More On Paint Applicators
Recorded information about paintbrushes dates as far back as the Phoenicians. However, they were a bit different then. Not the Phoenicians – paintbrushes. In those early days horns were filled with animal hair that was held in place with twine. Eventually, a cylindrical piece of wood fitted round with a leather strap at one end (the ferrule) replaced the horn. However, the animal hair bristles used then are still used today. The round handled paintbrush remained popular for centuries and is still used today in Europe. In fact, some can be found here in the good old U. S. of A. As you are probably aware the modern version is rectangular and uses a metal ferrule with tapered bristles that can be used to easily cut a straight line even in very tight corners.
There are a few very important things to look for in a good quality paintbrush:
- If the handle is made of wood it should have a protective coating on it. That is if you want to prevent the handle from being stained. By the way, a wood handle is more forgiving on the musculature than a plastic one.
- The ferule should not wiggle. It should be solidly attached to the handle making a sound base for the connection to the bristles.
- Most importantly the bristles themselves should have split ends – as opposed to your hair, which should NOT have split ends.
A good paintbrush holds more paint, leaves fewer bristle behind and provides a smoother paint job than the typical “throw-away” brush. We are willing to wager that at one time you probably didn’t want to invest in a good paintbrush because you didn’t want to clean it when you were done. Unfortunately, throw-away brushes simply don’t do the good job that a fine quality brush does. So, using a throw-away will certainly eliminate the cleaning phase, but it just won’t provide the top quality paint job that a better brush will. And if you’re like us – you need all the help you can get!
Now, having said all of that, did you know that paint industry experts tell us that somewhere in the neighborhood of 95% of all do-it-yourself interior wall painting is performed with a roller. Not too shabby for a device invented in England. It is said that even a rank amateur can use a paint roller – probably because rollers are extremely simple to use, effective and fast. But, even with the best and simplest of tools there are things that you must know to get the most work done while exerting the least amount of energy. According to Ed Majkrzak, Technical Director at True Value Paint Co., “Good paint alone won’t do the trick.” Ed tells us that a good applicator is equally important. And since the roller cover itself is the most important part of the paint rolling system it is important to focus on how to choose the best one, and then, how to properly use it.
The roller cover is in fact a two-part contraption made up of: the core and the fabric covering. And although neither component is, or has, a moving part both are important in selecting a high quality, best-bang-for-your-buck tool that can be used again and again.
Majkrzak says that the core is the “foundation” of the roller cover and that the best type is made of phenolic-impregnated (resin impregnated) craft paper. It’s an interesting process. First, craft paper is rolled into a continuous tube that looks an awful lot like a cardboard mailer. Next, the paper tube is pressure-injected with a special resin and the whole kit and caboodle is then sent into an oven and heat-cured. The core that results is an unbelievably hard material that is resistant to all known paint solvents and creates a tube that is nearly impossible for the average person to crush. Plastic, on the other hand, will soften in certain solvents and a plastic core that is not perfectly round will “bump” on the surface resulting in an uneven distribution of paint. Yikes! More work for you. Both water and solvents will soften the cheapest of the three – the plain cardboard core. In fact, a plain cardboard roller core will generally not hold up any longer than it takes to paint one room. Can you spell waste of money?