New brush breaking in

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by macaronus, May 6, 2012.

  1. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    I last remembered that a house painter I knew used to break in his brushes by brushing it for a while on a piece of sandpaper. That way he got rid of loose hairs and he softened the hair ends as well, so he had better results when painting.

    Does anyone know of similar techniques to break in a new shaving brush?
  2. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    I've not heard of it. At least, it's never been mentioned (that I know of) over at B&B. I would think the sandpaper would damage the hairs.
    macaronus likes this.
  3. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Yeah, I fear as much. A paint brush is of course something entirely different form a shaving brush. I was just wondering.
  4. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    IMHO, the best way to soften up a shave brush is to just use it... whether with "practice lathers" or with just normal face use. Maybe a borax / cleaning soak too.
    macaronus and Slipperyjoe like this.
  5. mondoj

    mondoj Member

    Maybe he used cheap brushes
  6. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Take the brush and give it a short soak in water and load with soap. At that point, take the brush and rub it across your arm or your hand. Do this a few times each day for about a week and it should be broken in enough to use on your face without grinding your face for that break in period.
    Slipperyjoe likes this.
  7. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I'm with Richard - Just Use It.
    macaronus likes this.
  8. Sodapopjones

    Sodapopjones Well-Known Member

    I cringe at the thoughts of breaking in a badger brush with sandpaper yikes lol....
    GDCarrington likes this.
  9. Blobster

    Blobster Member

    I cringe at the thought of doing that to a paint brush, let alone a shaving brush. How would doing that get rid of loose hairs? If anything it would create even more. I've known plenty of highly experienced painters and nobody ever did that.
  10. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

    My grandfather was a old style barber. I learned at a young age to break his shave brushes in was to. First soak in hot water, then apply shampoo to the brush and lather it along my arm and hand. Rinse the brush off and repeat this another five or six times. Then let it air dry. I still do this, till this day to my brushes I need to break in. It has always worked getting rid of the shedding hairs and softening the brush up to get shave ready. I have never had any problems from doing this. Anyone else try this method?
  11. Hanzo

    Hanzo Well-Known Member

    That sounds really true, sounds like barber tricks for breaking in their boar brushes. I read about Italian barbers soaking new boars in water for a day and I tried similar and it seemed to help breaking in. What I do additionally is just take a surplus soap puck and work the boar brush over the soap puck hundreds of times making lather. I then repeat until I feel the brush breaking in. Both things seemed to speed up the brush breaking in.
    macaronus, GDCarrington and Zilla like this.
  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    High quality paint brushes used to be made of horse hair (and still are, just harder to find these days) I've used the sandpaper trick before ON HORSE HAIR PAINTBRUSHES and it removes loose hairs, softens the tips and evens out the brush. I learned that technique from an old painter who told me his dad taught him that when he was young. Modern nylon paintbrushes already have frayed tips and don't require the break-in sandpaper procedure. I could and would use this technique on any new horse hair shaving brushes I happen to acquire in the future.

    For new badger or boar shave brushes or salvageable vintage brushes; I saturate the brush with warm water for a few minutes to let the hairs get flexible, then I massage hair conditioner into the brush. I rinse it out and then saturate the brush with hair conditioner and let it sit for 30 min. then I rinse it again. I do some practice lathers to test it. 9 times out of ten it's ready to shave. If it's not, it gets the "let it sit overnight soaked in hair conditioner treatment." viola! break-in period over.
    mylesc1234 and macaronus like this.

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