly, with the hairs hooking at the end.

 

Any ideas/thoughts?

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7 hours ago, 72moonglum said:

Hello guys,

 

question:  a few days ago I was told that you can fix the hook that will ultimately happen in a synthetic brush by dipping it in boiling water and reshaping it.  Has anybody ever done this/heard of this/tried this and what were your results?

 

Asking right now as Rosemary and Co weasel butt brushes can't be imported currently but they do have some synthetic brushes that they say are the bees knees.  I'm still a bit leery though as my synthetic brushes have always croaked rather quickly, with the hairs hooking at the end.

 

Any ideas/thoughts?

 

I've never tried to boil them or anything.

 

If you're looking at the R & Co. Eclipse series synthetics they hold up. I've got some I've used for years without issue. The rounds don't come to a sharp point though, more of a blunted tip.

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59 minutes ago, SparrowMarie said:

 

I've never tried to boil them or anything.

 

If you're looking at the R & Co. Eclipse series synthetics they hold up. I've got some I've used for years without issue. The rounds don't come to a sharp point though, more of a blunted tip.

Thanks for the information SparrowMarie!  I ordered some of their pointed rounds yesterday, so I guess I’ll just have to see how pointy they are.  The good thing is they aren’t that expensive so even if they aren’t great brushes at least I won’t feel like I’ve lost out much.

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Hmmm, not sure if it would work. Synthetic bristles are thermoplastics (nylon, taklon/polyester usually) so in theory they could be reshaped with the right amount of heat, the boiling temperature of water might do it. But it's also a pretty precision task depending on the size of the brush; if you just want to fix the tip you'd have to make sure you only get the tip in the boiling water. If you dip the entire length of bristles and/or ferrule into it, you run the risk of heat running up and damaging the glue that holds all of the bristles together in the ferrule (this is the reason you should never use hot water when wash your brushes, slightly warm water at most).

 

It could be worth trying, but I have my doubts it'll yield good results (skeptical by nature). Be careful you don't burn yourself if you try. Especially if you use the steaming method, steam is a worse burn than boiling water.

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On 5/13/2021 at 5:52 PM, 72moonglum said:

I was told that you can fix the hook that will ultimately happen in a synthetic brush by dipping it in boiling water and reshaping it.


I do that when needed: it works. Just dip the tip and reshape it. Not a miracle,  but it works; better then nothing.
Also there are synthetic and synthetic, some are better than others: W&W Cotman 111 are very good and they keep the tip for a long, long time.

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4 hours ago, Cicciopiu said:


I do that when needed: it works. Just dip the tip and reshape it. Not a miracle,  but it works; better then nothing.
Also there are synthetic and synthetic, some are better than others: W&W Cotman 111 are very good and they keep the tip for a long, long time.

Hopefully I won't have to try it too soon, but I've got some Rosemary and Company synthetics coming soon, and sooner or later may have to do this.

 

Thanks for all the tips guys!

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I have done this, and it works. I fill a small glass ramekin with boiling water and try not to get the water up into the ferrule. I only do this with synthetic brushes. I've even had decent results restoring super splayed drybrushing flats to some semblance of looking like a brush head.

However! It will not give them a pin-point fine point. Synthetic brushes don't start with one of those. I find that companies are making increasingly good synthetic brushes particularly at sizes 3-4 and higher. I paint watercolours, too, so some of this experience is from that end of things. I will also buy smaller brushes now and then to try out in case I find something worth recommending to mini painters. I have never found a small miniature painting synthetic brush that starts off with a good enough point that I'd find it worth the trouble for detail work compared to a sable. Even for watercolour I eventually forked out for a size 8 to have a brush that held a decent amount of paint and also had that wonderful tip. I will confess that I am a bit of a Goldilocks or prima donna about detail brushes, but I figured I'd share. 

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On 5/28/2021 at 10:39 PM, Wren said:

I have done this, and it works. I fill a small glass ramekin with boiling water and try not to get the water up into the ferrule. I only do this with synthetic brushes. I've even had decent results restoring super splayed drybrushing flats to some semblance of looking like a brush head.

However! It will not give them a pin-point fine point. Synthetic brushes don't start with one of those. I find that companies are making increasingly good synthetic brushes particularly at sizes 3-4 and higher. I paint watercolours, too, so some of this experience is from that end of things. I will also buy smaller brushes now and then to try out in case I find something worth recommending to mini painters. I have never found a small miniature painting synthetic brush that starts off with a good enough point that I'd find it worth the trouble for detail work compared to a sable. Even for watercolour I eventually forked out for a size 8 to have a brush that held a decent amount of paint and also had that wonderful tip. I will confess that I am a bit of a Goldilocks or prima donna about detail brushes, but I figured I'd share. 

I understand why you’d be particular about your brushes, especially for fine detail work, so don’t even think of yourself as a brush Diva, but that you are demanding a quality product to get very nice results which is definitely something you are very successful at. 
 

I got my brushes from Rosemary and Co and I’ve so far tried the #1 synthetic, which does a decent job for coverage, but you are correct, it doesn’t come to a super fine point. I still have a nice little Windsor and Newton 0 for detail and the Rosemary and Co natural hairs are good too. 
 

after using the synthetic one a little while more I’m going. To dip it in some boiling water to see if I can reshape it properly.  All in the name of scientific experimentation if nothing else. 

 

 

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Has anyone tried the new Red Dot series of Synthetic brushes from R & Co?  It's a new product line for 2021.  They suggested it when I contacted them about when they think they'll be able to import Kolinsky Sable again.   Seems they are going to be out of the market for a while until they get their cert updated.

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