New York Times Makes It Official

The venerable New York Times has recently told us what we’ve known for years:  it is possible to compete with low-cost Chinese paint brush manufacturers and survive.  According to the Times story, U.S. brush makers have survived by adopting one of two strategies:  1) keep producing high quality paint brushes using time-tested methods or 2) innovate.

We’re sorry the Times  didn’t talk with us for the story because we believe it isn’t an either/or proposition.  We’re doing both - producing hand-made paint brushes using

Gold Medal

traditional methods (and yes, in some cases age-old equipment as the Times notes) and we are innovating.  For example, the new tapered polyester filaments appearing in high-end brushes were developed first in our factory.  Our Crest, Zenith and Bellringer brushes all contain the new filaments.  And our entire Parts Brush Division came from innovations we made in brush making.

In an ironic postscript to the story, we received an email from Australia at the same time we saw the Times story.  An Australian wrote to us to explain why he made the unusual effort to purchase paint brushes through our website at

“By the way, if you are wondering why I would be ordering these brushes all the way from the USA it's because I cannot find any quality brushes locally.  Not even any Australian online local paint supply shops have the same quality as I could find in USA shops.”

Considering that China is relatively close neighbor to Australia and a strong trading partner, we’re pleased to learn that when it comes to quality, we’re still ahead.

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Welcome to Paint Brush Corporation Online

Welcome to 1.0 - the first version of Paint Brush Corporation's web presence.  We've gone from NO website to one where you can learn about our company, our products and even buy paint brushes.  Thank you to OGO Sense, our web designers, and to Breaking Even Communications for guidance through the digital forest.  We made it!

But we're not finished.  Over the coming weeks we plan to add more content.  We'll be posting tips on how to choose the right paint brush and how to clean your brush and make it last.  We'd also like to post your comments, tips and success stories.  E-mail us your stories and photos and we'll add them to the blog.  We can even set up a forum if things get lively.  It's all up to you -- our customers and readers.

If you want to stay in touch, subscribe to the RSS feed on the blog page and sign up for our e-mail newsletter.  Don't worry, we won't bury you in SPAM.  We're too busy making brushes.


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Free Shipping on paint brush orders of $100 and over


Paint Brush Corporation has instituted a new shipping policy on its website  Paint brush orders of $100 or over will now be shipped for free.  The new policy reflects the growing trend among online stores to offer free shipping on higher value purchases.  The new policy takes place immediately.

“Most of the large purchases on our website are from painting contractors,” said Doug Johnson, Vice President of Paint Brush Corporation.  “We wanted a way to offer additional value to contractors making large purchases.  Free shipping is how we chose to do it.”

Shipping charges for orders under $100 will be two-tiered.  Orders up to $50 will be shipped for $6.95.  Orders between $50 and $100 will ship for $7.95.

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The art of mural painting

Luis De La Torre knows art.  Stroll through the virtual gallery on his elegantly designed website and you come away with a feeling of sheer talent – lots of it.


Mr. De La Torre is also generous.  He shares his talent with the students at Spry Community Links High School on the southwest side of Chicago, where he conducts painting workshops for students in the after school Art Club.  His latest project is a mural, painted by aspiring student artists.  Paint Brush Corporation was pleased to help with a donation of paint brushes for the student artists.

The school principal Francisco Borras approached Mr. De La Torre about painting a mural after seeing his work with the Art Club.  The idea was to give students education in painting techniques in a real world setting.


“I organize these projects so that the young Artists can take the initiative with developing and producing the murals,” wrote Mr. De La Torre in an email.  “I find the students start taking ownership of the project and begin to believe that they are capable of painting and creating Art. This practice has led to students not only getting real experience at making Art but they also begin excelling in their academics.”

Congratulations to Mr. De La Torre and the students working on the project who include , Ruby Ramirez, Guadalupe Garcia, Sylvia P. Munoz, Alfredo Aquilar, Efren Anaya, Ashley Andrande, Hugo Minon and Eduardo Ruiz.

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Parts Brush Division Returns to AAPEX

After a hiatus of several years, the Parts Brush Division of Paint Brush Corporation is returning to the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) show, November 1-3 in Las Vegas.  Come see our completely redesigned exhibit at Booth 1753.


The exhibit features Atlasta, our first parts cleaning brush introduced in 1952.  The exhibit also features Oriflo, our revolutionary flow-through parts cleaning brush.  Our entire line of parts cleaning brushes will be on display, including our ergonomic brushes, our parts cleaning brushes with shutoff valves and our unique, flat-head parts brushes for cleaning large surfaces.

