Badger hair brushes

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 521 days ago 1206 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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774 posts in 695 days

521 days ago

I keep reading about how the only good brush for applying solvent based coatings (lacquer, shellac, varnish, etc.) is a brush made out of badger hair.

However, I can’t seem to find any badger hair brushes. There are plenty of knocks offs that have a stripe painted on them to make them look like badger hair. But those are all made of china bristle (i.e. hog bristles). Like the Red Tree one I got.

So a couple of questions: Are badger hair brushes really all that great? And where do you get the things and know you’re getting the genuine article?

I read somewhere else that nylon bristles are actually preferred for shellac. Anyone have experience with that?

10 replies so far

View Handtooler's profile


1055 posts in 734 days

#1 posted 521 days ago

The professional painters I’m acquainted with, when applying oil based finishes swear by and use either PURDY or WOOSTER brushes the say they are absolutely top quality brushes and will last a long time when properly cleaned daily.

They fabricate several different bristle types so read the labeling and select the type that best fits your needs INMHO.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Purrmaster's profile


774 posts in 695 days

#2 posted 521 days ago

I’ve heard of Chinex also. It’s a DuPont synthetic bristle that simulates hog bristles.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1648 posts in 1095 days

#3 posted 521 days ago

They are as close as Amazon. But I’ve bought them from Woodworker’s Supply and Jamestown Marine. Goggle the “Redtree” brand and you’ll get a few pother places as well.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1571 days

#4 posted 521 days ago

I came across this

I second Handtoolers comments on the Purdy brushes. The Purdy Monarch Elite is the finest paintbrush I ever used.

View Purrmaster's profile


774 posts in 695 days

#5 posted 521 days ago

The brush linked to from Amazon isn’t really badger hair. It’s china bristle with a painted stripe. I know because I have that brush. The Jamestown one is the same brush. “Badger style.”

I’m beginning to think real badger hair isn’t available anymore. I hear badgers are becoming rather scarce so perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.

I’ll look into the Purdy monarch.

View GaryL's profile


1074 posts in 1432 days

#6 posted 521 days ago

These are not badger hair but ox-hair from Tools for Woodworking.
Kind of sounds like the next best thing, but I have not tried them …yet.

Gramercy Tools Finishing Brushes for Shellac and Lacquer

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


439 posts in 566 days

#7 posted 521 days ago

I use ox hair brushes, which are actually a china bristle and ox hair blend. They leave an incredibly smooth finish and are well worth the expense. Corona makes a great brush:

Purdy also makes excellent ox/bristle brushes.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View bhog's profile


1981 posts in 1292 days

#8 posted 521 days ago

I have been pretty happy with Omega brushes with shellac.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1390 posts in 963 days

#9 posted 521 days ago

I have had these French made 3” brushes for about 21 years. The top one is real badger. Not sure of the other. Neither one ever used. Will sell if you’re interested, but they won’t be cheap.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View oldnovice's profile


3628 posts in 1970 days

#10 posted 521 days ago

I have used PURDY brushes and I really like them. I have moved on to water based finished and dyes and do not use the PURDY brushes that much any more.

I believe that these are China bristle (not to be confused with made in China)!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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