Axus – The Joy of Sash (Brushes)
This review on Axus sash brushes is a guest post by Charlie Budd of Charles Budd Decorating.
Most decorators will use the biggest brush they can, to do a particular task. Bigger brushes (generally) hold more paint, and you can lay off a larger area more quickly with a big brush. But there are times when you need a smaller brush, with fine control – particularly for doing tasks like painting window bars, and that’s where sash brushes come into their own.
(French windows painted with an Axus Decor 15mm Sash Brush with Little Greene oil-based eggshell in Celestial Blue. Photo by Charles Budd)
Many painters also use them for painting the moulding of panel doors.
They work equally well in oil-based and water-based paints.
Synthetic bristle sash brush
I first came across Axus sash brushes in November 2011, at the National Painting and Decorating Show. For ethical reasons, I don’t like using natural bristle (mostly harvested from hogs in China) so I had been looking for sash brushes with synthetic filaments for several years, but to no avail. I bought a set of four brushes to trial, and I loved them from the first time I used them. Right from the beginning they seemed to have several advantages over the natural bristle sash brushes I’d used before:
Some characteristics of Axus Decor sash brush
• The filaments were finer, so gave a better finish.
• The filaments didn’t swell and stayed fine with water-borne paints, so they were much better than natural bristle when using these paints.
• The brushes kept their shape, and gave good, clean lines and corners.
• They very rarely lost any filaments, whereas I found bristle ones did (at least any of the brands I ever bought). The filaments also didn’t wear quickly – so they lasted longer.
I have never bought another brand of sash brush since buying my first Axus. They are inexpensive, but great quality.
Axus stainless sash brush selection
Axus Decor Grey Pointed Precision sash brushes come in 12mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm and 30mm diameters. I rarely use the larger sizes, as I find the smaller two sizes will do nearly anything fiddly, and I can use angle-cut brushes like the 2” Wooster FTP for anything which the 12 and 15mm can’t do.
Unlike some sash brushes, the ferrule is stainless steel, so if you’re a professional decorator who uses the Brush Mate system for oil-based paints, you won’t get the horrible running copper salts problem from sash brushes which use copper as a ferrule.
Axus sash brush Availability
You can currently buy a set of Axus decor Grey Pointed Precision Brushes from MyPaintBrush.co.uk for £12.99
I’d definitely try all the sizes, then continue to buy the ones you like best. Mind you, if you look after them, they’ll last you a long while. When they do wear, you can also trim them back into shape somewhat with a good pair of scissors.
For squeezing into all sorts of fiddly angles, these brushes are great – that’s why they’re the Joy of Sash.
Stratford on Avon painter and decorator Charlie Budd is a good friend of the site and a prime example of a good decorator who has the passion to continually improve his level of service.
In recent times, Charlie has been adopting and applying (and questioning me consistently about) the techniques and products illustrated and recommended on the Traditional Painter site. The economy may well be stalling, but constantly striving to push his quality, efficiency and cleanliness on the way up, Charlie’s approach to decorating is standing him in good stead.
A quick tip – these sash brushes will work well in tandem with the Roll and Go kettle from Go!Paint. Dutch style handles for Dutch styled kettle brush clips!
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