Leslie R. Johnson, the new President of PBC, will be there to talk with you about all of your parts cleaning brush needs.  Mrs. Johnson, became President in 2008 upon the death of Douglas K. Rose, founder of Paint Brush Corporation and the inventor of the parts cleaning brush. 

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Community Paint-A-Thon

We are pleased once again this year to support the Community Paint-A-Thon sponsored by HandsOn Suburban Chicago .


For the past several years, Paint Brush Corporation has donated paint brushes to the Paint-A-Thon, which HandsOn describes as “a unique community partnership designed to paint the exterior of homes owned and occupied by persons with limited financial resources, who are at least 60 years of age or have a permanent disability making them unable to do the work themselves.” This year’s Paint-A-Thon is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, and covers 10 townships in the suburban Chicago area.

If you live in the Chicago area and want to participate, you can find out how on the HandsOn website.

Update:  Chicago-area painting contractors if you've volunteered for Paint-A-Thon let us know -- send us an email, and we will send you a free paint brush to use.  That's our way of thanking you for donating your time and skills.  (No seconds, we make only one grade . . . the very best.)

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Choosing the right brush for do-it-yourself painters


Confused about what brush to use on your next job. Then check out the article on our Website “Choosing the right brush.” The right brush can make all the difference in how your paint job will look when you are finished.

Want a smooth flawless look on those kitchen cabinets? Use a soft brush with fine bristles.  Painting trim or into corners? Use an angled brush. As we explain in the article, the rules are pretty simple.

So, before you start your next painting job, look over your brushes and pick the one that matches the job.  If you’re not sure, “Choosing the right brush” can help.

Note:  This blog post is the first in a new How To category on our blog.  From time to time we will be adding How To blog posts.  If you have suggestions or would like to contribute one, send us an email.

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How to clean your paint brush

How can you keep your brushes painting like new . . . for years?  Clean them properly.
Here are a few cleaning tips that will keep your brushes painting like new.

For water-based (latex) paint

Put enough warm water into a container to fully cover the brush bristles. Add a little liquid dish washing detergent.  Don't use too large a container as you will be refilling it with clean soapy water several times.


Dip and swirl the brush in the water working the soapy water into the bristles. Pour out the dirty water (see below for disposal recommendations) and replace with clean soapy water. Repeat until the brush is clean. Spin or flick the brush by hand or with a mechanical spinner to remove the water.  (You can buy mechanical spinners at most hardware stores.)

For oil-based paints

First, determine which solvent is right for the painting product you are using.  (The information can be found on the paint can.)  Rule of thumb: use mineral spirits or paint thinner for oil-based paints, stains and varnishes. Use alcohol for shellacs. Pour enough solvent into a container to fully cover the brush bristles. Don't use too large a container as you will be refilling it several times. Dip and swirl the brush in the solvent, working it into the bristles. Repeat the process with clean solvent until the bristles are clean. Spin or flick the brush by hand or with a mechanical spinner to remove the solvent.

After you've cleaned the brush


Once the brush is clean, we recommend combing the bristles to remove any dried paint and to reshape the brush. This will help to keep the heel of the brush from filling with hardened paint. Combing the brush is particularly important if you use a brush spinner as the bristles can become tangled. You can find brush combs at most hardware and paint stores. Our favorite is a comb we once bought to comb the loose hair out of our cat's fur.

After you have cleaned the brush, let it dry handing on a peg or nail. You can also place it on a flat surface. When the brush is dry, put the protective jacket back on brush. This will help to retain the proper shape.

What to do with the dirty water or solvent<

Pouring paint solvents and water/latex paint mixtures down the drain could damage your septic system and is prohibited by most municipal sewage authorities. Don't despair, there is a simple solution. Pour water-based cleaning solutions in a large container and set it where the water can evaporate. I use a plastic bucket. Once the water has evaporated, you can peel off the latex residue and dispose of it. Pour dirty paint thinner into a large (I use a one gallon plastic bottle) container and let the paint sediment settle. Once it has settled, you can decant the clean solvent and re-use it. Dispose of the solids when the bottle gets full.

Do's and Don'ts

· We recommend dedicating a brush to either water-based or solvent-based paints. Synthetic bristle brushes can be used for either application, but don't last or clean-up well if they alternate between water- and solvent-based applications.

· Always store your brush in the jacket that it came with.


· Don't let brushes stand in a solvent container. It will deform the brush.

· When cleaning a brush, don't jam the bristles into the bottom of the solvent container. That will force paint solids into the heel of the brush where they are difficult to remove.

If you have  a suggestion or tip for cleaning brushes, send us and e-mail and we'll try it out in our laboratory.  If it works, we'll pass it along.

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