First of all, I hope I’m not getting anyone in trouble by writing this! I picked up one of ProDec’s new Ice Fusion brushes at the P&D show in November, and as they’re only just going on the market now, I worry that maybe I wasn’t supposed to have one! I enjoy the P&D show – I’m a firm believer that you should never stop learning, so I go every year to see what’s new on the market, and try to pick up some hints and tips from other pros and manufacturers.
You can now buy these brushes online. Click here to see latest prices.
However, last year I was on a bit of a mission. Like them or loathe them, water-based trim paints seem to be here to stay. My attitude now is that I know what I like, but I’ll explain the pros and cons of oil vs water to the client, and if they want water-based, I’ll use it. But my question – and my mission at the P&D Show – was “What’s the best brush to use with these new paints?” Paint technology is moving on, but is brush technology keeping pace, and if so, what’s the brush that’s best suited to the modern water-based trim paints? So I spent a day talking to all the brush manufacturers, picking their brains, and trying to scrounge a few samples.
I had an interesting range of answers, and picked up three of four brushes to try out, but the one that intrigued me the most was ProDec’s new Ice Fusion brush. Partly because I’d tried the Ice Fusion roller and quite liked it (although obviously brush technology and roller technology are completely different), and partly because the guy on the stand really seemed to know his stuff and was quite happy spending a long time explaining why this new brush is different to other brushes on the market.
So I got home, and over December-January tried out my samples. The others I used once – they were fine, but nothing special or different. This one I now use every time I use water-based trim paint. It really did feel different.
So what’s so good about it? Apparently (if my memory serves me well!) it’s to do with the shape of the filaments. They’re slightly narrower at the tip and thicker near the base, tapering gradually, meaning there’s more gap between the filaments so more room for paint. OK, so it holds a lot of paint, which is a good thing, but it seems to release it really evenly.
So rather than having a lot of paint at one place and then having to work it out across the surface being painted, the ProDec Ive Fusion distributes the paint over a surprisingly large amount of skirting (for example) in one stroke. To me this is a great plus – working time with these water based paints is limited, so anything that means you can get a lot of paint spread over a big area quickly is a good thing! But that’s not all – of all the brushes I’ve used with water-based trim paints, this one leaves the fewest brush marks, which again is a big win; I may never get as good a finish as I would with oil-based, but anything that helps is a good thing!
Finally, as I was quizzing the guy on the ProDec stand I remember asking him this: if the filaments are tapered so that the brush holds more paint, surely it’s going to clog up quicker, and so gradually lose its shape and become no good? He actually said it was the opposite that was true – it releases paint better, and washes out better. I must admit I was cynical about this, but it’s true. I’ve used this brush on every water-based trim project I’ve done this year (so let’s say 6 months worth), and it’s still in great shape. Sure, water-based dries out and begins to clog during the day – so I just wash the brush out and carry on. Then wash it out again at the end of the day, and start again with it the next morning. You can see from the attached photos that it’s had a fair amount of use, but it’s still in great shape and feels like new.
I’ve got to say, like many people of my generation, I’m happier using oil-based, but if the future is water-based, then I’m a lot happier about that with this brush in my van! Seriously, I won’t use another brush for water-based trim paints now – I love this brush! Click here to see online prices.
Review of ProDec Ice Fusion Brush – by Robin Gofton
I have been testing the ProDec Ice Fusion paintbrush now for the past 4 weeks. The brush has only been used with water-based satin and gloss on doors, windows and trim. I thought I’d give you my honest ProDec Ice Fusion paintbrush review.
These brushes are widely available online, and from all good trade paint outlets in 3, 2 or 1 inch. They’re very reasonably priced which is another bonus.
After each day the brush was washed out ready for the next day. In the past with my previous brushes, I had noticed that I would need to wash them about lunch time as all the paint seem to build up at the top of the ferrule and clog up around the base of the heel. Or the brush bristles would clog and twist. Or if this never happened and after a few washes the brush would lose it shape completely. It can be difficult painting with water-based gloss, and there aren’t many brushes that can stand up over prolonged periods.
During use on a warm week painting 20 internal doors I noticed that the Ice Fusion brush held up well no twisting no drying up at the heel. On day 2 applying the 2nd coat I left the brush on top off the paint kettle a lot more to give the brush a tougher test and still no build up.
The brush really did preform very well. The brush holds paint well with an excellent flow rate. Laying off with this brush almost eliminates brush marks too although I know that is down to good water-based paint, but these brushes did help.
Washing the brush was also easy as the paint just flows away makes it easier to clean up after a good spin and comb the brush springs back into shape. Popping it back into its plastic sleeve really helps unlike the paper ones from other brands that get torn and soggy after use. After 28 days of continuous use and washed daily I think you will agree by the photo that the brush looks well. I would recommend this brush for water-based paints and will definitely be purchasing some more.
Finally gave the Ice Fusion a run out and I’ve got to say it performed brilliantly throughout 👍.
3 storey hallway, painting over fresh Wallrock and it only lost one single bristle, pretty good for a brand new brush.
Bristles stayed soft and in shape all the way meaning it felt the same to use at 4pm as it did at 8am.
Handle is a good chunky size for my hands, and it cleaned out lovely afterwards, keeping its shape nicely. The smooth ferrule was a bit of a treat at clean out time too.
These are great for water-based paints!!
I guess it’ll all depend on the price at release, but on performance alone I’d highly recommend…..
You can buy the Ice Fusion brush from loads of different stockists. I tend to buy most of my stuff online, or Crown Decorating Centre.