Last UPDATED Mar. 01 09:40pm
Finally, a brush that's made for power users.
While other brush manufacturers were busy churning out the status quo, The Wooster Brush Co. was pushing the envelope. The same company that brought you the high performance Benjamin Moore 651-25 brush now offers performance enhancements with greater hold capacity, greater responsiveness and tipping so soft it’ll make a crying baby giggle.
Find out how Micro Tip™ brush filament technology will affect your painting experience in more ways than you can imagine - because what good are Micro Tip™ filaments if they don’t have advantages?
A first glance at Wooster’s newest brush – the Alpha Series.
Blend of Filaments
|Filament Lengths |
Alpha has a very unique blend of various filament lengths not seen on other Wooster brushes before. The various filament lengths provide what appears to be a brush within a brush. The overall length-out is shorter than most brushes in its class, similar to the Wooster Flaxen although the two brushes are breeds apart.
|Hold Capacity |
Thumbing through the brush I noticed the brush felt fuller than I am used to on the Benjamin Moore 651-25 brush but this is a good sign for more hold capacity although a brush that carries paint farther than you can reach is overkill, but hey, I’m not complaining. The brush undoubtedly will hold a lot of paint. It’s the largest cavity I’ve seen on a 2.5” brush.
The brush felt good to hold, balanced, solid and true. I pressed it against all sorts of surfaces getting familiar with the characteristics of the brush. The Alpha is insanely responsive to even the slightest touch or movement (see video clip below). I can only imagine what I am going to be able to do cutting around intricate objects like a fireplace mantle as it returns to a wall or painting crown mold which is one of the more difficult trim items to brush nicely and have it look like it was sprayed or any fluted trim pieces. The filaments roll and move smoothly against themselves which eliminates binding often found with irregular filaments or certain blends of brushes with Chinex. The brush moves and responds instantly and accurately to your slightest movements.
|Micro Tip™ |
When you look at the Micro Tips, they look soft and smooth, so smooth they collectively look blurry when you look at them. It’s very different and unique. What Wooster has done here is by far the biggest advancements I’ve see made to a brush. The Alpha Series appears to be reengineered from the handle to the head and it’s impressive.
|What else to expect |
It’s obvious this brush will cut sharp and clean. In addition to massive hold capacity and micro tipping, the 3/4” portion of the taper and tipping is so unique - the Alpha should excel over medium to rough surfaces too. I’m not certain this was by design or simply a benefit of the Micro Tip process. You should expect to do longer runs regardless which brush loading method you use. Wooster suggests dipping and tapping the inside walls of the can to load a brush but I am not a big fan of that for more reasons than I care to mention here. I use this method. I would also expect better coverage with all paints due to how responsive the Alpha is over uneven surfaces such as casings with deep grooves or top edges of baseboards and I can see huge benefits on crown mold. Less loading, less screwing around with coverage and less traces the job was done with a brush.
|Also available: Wooster Alpha S 4235 3” (S) Semi-Oval and Wooster Alpha W 4234 3” (W) Wall, ALPHA™ THIN ANGLE SASH in 1/2” thickness among others.|
|Wooster Brush Alpha AS 4231 |
Length Out: 2 15/16”
Handle: Sealed Maple
Ferrule: Stainless Steel
(printed on the cover)
Smoothest paint flow, increased production. Micro Tip™ filaments for the finest finish. For all paints, easy to clean.
| Below is a clip without paint, 2 file options, same video. |
Right-Click and Choose Save as
See the Wooster Alpha 4231 in action.
|Wooster Alpha Hi-Res Wallpaper |
Size 3888x2592 px
Because this brush just came out, the review process will be posted soon. There comes a time when you’ve been painting so long that you don't necessarily need to put paint on a brush to know what to expect from one and I believe my expectations will be exceeded with the Alpha Series.
