Brushmate – a brush keeper for all painters, builders and DIY enthusiasts
Update from Oct 2008 I am curious to know how popular Brushmates still are? Since 2010 oil paint changes, plus reports of some synthetic bristles curling, some decorators have gone back to storing oil brushes in water, or diesel. (Let me know your view on the forum, thanks.)
Brushes are a painter’s most important tool, and whether you are a pro painter, a jobbing builder or a DIY painting enthusiast, the Brushmate is probably the most useful piece of equipment you can have to keep oil paint bushes in perfect condition.
In simple terms, the Brushmate is a vapour box that prevents oil paint from drying. The vapor is slowly released from either a pad or a cotton wick impregnated with fluid. As long as the lid is kept on and the Brushmate is stored in a cool place, oil paint brushes will stay usable indefinitely. It comes in 2 sizes.
For the professional who values their brushes, there is nothing better than the 20-brush keeper. It is a sturdy metal box with a lift-off lid, racked out to take up to 20 brushes. The handle clips are movable to suit your needs, so you can keep larger brushes on one side, smaller ones on the other – or keep whites and primer bushes on one side, colours on the other, or however you want to be set up. And best of all, it is comfortable to sit on at break time. (Having said that, I would never sit on another painter’s Brushmate!)
Brushmate Trade 4+
I use these for kitchen painting, and I also think this 4-brush keeper is the best piece of equipment out there for occasional painters. For less than £14, brushes reserved for white / off-white primer and undercoat ( 60% of all painting work!) never need be cleaned and will stay in perfect condition, always ready to use.
Ongoing cost of a brushmate
For the professional, the Brushmate 20 fluid costs about £5 for 3 – 6 months of vapour. That is about the cost of one decent 1.5″ brush lost to water spillage or general neglect.
For occasional painters, the Trade 4+vapour mate pads, which should last 3 to 6 months, cost under
£3 each. £4 each (SHOULD LAST is based on how tight you seal the lid. If you put a 4+ away for a while, tape the lid shut to be safe.)
There is almost no financial reason not to own a Brushmate – but some may beg to differ. Especially those who have started to adopt the Store and Go! gel brush keeper.
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