Brushing Lacquer... do you have a favorite brush?

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
I purchased a can of brushing lacquer to finish some cherry potpourri bowls. The directions say to use a natural bristle brush. I tried some and I'm not happy with how the lacquer flows off the brush. I even tried a foam brush with some pretty good results. Do you have a favorite natural bristle brush that you use? I'm using something in the 1" width for the bowls since they are 6" in diameter. I'm not interested in spraying these so a good brush is what I need. Thanks for any help.

Red
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
if you insist on trying to brush lacquer get some reducer and cut it 20 - 25%. lacquer dries too fast to flow. reducer will slow the dry time a bit. BTW a good natural bristle brush will cost as much or more than a moderately priced HVLP gun. I found brushing lacquer to be not much fun. YMMV.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
You may find something by searching for a Urushi brush. The Japanese do a lot of brushed lacquer work (Urushi). Their traditional brush was made from human hair. Don't know if boars' hair could also be used. I am thinking the shaping of the bristles would be important to get the desired flow off the brush.

I was able to tour a lacquerware factory in Okinawa in 1980. They are true artisans.
 
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Cuthriell

New User
Cuthriell
I purchased a can of brushing lacquer to finish some cherry potpourri bowls. The directions say to use a natural bristle brush. I tried some and I'm not happy with how the lacquer flows off the brush. I even tried a foam brush with some pretty good results. Do you have a favorite natural bristle brush that you use? I'm using something in the 1" width for the bowls since they are 6" in diameter. I'm not interested in spraying these so a good brush is what I need. Thanks for any help.

Red
I use Deft type brushing lacquer with good results. The best brush for me is one with very soft bristles. It is a Purdy white bristle purchased from the local Sherwin Williams store. Nothing special. I have never tried dilution, but do keep the lacquer in the refrigerator and this helps prevent drag marks after the first coat. I'll probably get some howls over the fridge, but it has worked well for me. Ditto with shellac.
 
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red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
BTW a good natural bristle brush will cost as much or more than a moderately priced HVLP gun.
I'm looking for a decent brush because I don't want to set up my HVLP system just to spray a 6" bowl. I'm using the brushing lacquer while the bowl is still on the lathe.

Cuthreill I will look into that brush. Thanks.

Red
 

RobS.

Robert Slone
Senior User
Purdy white bristle brushes are made from hog hair. They work nicely but I used to use a badger hair brush for best results. A lot of paint stores still sell them.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
DEFT is a brushing lacquer formulated with retarders that allow slower drying time for brushing (higher boiling solvents mainly) and better flow off of the brush.
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
I'm looking for a decent brush because I don't want to set up my HVLP system just to spray a 6" bowl. I'm using the brushing lacquer while the bowl is still on the lathe.

Cuthreill I will look into that brush. Thanks.

Red
I have used the brush at the address below for about a year. I have one for lacquer and one for shellac. I like to use the #6 domed heads.

For use with lacquer I like to thin it out so it flows better like Fred mentioned. To use a brush with the shellac and lacquer you don't have to clean the brush. Just let the finish harden on the bristles after you use it. When you want to apply a finish again, soak it in the appropriate solvent for 10 minutes and you're ready to go.

I never use my brush for shellac to apply lacquer or the reverse. These natural bristle brushes last for years if you take a little care.

 

Hjanes

Harlan
User
I've found pre-wetting my bristle brush in the appropriate thinner, then shaking the excess out will help the finish flow more smoothly. And the brush will be easier to clean. For really small items, I've even used this with a disposable "chip bristle brush" to get a good result.
Harlan
 
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Hmerkle

Board of Directors, Vice President
Hank
Corporate Member
I have used the brush at the address below for about a year. I have one for lacquer and one for shellac. I like to use the #6 domed heads.

For use with lacquer I like to thin it out so it flows better like Fred mentioned. To use a brush with the shellac and lacquer you don't have to clean the brush. Just let the finish harden on the bristles after you use it. When you want to apply a finish again, soak it in the appropriate solvent for 10 minutes and you're ready to go.

I never use my brush for shellac to apply lacquer or the reverse. These natural bristle brushes last for years if you take a little care.

Thanks for posting that again - I knew you suggested something "special" for shellac and I hunted on NCWW and couldn't find it...
 

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