TOO IMPORTANT TO BE IGNORED
All professional pinstripers trim their brushes to achieve maximum performance. Without trimming the straggler hairs from the tipâ€”and sometimes hair from the bellyâ€”of a brush, you’ll experience unwanted â€œscratch linesâ€ and the inability to achieve a fine point, among other things. Chris Mack, of Mack Brush Company, agrees, but cautions that â€œcutting too much off the tip, a common mistake, will butcher the brush. And, although most every pro striper has his or her way of trimming a brush, the concept behind trimming the tip is basically the same.â€
I generally trim two parts of the brush: the tip and/or the belly, depending upon the performance I’m after.
Trimming To Achieve TighT corners
I trim the belly hairs to make the brush more user friendly in executing tight turns. Otherwise, a full belly of hair can get in the way. However, you’ll need all the belly hair for pulling long straight lines.
Before using a brand new brush, I strongly recommend that you remove the overextending or straggling hairs at the tip. Beginners tend to cut off too much, which ruins the brush. Over-cutting renders a blunt, and unwanted, tip. A sharp, pointed tip is what you’re after.
Often, new brushes come somewhat starched from the manufacturer. Mack Brush Company, for example, uses sugar water to preserve a brush’s hair during shipping. This treatment must be removed with paint thinner or mineral spirits before use. After dipping the brush into thinner, use a rag to further remove chemicals and excess moisture.
Next, re-dip the brush into thinner or brush oil, shape your brush hairs to a tip, and then trim those pesky protruding straggler hairs.