Has anyone else seen the ID Gel brushes? I spotted a pack in my local Home depot store after seeing them advertised on this site. The are made by a UK company called Harris. Has anyone else seen or tried these paint brushes?
Jul 27, 2012, 12:19 AM
Well, I was curious about what a "gel" paint brush would be thinking that it was a new technology that I should check out. But, it turns out there's nothing here to get excited over.
Unless there's something else different about these brushes that I haven't noticed, they're ordinary polyester brushes with a soft sneaker-heel-ish gel where the thumb typically goes when you hold a paint brush.
With 21 apartments in my building, I've done more painting over the past 25 years in my building than most DIY'ers. Yet not once during all that time have I cursed a paint brush for not being sufficiently comfortable for my thumb.
IMHO, a paint brush that's made with a gel thumb grip is a solution looking for a problem, or if you'll allow the analogy, a gimmick waiting for a sucker.
PS: Here's a tip to get better results and a longer lifespan out of ANY paint brush:
Before starting to paint with any brush, dip the dry brush in the thinner of the kind of paint you'll be using, and then swing or shake the brush to remove the excess thinner. The thinner remaining in the brush will be where the capillary pressure holding it in is highest; or between the bristles near the ferrule.
Dip in water if using latex paint, turpentine if using a drying oil like Tung Oil, raw or boiled linseed oil or Danish oil, mineral spirits if using an alkyd "oil based" paint or "urethane modified alkyd" polyurethane paint or "varnish".
That's because while you're painting with the brush, any paint that works it's way high up the bristles near the ferrule would normally just dry up there if you're using the brush for a long time. And that's what most often ruins paint brushes. Any paint dried up high in the bristles causes the brush to harden and the brush to have a permanent "bad hair day" as pieces of dried paint prevent the bristles from falling back into their original positions.
By wetting the brush with thinner and shaking out the excess thinner to start, any paint that gets up there remains wet much longer as it is diluted with thinner. So, when you clean your brush, that paint washes out quickly and completely so that your brush stays soft with all the bristles falling into their original position, or more simply, the brush stays newer longer. It's letting paint dry up in the bristles that causes more paint brushes to be ruined than anything else, and wetting the brush with thinner before you start painting helps to prevent that.
It's a good idea to buy an eyedropper for $2 at any pharmacy so that you can periodically add thinner to the bristles near the ferrule if you're using the brush for long enough that the initial wetting of thinner might evaporate.
IMHO, what people actually need when they buy a new paint brush isn't a gel grip, but an eye dropper.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,