Monday, July 18, 2011

Why are paint brushes so expensive and painting so hard?

I’ve had a chance to do some painting around the house recently using rollers and paint brushes. The perfectionist that I am makes painting extremely frustrating - the trail marks left by the brush and the inconsistent pressure of the roller leaves “bumping” on the surface. It’s true that I can only see it if I look closely enough - but I know they’re there and since then I have had the chance to examine the paint job of the rest of the house when we bought it and I’m not the only imperfect painter.

Which is why I would never trust college kids to paint a house. Here’s a story from a former college warrior-painter:

EVERY summer, thousands of homeowners entrust their homes to college-age painters, possibly on the theory that if you’re smart enough to matriculate, you can smear paint on a flat surface. Seriously, how could you mess it up?

To the dozens of customers who asked precisely that question in the 1980s, soon after my college buddies and I left the job: you’re about to find out.

Instead, I learned everything that my old bosses never taught me, tips that can easily make the difference between a two-year paint job and a 12-year paint job.

And while we’re on the subject, why are paint brushes so expensive? For this price, they had better be sticking the bristles in one at a time. (And so hard to clean!)

Finally, choose brushes wisely. Good ones, which usually have tight, compact bristles, are expensive. But bad ones are excruciating. You need a four-inch brush for siding (Purdy’s costs $28), and a 2.5-inch, angled brush for trim (Wooster’s is $12).

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