Badger Hair brushes are ideal for varnish, topside and high-gloss marine coatings. Badger brushes have a bushy appearance as the hair is stiff and tight near the root but soft at the tip. This soft bushy tip allows the bristles to hold more varnish.
Badger-like hair is somewhat stiff even in longer lengths. Most badger hair brushes have a fan or round shape with a flat top for blending.
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Tech Support,I have applied five coats of Epifanes Rapid Clear to the exterior Teak trim on my sailboat that sail on the Chesapeake Bay. Epifanes guidance seems to encourage users to apply a final coat or two of real varnish as a final coat.Can I stop coating the boards and enjoy the fine finish I have developed with Rapid Clear or should I add a coat or two of Schooner varnish ?Thanks for help,Richard Paden
Boat name: Petite Cherie
It is up to you really, but they recommend the varnish overcoat for the full 'varnished look' of the wood, and enhanced UV.
JD Tech Associate
To begin the tipping process - do I wet the brush with paint - or do I start dry and allow it to pull from the ridges after rolling?
Dip the dry brush in the thinner used with the paint, pad it dry on a rag. Be sure to roll out thin coats, if you are moving paint with the brush it is too thick. If the roller or brush is dragging, you need to add more thinner.
JD Tech Team
are your "badger hair" brushes truly made of real badger hair?
I don't believe so, they are a "Badger Hair" style china bristle.
Is this a "pseudo badger" brush? Not real badger bristle, but a natural bristle bleached and dyed to look like badger hair?
They are not badger hair. According to Redtree they are a man made bristle.If you want true badger you will pay upwards of $40 for 1 1/2 inch wide brush.
These are Badger hair style china bristle brushes.
It appears to be real to me. I would be surprised if it was fake with the color patterns that appear in the bristles.
JOHN DAVID HEINZMANN
This brush did a great job and appears to be real.
how to clean after varnish?
I don't clean my brushes after using them. Before use I drill a hole through the base of the handle just above the ferrule. Then I cut a six inch piece of coat hanger. The brush hangs off the coat hanger, which is stuck through the hole, and it is suspended in a coffee can full of turpentine. Then I put a large Ziploc bag over the whole thing to keep dust out. When I'm ready to use the brush again I simply spin it out using a brush spinner. Brushes last me at least three seasons and I only use them in the spring. The rest of the time they are hanging in the turpentine.
After many years of so-so results cleaning badger hair brushes, I bought a brush spinner. First I use old newspaper or a rag to squeeze out as much varnish as possible. Then I rinse the brush in thinner and spin it in a cardboard box. I repeat that step three times, saving the used thinner in a jug where I decant it for use later cleaning paint brushes.After the third spin. I either wash the brush in dish or laundry detergent, rinse it thoroughly, spin it dry and wrap it in a paper towel, or suspend it in linseed oil or fresh thinner if I plan to use it again soon.
how to tip varnish?
I put the varnish on with back and forth or even x-shaped strokes being careful to get complete coverage but not have excess (that's always the difficult balance). I then stretch the varnish out from my left to my right onto new areas to rid the current area of excess, using horizontal left to right strokes. Once convinced I have no excess I brush it back into the old wet edge using right to left horizontal strokes. Then I check for holidays (areas which don't have consistent coverage). Finally, I tip from bottom to top - vertically - very lightly. It also helps to mix in some penetrol with the varnish prior to starting.
Are badger hair brushes the best bet for varnishing?
I think they are great. They hold varnish well and distribute it evenly. They are fairly short bristled and are somewhat stiff compared to paint brushes but that works well with varnish especially when you are cutting in. I find I can do my entire Chris Craft with a 3" brush. They are nor cheap, so take good care of them and they will take good care of you.
Absolutely! I have built boats and varnished them as well as other wood projects with badger hair brushes, foam brushes and cheap brushes. Badger hair brushes work the best. Remember to lay varnish from dry to wet, not wet to dry and you'll be amazed at your own work.
I have used badger hair brushes for years. They do work the best for applying an even coat of varnish at the proper coat thickness. Have minimal 'tipping off' to do as few air bubbles in the coat. If you are only doing a very small area the foam brushes are OK and you get to avoid cleanup but the foam quickly deteriorates and you will get foam particles in the coat
These brushes are listed by the manufacturer as "Badger style china bristles." Sounds fishy to me,. Can anyone verify that these are in fact badger hair bristles? Thanks.
