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Old 08-07-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


I'm a total newb to painting, and am painting some shutters right now. I grabbed both a regular bristle paint brush, and a foam brush.

After using the foam brush, I guess I just can't see any benefit the bristle brushes have over the foam ones. The foam ones seem to move easier, leave a smoother finish, etc. Am I missing something here? Maybe the foam ones were more expensive? (can't remember how much these were)

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Old 08-07-2007, 04:07 PM   #2
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


With a quality brush, and the right kind for the application, you should blow away foam brush so bad it will be pathetic

If they are close, then I'd say it's the wrong type of bristle, or it's a less quality brush then you really want to use

If it works for you though...don't let me stop you

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Old 08-07-2007, 05:57 PM   #3
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


I agree with Slick, the foam brush should not even be close to a quality brush, more than likely the brush you are using is a cheap quality brush, and to a professional could not even be considered a worthy throw away.
People often want to go as cheap as possible, and when it comes to tools it is often a bad idea.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:13 PM   #4
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


Once you go to a nice bristle brush you never go back. The key is to use the right brush for the job, and proper clean-up.


Quick read on cleaning different brushes.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:44 PM   #5
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


You also get much better penatration with a brush than foam
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


I've used both for various projects. If I have to paint a small bit of touch up and I'm feeling lazy, I'll use a foam brush and throw it away. Once you use a foam brush and a good bristle brush you quickly realize why the pros use bristle.

Try 'em both out and see what you think. It's a cheap experiment and if you're like me you won't believe us until you try it yourself
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


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Originally Posted by StevePM View Post
I've used both for various projects. If I have to paint a small bit of touch up and I'm feeling lazy, I'll use a foam brush and throw it away. Once you use a foam brush and a good bristle brush you quickly realize why the pros use bristle.

Try 'em both out and see what you think. It's a cheap experiment and if you're like me you won't believe us until you try it yourself
Okay, I'm going to be needing more brushes real soon (the foam one didn't keep its shape 100%, and I didn't even paint that much with it).

When I bought them, I basically just bought a bristle brush and a foam brush, and got what was ~ 2nd cheapest level. When getting a better bristle brush to compare, how do I even know what kind to get? Brands? Prices? Other factors?

I'm painting many things - front door, storm shutters (aluminum), regular shutters, aluminum gutter down spouts, and mortar/stucco.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:36 PM   #8
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


Get yourself a 2" or a 2-1/2" Purdy XL glide, those will be rated as all paints. You can get those at most paint stores.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:05 PM   #9
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


Most anything with the Purdy name on it won't be too bad
Even the de-spec'd ones at Home Creapo aren't horrible
The Paint Store ones are best though
The XL Glide would be a good choice
I'd suggest a 2 1/2" sash brush (angle) as if you take care of it, it will last you for years, and that's kind of the "go-to" size and shape
2" is OK if the 2 1/2 seems to big or too much
I prefer a 3", but I do this all the time
My DIY painter (the Mrs. likes to paint our house) prefers a 2"

Personally I like the Coronas (the Cortez)
They are a little stiffer than the Purdys, which IMO helps you paint with the tips rather than mushing it in there
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:27 PM   #10
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


Thanks for the advice guys, I *definitely* noticed a difference with a higher quality brush. I didn't get a purdy one, but wow were they expensive!!! No wonder I think a foam brush is better than my 3/$1.00 brush packs lol! I got a better paint brush, and immediately noticed a huge difference, and it was probably one that you guys would call a 'throw away', but it blew my ghetto brushes out of the water!

I would've got the purdy, but couldn't swallow the price (it was low $20's for the size I wanted). I got something cheaper, but it still waaaaaay outperformed my other brushes, and will definitely be sufficient for my 'diy' needs.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:06 AM   #11
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


Next time you need a brush, you still may want to consider a Purdy or Wooster top-line brush. Properly cleaned and stored after each use, a single brush can last a DIY-er a lifetime, making the initial price considerably less important.

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Old 09-22-2007, 09:21 PM   #12
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


I should just say, with my tail tucked between my legs, that I got a purdy today and you guys were dead on point!!! I think it's called a 3" XL swan, if that sounds right....


On that note though, given that the brush was like $18, I tried cleaning it as best I could. I did 1 coat of satin red latex on my new door, and went to clean it asap. However, I sat there cleaning it with soap and hot water forever, and I can still see a red hue in the top bristles where they are white. Does that mean I didn't clean enough? I sat there with it in a bucket of soapy, hot water for like 5 minutes, cleaning as thoroughly as I could, and I couldn't get the tops of the bristles back to their factory white/cream color.... I don't want to ruin my purdy, it owns!!!
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:52 PM   #13
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


The colored tips is normal after using a heavy tint paint.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:59 AM   #14
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


If you are using hot water and soap, and the water running out of the bristles is clear, you are done.

Also, a few more tips:
Purchase and use a brush comb during, and after, cleaning. These are only a couple of bucks at any store that sells paint supplies. This will keep the bristles straight, and with a good shape.

If you haven't thrown it away already, use the cardboard thing the brush came wrapped in to store the brush. This will hold the brush in the proper shape.

Dry it flat, or hanging by the handle.

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Old 09-23-2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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why use paint brushes instead of foam brushes?


Thanks for the tips guys! Nah I didn't throw it out because it said it was a reusable holster thing, but I'm looking at it thinking 'you're a piece of cardboard'.... it's on the floor of the garage and would've gone in the trash lol! But I'll save it, my purdy was not giving off any water besides clear when I was done, and it's hanging from a nail so it should keep shape but I'll start using that sheath thing. Do I need to wait til it's 100% dry to put it in there or just dry to the point where I can't shake any water out of it anymore then a quick paper towel blotting?

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