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Corona Brush UK – about natural bristle brushes

Listed under Blog, brushes, Corona Posted Jan 01 2014

I asked Tony Hiscocks of Corona Brush UK, some questions about China bristle brushes, the decorating trade’s favourite brush for pretty much the whole of time – till water-based paint for woodwork came along.

Pure bristle brush perfection in 2013?

Is it fair to say that with changes in farming practices and economic shifts in China, the old fashioned quality of a pure China bristle brush is a thing of the past, and really is unattainable nowadays on a large scale?

Part of what you say is correct, you really do “pay your money and get what you pay for”! Top quality 100% natural China pig bristle is expensive and with the economic downturn many have decided to market products that they believe their customers want and at a level they will pay!

hamilton Perfection and Corona Morro pure china bristle brush

Pure China bristle brushes 2013. I can’t find an example of a pre 1990 Hamilton Perfection to show you. These are 2 pro quality China hog bristle brushes on the market today. Recognise them? Do you rate them compared to olde worlde bristle brushes?

Were Hamilton really making the best bristle brushes, back in the day?

Hamilton Perfection, Perfection Plus and Perfection X were truly the benchmarks that many followed. Originally the brushes were rubber set, which gave the bristles an element of flexibility and snap to the brush. When Hamilton and Acorn were merged the decision was made to change from rubber setting to a twin pack epoxy setting, this coincided with other changes which, in my personal opinion, changed the tool forever.

With water based paint, will natural bristle get you perfection?

EU legislation on VOC removal has caused a movement to waterborne paints. This means that a natural bristle paintbrush used in waterborne paints will soak up moisture even from the “wet edge”, causing the brush to swell and mop head, absorbing up to 40% of its weight in moisture! However a synthetic brush will only hold up to 2% in surface moisture.

Waterborne paints dry quickly causing the flag on a natural bristle brush to clog. Almost a self nibbing brush, and tramlines will be the result. For the best results in waterborne paints, good quality synthetic brushes should be used.

Can synthetic bristles achieve a high class finish in oil

I have heard many skilled decorators state that it is not possible to achieve good results in oil based gloss with synthetic brushes. This may have been the case with the very early brushes that reached our shores. Manufacturing and materials have changed and excellent results can now be obtained, without the need to “break in” and be constantly lifting debris from your work.

The Morro always comes…

corona morro pure china bristle

So tell us about Corona’s premium china bristle brush. How does it fit into the modern brush mix?

I had moved away from using natural bristle and would have bet you a lot of money that I would never put them in my ranges.

That was until I handled and used a “Morro”, a very special natural bristle brush.

Corona blend their own natural bristle, paying top dollar for it.

corona morro

We do not rely on others to steam straighten them and allow them to cool down naturally. The head configuration has just the right amount of snap! Truly excellent and in my stocking range.

The softer white China bristle, mostly used on GRP fibreglass boats, as yet, is not stocked in the UK.

The short answer to the original question would have been “not true”!

A few thoughts

– Tony Hiscocks, who runs Corona Brush UK, has been working in the paint brush industry for many many years, and as you can see, brings an interesting historic perspective, and provides good insight into what constitutes a great paint brush. As he quoted me:


– I think most of the Traditional Painters would concur that certain synthetic bristle brushes are capable of achieving a beautiful finish in oil, and it is fair to say that the Hamilton-Acorn Perfections of today are not the Hamilton Perfections of pre 1990.

– Several of the Traditional Painters have been using and testing – and raving about – a selection of Coronas behind the scenes for a while now. All brush makers have their own tricks and philosophies, and one of Corona’s many angles is squared stocks which definitely bring some good straight lines and right angles to the painting party.

– It is imperative to have a selection of brushes at your disposal, because there is really no such thing as THE BEST PAINT BRUSH. There are a select few brushes that perform brilliantly in a range of paints, but if you demand top results in every scenario from one single brush, or one bristle type, it probably isn’t going to happen. Hence why you will hear us talking about Coronas, Woosters, Picassos, Axus, Fox, Rembrandts, PAL, ClingOn!, Pioneer, Axis Saffron – all of which have various brushes that do a top job in different scenarios during the course of our work.

Let us know what you think of the Corona range.

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7 comments to “Corona Brush UK – about natural bristle brushes”

  1. My Hand Painted Furniture Adam Bermingham

    I’ve been using the Morro for a few years. I think they are fantastic in oil based stain and varnish. Is it worth a go in other materials?

  2. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Corona actually recommend the ox hair and natural bristle blend for very fine lacquers, varnishes and stains, so you can guess at that finish. Morro is for oil paint finishes too

  3. My Hand Painted Furniture Adam Bermingham

    Must try the Ox hair/bristle blend. Expensive from what I can gather but for furniture the finish is king

  4. adam featherstone

    i bought some Corona brushes from the show, the kingstons im very impressed with for water based undercoat, im ordering some more for emulsion.

    Im 50/50 on the Morro i dont like it for doing doors and large surfaces but i find when ever i glossing and its a tight line, i end up getting the Morro out and end up with a perfect finish.

  5. kulfeep

    hello & greetings to you
    WHATS NO 9109009872375
    EMAIL. coolsagar54@gmail.com

  6. Dean Aston

    I’ve just come across your brushes and a little unsure whats best for me. I’m a new worker painter and we are using oil based undercoat and gloss which model would be best for that job.Also like a new 3in to use for emulsion work . Thank you

  7. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    The Morro is a sound oil brush. For cutting in emulsion Fox 2.5″ is a beast.

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