Badger hair brushes

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 02-22-2013 10:04 AM 3427 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2271 days

02-22-2013 10:04 AM

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


1628 posts in 2310 days

#1 posted 02-22-2013 11:14 AM

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


915 posts in 2271 days

#2 posted 02-22-2013 11:23 AM

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5143 posts in 2671 days

#3 posted 02-22-2013 12:26 PM

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.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3147 days

#4 posted 02-22-2013 12:55 PM

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


915 posts in 2271 days

#5 posted 02-22-2013 09:34 PM

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


1099 posts in 3008 days

#6 posted 02-22-2013 09:48 PM

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


515 posts in 2142 days

#7 posted 02-22-2013 09:52 PM

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


2238 posts in 2868 days

#8 posted 02-22-2013 09:57 PM

I have been pretty happy with Omega brushes with shellac.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2539 days

#9 posted 02-22-2013 10:20 PM

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....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View oldnovice's profile


7275 posts in 3546 days

#10 posted 02-23-2013 07:11 AM

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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