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Adeptus Laziness
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614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I get a nice pretty sable brush, really tiny size for detailing, and after a few mere days of use the damned thing decides that every single hair has to stick out every which way...

...why? Why did it decide to annoy me like this? Was it something I did? Said? Is there anything I could do to get it back to a nice thin length beyond condemning it to be curse with dried paint for daring to commit this act of mutiny against my righteous cause?
 

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Sparta!
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1,438 Posts
It could be any number of things such as:
Mashing the tip when cleaning
Paint getting into the staple and drying
Using too much paint and not being able to remove all of it.

As a general guide I have found that I don't really need the tiny brushes for detail work - just use small amounts on the very tip of the brush (I think I usually paint with a 1/0 or something).

Not overloading the brush is really important - just dip the tip of the brush in and leave a good 2/3 of the bristles free of paint.

As for fixing it I don't know what you can do other than resign it to a drybrushing brush.
 

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Senior Member
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575 Posts
Well, for reshaping the tip of my brushes I usually dip them them in clear water and form the point back with my fingers. The adhesion of the water helps the brushes' hairs sticking closer together.
And occasionally (especially if water and fingering fail to align them all) I just take a small scissors and cut the odd hair if it's too much bend (I know this will in the long run kill the brush but in the meantime it just develops into an even finer detail brush :D )
 

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Senior Member
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815 Posts
Checkout where the fray starts. That may indicate where/if you still have paint in the brush. (Or if the tip has just been smashed.) You don't use it for any type of drybrushing I hope?

I'd reccomend getting a good paint cleaner/solvent and trying to clean it.
 

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Thread Killer!
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2,642 Posts
Usually you get splaying of the bristles when you get paint in the ferrule (the metal part that holds the bristles in). You can try laying the brush flat in a small amount of acrylic brush cleaner and see if you can dissolve any of it out but that is not very likely.

As for re-forming the tip - One thing you can try (and it may be too late) - they sell a brush soap in bar form. It works great for re-shaping and holding a nice tip. Usually when I am done with a painting project I will moisten the brush and drag it across the bar soap twirling the brush until it gets a nice point. It will dry and hold the tip. Next time you paint the water will re-activate the brush and you should be good to go...

I also agree that really small brushes aren't needed. If you get a good brush - the tip is usually sufficient to get the job done. I personally use a size 1, size 0, and size 000 (rarely). There are also other helpful brushes such as larger flat brushes and tank sized brushes... I wouldn't go smaller than 000 - the paint dries on the brush too quickly and you will spend longer painting the model for it. :)

Cheers,

-Mike
 

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Wher dat naked blue chik?
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1,646 Posts
For reshaping, just wash the brush thoroughly with water, then get a little bit of liquid soap on your fingers and pinch and pull (gently) on the bristles. The soap will stiffen and harden it straight. Then next time you go to paint, be sure to was the brush well before using. I no longer have problems with fraying brushes with this method.
 

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Suffer not the Unclean
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2,251 Posts
I swear by B&J's Brush Cleaner and Preserver. The stuff works magic. Should be available at any fine arts supply store (generally not as easy to find at 'craft' oriented suppliers.)
 

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Registered
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817 Posts
Saw a GW shop guy clean his brush and then stick it in his mouth, when he pulled it out the bristles were all formed into a nice point. He says the contents of your spit helps to keep them together. Not sure if i would do it though, don't like the look of my water :p
 

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Sparta!
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1,438 Posts
Haha, I do that all the time - didn't realise there was a scientific reason behind it.
 

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Thread Killer!
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2,642 Posts
Haha, I do that all the time - didn't realise there was a scientific reason behind it.
The only science behind it is your mouth putting pressure on the bristles and helping you form it. Your spit is wet and that is about all there is to it. ;) Sorry to say that your spit doesn't have any bristle straightening enzymes in it. 8X

Cheers,

-Mike
 
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