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I'm a little frustrated at my inability to get nice smooth coats of paint when hand brushing. I'm talking mainly large areas with acrylic paint. I've tried most of the suggestions both for technique and paint mixing and still the result is it looks hand brushed.


Got to wondering about my brushes. Honestly I don't remember the brand or bristle type. They were a set of 4 at about $25 so they weren't cheap if that means anything.


So my question is - say price was no consideration, what brush would you use to paint large areas of a model? A brand name would be great. Otherwise type, size, bristles would help.


BTW - I do have an airbrush so that doesn't count here.

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If you are using Acrylics use a good synthetic brush - they will last a lot longer than natural bristles.  With solvent based paints you can use either with good life.  If you use both types of paint I recommend having separate sets for solvent based and the Acrylic based.


If you paint much with brushes investigate how to properly care for them - cleaning and storing.  Always use a good quality brush cleaner - I have used The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver for years.  You would be surprised just how dirty your brushes are if you get some of this stuff, follow the directions with your stored brushes and watch the dirt come out of your clean brushes.


I will leave the recommendation of brands and types to others - I haven't bought a new brush in years (see above about proper cleaning) and I have no idea if the ones I have on hand are still made.  I use an airbrush almost exclusively now.



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  • 1 month later...

No question, if you are having problems with brush strokes, your paint is too thick.  Experiment with your non-oil based paints to see what solvent will work best.  I've had good results with denatured alcohol for acrylics. Multiple thin coats are better than fewer thick coats.  The old "Dio-sol" thinned Floquil paints were wonderful, in that they had a high, and very fine, pigment content and so could be thinned while still retaining much of their "covering" ability.  The water based crap the eco-regulators have imposed upon us (drying paint fumes harm the environment, don't ya know) is nothing near the quality of the "good stuff."  Thin paint application and multiple coats is the answer.  If the paint is thin enough and will "level" on its own, it shouldn't matter much what kind of brush you use, really, so long as you remember: "synthetic bristles for water-based paint and natural bristles for oil-based paint."

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My son is an artist (Fine Art painter) and modeler and hobbyist as well.  His recommendation is Grumbacher brand white nylon synthetic brushes seem to work best when applying acrylic coats to any wood, hold up the best, will have an even and consistent spread to them. He would go with a filbert cut; for large hull areas, use a #6, #8, #10 or  #12 brush. When cleaning you can use soap and water,  just water, or saddle soap/brush cleaner. The white nylons last the longest.


Keep in mind when using water based paints, depending on the consistency of water to paint ratio, your first coat over a wood surface will suck right in. He prefers to use multiple thin layers of paint, but if you want a bolder, thicker coat use less water. 


My son has been using these brushes on multiple surfaces ranging from wood, latex, hard plastic polymers, vinyl, and porcelain on hobby projects for years with excellent results.


As Bob Cleek points out above "synthetic bristles for water-based paint and natural bristles for oil-based paint". For oil base paints my son prefers Camel hair brushes; they last longer, shed the least of the non-synthetic hair brushes.


Any other questions, feel free to post here and I will pass it along to him.


Update: Here's a photo of the Saddle Soap my son uses to clean his brushes.



Edited by Jack12477
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