Aug 31, 2007

Stainable Wood Fillers

For this little review we will be testing how well two wood fillers work. We are using MinWax and Elmer's Wood Filler on pine then staining with MinWax English Chestnut. Using a plastic blade I applied both wood fillers and allowed to dry then sanded smooth. The photos were taken during the process. Click photos for larger view.

It's my opinion the Elmer's Wood Filler worked nicer than the MinWax product. Both sanded easily and to a powder. I would prefer to be on the lighter side rather than a dark spot in the wood. If it was my job, I would use a custom blended wood putty rather than a filler. The color can be controlled easily with putty.

Stain TIP large areas

Grab yourself one of these wool applicator pads for staining large flat areas or flush doors. You can use a paint roller tray and pour the stain in the pan leaving the ramp exposed and dab the applicator in the stain and pat a few times on the ramp to remove excess stain.

This pad can also be used for staining casing and baseboard in a racking scenario. We use penetrating stains and never wipe after applying the stain so this applicator comes in handy and improves speed drastically.

Stop hitting the ceiling

Here is a simple effective TIP for those with a handicap of ceiling tagging.

This tip has 3 nice benefits.
1) You wont hit the ceiling.

2) This trick allows you to roll tighter to a ceiling on those 16' walls to minimize the area of cut when you hop up on a ladder. 
3) The third advantage is speed. You can approach a ceiling with confidence and without hesitation. Tap the ceiling lightly and move on.

I have the paint stick taped in place to allow no more than 1 inch between the cover and the ceiling. Just another advantage of not rolling out of a bucket.

Aug 30, 2007

Paint Industry Manufacturers

As with most every other industry we see products we use day-in and day-out change without notice. Remember how big the Chips Ahoy cookies used to be? What are they now, bite size? Shouldn’t Nabisco call them bite size chocolate chip cookies? Dare I mention the Big Mac? What the hell is that, a kids sandwich? Boy those beef patties on the Wendy’s burgers are sure getting thin too, if they make them any smaller it will look like bacon. The paint industry is no exception to the diminishing product phenomenon; well, a gallon is still a gallon but the quality of product is always changing.

Let me make something clear, less is not more and if you are a manufacturer and you change a product, do us all a favor and call it something else because it is no longer what it used to be if you changed it, right?

Changing formulas in paint product is common and they are so good about not telling you it changed. If you spread hundreds of gallons of a product each year then all of a sudden you get a gallon of paint that changed, you notice it immediately.

More often in my experience, product changes are for the worst. Once you question the rep about a product, they often tell you it was reformulated to increase this or that. Well buddy, it still sucks and maybe even more so than it did before it was changed, oh and by the way, why does it cost more now?

Wash this flat

Glidden Evermore Super Washable Flat - Here is a styrene acrylic product that dries flat, goes on with ease, covers incredibly well and you can wash it up, but wait! there's more! It's only $20 per gallon vs. some ridiculously priced styrene flats near $40. I really liked this product and it applied nicely. This product is not a thick heavy flat but rather on the thin side when rolling and applying with a brush.

Evermore™ super washable flat latex paint creates an armor-like barrier against common household stains providing the ultimate in stain protection. This highly washable flat finish offers excellent scuff, mar and burnish resistance allowing the surface to keep its original appearance after cleaning. Evermore super washable flat paint, the beauty of a flat finish with the washability of a gloss.

We applied an ICI color from the new color pallet called Candy Stripe. You can see the color on the rim of the can, HOT PINK, one coat coverage.

Aug 3, 2007

Zibra grip-n-glide

NEW REVIEW Zibra grip-n-glide brushes. The focus of this review will be the 3" flat and 2 1/2" angular latex brushes. We have been using these brushes on the job for about a month painting walls, trim and doors with acrylics.

I am excited to see such a huge effort put into making these great paint brushes particularly the 2 ½” angled brush. The first day I used one of these brushes I must have had a permanent look of amazement on my face and somewhat disbelief of the things I was capable of doing with these brushes.

The Zibra brushes are anything but normal

Zibra is a little late to the brush market, but the company comes with a gift its competitors can’t match: Exclusive High Performance Filaments, the solid round tapered kind. The filaments provide unmatched control-of-cut and load capacity like no other brush - skips and misses are a thing of the past. Not only was the load capacity a huge benefit but also the brush has the ability to lay down a load with ease, exceptional release! The filaments did not bend after sitting over night in a bucket of paint or water, impressive to say the least. Almost every brush on the market today will bend after sitting just minutes in a bucket of paint. The brush always snaps back to position and is ready to reload.

The benefits of the 2 ½” brush seem endless while the 3” was difficult to use. While cutting a not-so-perfect ceiling line with plenty of lands and grooves, the 2 ½” brush laid paint in the grooves as if they weren’t there. You’ll find exceptional control of this brush cutting ceilings lines with the ability to straighten up a jagged edge or clean up over beading with ease.

So with all those good things to say there has to be some bad and there is, both brushes are difficult to clean. I found it took much longer to clean the brushes but if you separate the filaments and look into the ferrule, you’ll understand why. While you are looking between the filaments, you may also note the massive cavity that holds the paint for your cut, it’s like a storage compartment in there.

You know how there are products such as various cars that have a history of outlasting and performing unlike any other car? Well, this brush is like one of those high performance cars.

The photo on the left is an exploded view of the filaments on the Zibra 3" Wall Latex Brush. Much of my review was/is based on the 2 1/2" angled latex brush. Note the busted, twisted, frayed tips. I'm not sure if this is defective or by design. The 2 1/2" angle is nothing like this photo. Click photo to enlarge.

I had trouble cutting in ceiling lines and casings with the 3” brush. The 3" Zibra performs like most every other brush on the market, lousy. Note the middle portion of filaments, there are 3 filament clusters on this brush. The middle portions length is identical to the others. Big mistake! First of all, this design is a bit odd compared to most other brushes and you can see in the photo the large area between the 3 clusters of filaments. While the middle portion is minimal in thickness, its length needs to be shorter than the other two, it’s too bulky at the tip. The 3” brush won’t chisel to a point; it remains heavy at the tips mainly in the center. When the brush is loaded nicely, (after 10 mins of use) the outer filaments glide off the surface while the inner (middle) portion of filaments glide the brush in a pivoting manor. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the outer portion of filaments (close to a casing) to cut the casing tight. The middle portion of filaments on this brush serves one purpose, to hold the paint in the center of the brush.

I would like to see the 3” brush with a shorter length of filaments in the center or remove the center portion and double up the outer filaments. Brushes with various filaments lengths just work well. Also I would like to see a hollow cut at the tips of this brush vs. the blunt cut.