Battle of the Brushes: Purdy vs. Wooster
Does Brush Quality Really Matter?
Yes. Brush quality definitely matters. As a former Paint Department Manager, I feel responsible for recommending products that work as good as the company claims. If you’ve ever stood in front of the paint brush section trying to figure out which brush would be best for your application, it can be overwhelming. This article will explain the differences between brush styles, bristles and brush quality offered by the 2 best paint brush manufacturing companies; Purdy and Wooster.
Purdy Paint Brushes
Purdy paint brushes provide the highest quality a paint brush can offer. The company was founded in 1925 and had 5 employees. Founder, S. Desmond Purdy converted a 2 car garage in Portland, Oregon handcrafting the finest painting tools. One thing that’s very unique about Purdy Paint Brushes is that they’re all made by hand. In fact, each brush has a sticker with the name of the person that made it, which is something that no other company does. In addition, Purdy is a brand that both professionals and do-it-yourselfer’s like to use. Nonetheless, lets get into detail about their series of brushes.
Purdy’s XL Series is designed to be used with all types of paint and stain, and for interior/exterior purposes. The bristles are made of Nylon/Polyester and the firmness is Medium/Stiff. Most people prefer this straight cut brush because it distributes paint better, cuts a straighter line and is not one-directional.
The Chinex Series is designed for heavy bodied and low VOC paints. It is recommended for both latex and oil based paints as well as interior and exterior use. The bristles are made of “solid, round, and tapered (SRT) Chinex filaments that are stronger than hog bristle” and the firmness is Extra Stiff. Most people find this brush to be extremely durable and versatile because of the strength of the hair and it’s also very easy to clean.
Purdy Black China Bristle
The Black Bristle series is designed to be used with oil based paints and stains and is recommended for both interior and exterior purposes. The bristles are made of 100% natural black bristle and the firmness is Medium Stiff. The stiffness is the key to this brush. It allows you to push the oil paint, and spreading it more evenly rather than “pooling” the paint in one area.
The Clearcut Series is designed to be used with latex and oil based paints, and for both interior and exterior purposes. It is a fantastic brush to use when ‘cutting in’. The bristles are made of Tynex Nylon and Orel Polyester and the firmness is stiff. This brush lays the paint so smoothly that you exert much less effort, thus eliminating hand/wrist fatigue.
Purdy White Bristle
The White Bristle series is designed to be used with oil based paints, stains and clear coats such as shellac, varnish, lacquer and polyurethane. It is recommended for both interior and exterior applications. The Bristles are made of 100% natural white bristle and the firmness is Soft.
The Pro-Extra Series is designed to be used with latex and oil based paints and is recommended for both interior and exterior purposes. This brush holds more paint than any other brush making it the ideal brush for abrasive surfaces and heavier bodied paints. The bristles are made of Tynex, Chinex and Orel filaments and the firmness is Stiff.
The Nylox Series is designed to be used with latex based paints and interior use only. The bristles are made of 100% Dyed Nylon and the firmness is Soft.
The Syntox series is designed to be used with all stains and clear coats that are either water based or oil based. It is recommended for interior purposes only. The bristles are made of Nylon/Chinex and the firmness is Extra Soft.
Purdy Ox Hair
The Ox Hair Series is designed to be used with oil based paints, stains and clear coats. It is recommended for interior purposes only. The bristles are made of White Bristle Ox Hair and the firmness is Extra Soft.
Purdy Chinex Elite
Chinex Elite holds more paint with a smooth release. Chinex Elite works best with heavy bodies, low VOC paints. It’s extra stiff and features Dupont Chinex filaments for greater durability. This is a great option when painting rough surfaces.
Wooster Paint Brushes
Wooster was founded in 1851 and they’re one of the oldest manufactures of paint applicators in the United States. Founder Adam Foss produced his brushes in a small two-story building and sold the brushes going door to door. Wooster invented the “angle sash” brush style, and they were the first to use nylon filaments to create brushes that performed in latex paints. They now produce more than 2,000 products and employee 650 people.
The Alpha Series is designed to hold more paint at the end of the brush. It evenly releases paint to the surface, creating less effort for the user. This brush is great to use for ‘cutting in’ and the brush is for use with both latex and oil based paints and it has a firm bristles.
Black China Bristle
Black China Bristle should be used for oil based paints, enamels, and primers. Firm yet flexible bristles that don’t show brush marks. Black china bristles have thicker hair, thus it’s able to hold more paint. It performs best in exterior applications.
White China Bristle
The White China Bristle Series is designed for use with all oil-based paints, stains, polyurethanes, enamels and varnishes. It works best for fine finishes and interior purposes. Air on the side of caution when it comes to inexpensive white china bristle brushes… they tend to fall apart easily, leaving bristles behind.
The Silver Tip series is made with a soft blend of white and silver polyester that nearly eliminates brush marks entirely. The bristles are thin, flexible and provide exceptional leveling and smoothing.
The Chinex FTP series is designed for cleanability and durability. The bristles are stiff with a fuller and softer tip for cleaner edges and increased paint release. This brush is very durable and is made for use with both latex and oil based paints.
Wooster Ultra Pro/Soft
The Ultra/Pro series consists of 3 different types of firmness: Ultra Pro Soft, Ultra Pro Firm and Ultra Pro Extra Firm.
Ultra Pro Soft is made of 100% Purple Nylon Bristles. It’s ideal for clear coats, stains, low viscosity and fast drying paints. It creates a smooth mirror like finish. It performs best indoors with low humidity and cool temperatures.
Wooster Ultra Pro/Firm
Ultra Pro Firm is made of a Purple Nylon & Sable Polyester blend. This is an all-purpose brush for use with medium weight coatings such as acrylics, latex and enamels. Recommended for both indoor and outdoor purposes.
Wooster Ultra Pro/ Extra Firm
Ultra Pro Extra Firm is made of a Purple Nylon Plus & Purple and Black Nylon blend. This brush is made for use with both latex and oil based paints and excels during exterior use. This brush carries more paint and is perfect for thick coatings like exterior paints or low VOCs, and fast drying paints and primers.
Let me know what you think.
This is a great post, thank you! Going to try the Wooster Alpha or Silver Tip first.