PURDY PROFESSIONAL BRUSH SET: BEST BUY OR BRUSH-OFF?

Purdy XL Professional Paint Brush Set (3-Pack) #140853100

Pros: Top quality.  Long life.  American made.  Excellent weight and balance.

Cons: Angular trim bristle style too specialized.  Some painters prefer natural bristle.  Proper post-paint maintenance is essential.

Like members of any profession, painters have a preference for the tools they use.  Just as the chef has a favorite knife and the carpenter a hammer, painters will discover one particular brush that works perfectly.  Often, a brush will possess all the factors that improve speed and accuracy – including bristle length, a comfortable grip and proper balance. When you find “the one” – it works and feels like an extension of your hand.

Natural vs. Synthetic

In years past, natural boar-bristle brushes were used primarily for oil-based paints, stains and polyurethane coatings.  Their finer bristles allowed the applied product less effort to “level” or settle to a smooth surface before the drying process began.  Plus, the natural bristle was impervious to the chemical deterioration that the synthetics often suffered.  The synthetic bristle brushes available currently have a finer, more durable bristle that makes them suitable for both latex and oil-based paints.

Purdy uses “a blend of DuPont solid, round and tapered Tynex and Orel filaments” in their XL line.

Brushing Up

Contained within are a 1-inch Dale, a 1-1/2 inch Glide and a 2-inch Sprig.  All three are from Purdy‘s “most versatile” XL series and are appropriate for use with all paints.

The 1” XL Dale has an angular trim brush style with a copper ferrule and a rat-tail handle.  Back in the day, any brush with an angular cut was referred to as a “sash” brush.  Aside from the occasional tight access – such as an inside corner obscured by door trim, I never had much use for this size or style – aside from painting sash.  With the increasing popularity of metal and vinyl-clad energy-efficient windows, paintable sash is becoming much less common.

The 1-1/2” XL Glide has the same angular bristle trim and copper ferrule as the Dale, but features a fluted handle.  The Glide’s increased width makes this a more practical choice for cutting-in or detail work in tight spaces.

The 2” XL Sprig has a copper ferrule, flat trim brush style and a beaver-tail handle.  This has always been my brush of choice – the only non-angular style of the bunch has a comfortable, balanced feel for the majority of painting situations I encounter.  Its 2” width allows it to hold the perfect amount of paint for speed, accuracy and desired result.

At a time when many of our consumer goods are produced off-shore, Purdy brushes are American-made.  Each brush is “signed” by the brushmaker who hand-crafted it – indicated by a small yellow sticker attached to the ferrule.

Why the 3 Pack?

I received this brush set as a door prize at a contractor’s event.  Due to the style preference issues stated above, I would not have purchased this combo as configured.

However, if Purdy were to replace the 1” Dale with a 1-1/2” Sprig, this would be a best buy.  From an economic perspective, this set is still a bargain when considering individual list price.

Purdy Good Advice

If maintained properly, Purdy brushes will last for years.  It was not a common occurrence when a favorite brush would simply wear-out from repeated daily use.

The best way to guarantee a long life is to clean your brushes promptly and thoroughly at the conclusion of the job.  Hang to store, using the hole in the handle.

Purdy Corporation

Portland, OR  97203

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