The Alpha made it to paint today and my first reaction was actually a series of reactions as expected from a brush of this build. From faster loading to faster cuts - the Alpha stayed sharp and maintained a solid straight wet edge for quite a distance before experiencing any skips or misses. The brush stayed true to the line even over uneven semi-rough surfaces thanks to the unique way the Alpha is fitted and tipped. I noticed the ability to keep a straighter line over wavy edges too such as areas where the casing is caulked to the wall on a poor caulk job or ceiling line edges where mudding was less than perfect.
I mentioned earlier the brush feels like a brush within a brush and it performed that way providing two very beneficial means of carrying and laying down the load. Because the center filaments are cut back from the outer-most filaments, the shorter inner most group of filaments carries the load while the outer group provides a means of making the sharp cut and laying it off, collectively working in unison to provide a smooth effortless cutting experience.
So do I like it so far? Absolutely, and I was quickly able to perform cuts quicker, easier and make longer runs vs. using the Benjamin Moore 651-25 brush of equal size due to Alpha’s thicker build and wider stance. Because the brush is thicker, less skill from my part is needed to keep it straight. The Alpha does not require any break-in period to perform great things straight out of the cover. As always, I pre-wet my brushes prior to painting. If you were to paint without masking tape, it’s at that point when you notice how effective your brush is.
The 2½" Angular Alpha performs with similar characteristics found with some 7/8" X 3” flat brushes — all the more evidence this brush isn't like its siblings. After spending more time with this brush, I believe it’s now, in our industry that true professional tools exist for our trade. The past few new brushes I’ve seen come into the market lately are major improvements. The Alpha truly makes me feel as if I own a quality professional tool of the trade. I'm not sure which makes me more giddy, this brushes bad-assness or the things I can do with it.
Be sure to read the Comments Section below the post.
How We Test Brushes
Real-field benchmarks. Real-field results
The following acrylic paints are used to test brush performance relative to our previous best results:
Sherwin Williams PROMAR 200 Flat
Sherwin Williams PROMAR 200 Low-Sheen Eg-Shel
Sherwin Williams ProClassic WaterBorne Interior Acrylic Semi-Gloss
Sherwin Williams Superpaint Exterior Satin
Glidden Ultra-Hide Flat 1210
Glidden EVERMORE Super Washable Flat
ICI Dulux Ultra Velvet Sheen 1201
ICI Dulux Ultra Low sheen eggshell 1410
ICI Dulux Ultra Semi-gloss 1407
ICI DULUX™ PROFESSIONAL Exterior 100% Acrylic Semi-Gloss Finish 2406
All testing is done freehand; no masking tape is ever used. Our current best brush results are obtained with the Benjamin Moore 651-25 and 654-30 where the (-25) in the model name and the (-30) represent the brush size. (25) 2.5” and (30) 3”.The brush types tested are 2 ½” (65mm) angular sash and a 3” (75mm) flat unless otherwise specifically requested. Each brush type is tested at a minimum rate of 1,000 linear feet – the equivalent of 142 casings 7’. (The Alpha is likely to supersede the 651-25) in future reviews based on initial test results.
Main areas tested are hold capacity, release, responsiveness, length of run, form, function, sharpness of cut, degree of sharpness, bend recovery and search for any other unknown characteristics or limitations of the brush. Primarily testing is done over new materials to best determine trace evidence if any.
Two types of tests are performed for each brush type; cutting and painting.
Our cutting tests for 3” flats are performed against door and window casings, cutting ceiling lines, cutting into wall corners, cutting walls to crownmold and baseboard. Our cutting tests for 2 ½” angular brushes are performed cutting walls against door and window casings and walls to baseboard.
Our painting tests for the 2 ½” angular brush are performed on 6 panel doors made from wood, Masonite and fiberglass. In addition, Andersen double-hung windows are painted. Trim pieces include, baseboard, casing, crownmolding, fluted trim and PVC brick mold casing. Tests are also performed to determine how well the brush can paint shoemolding as it sits between hardwood floors and cabinets where no paint can get on either surrounding surface. You would likely be forced into taping an area like this with most brushes on the market. A precision brush with good form will perform this task with ease.