It's not something I could answer without seeing the bristles. "Badger-style China bristles" is a nearly meaningless description, as any brush seller could conceivably make that claim. BUT this looks like a nice brush. I've been using RedTree brushes for a long time and like them. That's what counts - I like them and get really fine results. In any case, good varnish work is not created by the brush, it's user technique that gets results.
ROBERT A BEEBE
Had I to guess, I would have to say that they are china bristle brushes dyed to look like they were made from badger hair. Thank you modern marketing!
Thanks Eric, I have to say I wasn't expecting the quality responses I received - first time I've used this. Much appreciated.
Robert, Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question re. badger hair bristles/Red Tree brushes, I appreciate your input.
Hello Mark, Thanks for responding to my question, I appreciate it.
Hey Bob,I bought a set of these about 20 years ago. They have been great brushes for virtually all finish types, but don't use the same bruch for clear and pigmented finishes.I bought another set recently and am not at all happy. The brush contains about 50% as much bristle as the old ones, and it is definitely NOT badger hair.For the price, they're still not bad. A 3" Badger Hair brush will set you back $50-$60 and I only know of one source in the mid-west that carries them.
I heard a lot about Badger brushes. Are they really the best for applying varnishes and top coats?
I honestly don't know whether they're the "best". However, they flow well, cover well, leave an excellent surface without loose bristles, and clean up so you can reuse them. I recommend them.
The badger brushes hold a lot of varnish and apply it smoothly. You don't have to stop in the middle of any board less than 6-8 feet to refill the brush. So the finish applied is about as flat as you can get without spraying.
Badger Hair brushes are superior brushes for finsh work. They are the most commonly used brush for applying two part urethane coatings. Then are used when rolling the paint to tip the overlaps between roller marks. this along with varnishes and other finish paints make them an excellent choice for pulling through your coats and leaving no brush marks. Just a nice clear finish. You should read up on how to tip an awlgrip type coating as the same principals apply to the other finshes. I have even used foam brushes to apply my varnish then tipped it out with a badger hair brush. Hope this helpful.
Gerald, I build kayaks to fine furniture and I am a true believer in using the best of materials. For varnish, I only use badger or some other excellent brushes. Good luck
I've laid down a lot of varnish on many different projects. I wouldn't use anything else, and have tried.
After solely using foam brushes for many years, switching to badger brushes was a welcome change. They certainly require maintenance after each use, but in my opinion, it's worth the trouble. The brush holds more varnish, gives a better and more consistent flow, and provides a smoother coat. I am very pleased with my badger brushes.
Gerald- I can't say if they are the best or not but I nave never used a better brush for varnish. I recently finshed a boat hull with the badger brush I purchased from JD and a high dollar varnish, also from JD. Best level finish I have experienced. These brushes hold the varnish well and flow it out on the surface without ridges that need to level out. The boat was for a customer who fell in love with the clear coat finish. I plan to use it on the kayak I am building.
High quality but not badger hair.
This is a high quality brush and it works well for a smooth finish. It is "badger style" China bristle not badger hair.
Gulf Breeze, Fl
Horrible brush! Used it once and it started falling apart. The bristles broke apart and left tiny particles in my varnished toe rail. Do not buy unless you want your bright work ruined.
Up state NY
best brush i have ever used
Badger STYLE brush
They are styled after badger hair brushes and are NOT authentic badger hair.It's not a bad brush for the asking price but if you're looking to build a true varnishing arsenal think twice.
Problem free, worked exactly as expected
I was painting some 3" pinstripes on the hull using Interlux polyurethane. This was my first attempt at trying the roll and tip method. The rollers were perfect and did not leave any sort of fibers. The badger hair brush was fantastic. I am completely amazed at the difference between a badger hair brush and any other brush I've ever used. The paint flowed perfectly and there was never a loose hair. This was the prefect combination. Now If I could only lay down a straight tape line, I'd be on cloud nine
Used big box store brushes for home varnishing projects. Bought these specifically for boat projects and they made a huge difference. Will buy again when the time comes.
This is a great varnish brush!
I last used these brushes in applying Epithanes on a newly build Adirondack Guide boat by Phoenix Small boat builders in North Branford, CT. They have a comfortable fit for my hand and allow great product release in any alkyd product.
great brush, spreads the varnish very well.
same as above
I will always use these
Best I have ever used. Take care of them and their multi season