I have become a huge foam brush fan. This package contains foam brushed that simply perform well with very few to no tell-tale marks -- and NO BRUSH HAIRS. The best part of this package is the price. It's hard to find good foam brushes at 30 cents a piece.
We've purchased these applicators often. I paint, rinse and re-use the brushes multiple times with no issues. Occasionally the insert will need a dab of glue to secure it after multiple use and immersion. The foam is better quality than what is available locally, and at a huge savings.Absolutely no problems with oil or varnish application either. We would recommend them, a good product at a great price.
I used the brushes to apply gel stain and topcoat. They worked just fine. It is hard to tell in the package but there is a variety of sizes included. I would have preferred only the medium size but it was a great value.
I've used these mostly for putting food-safe varnish on turned mugs. The good: great price, smooth finish as a result. I can wrap the brush in plastic wrap or a plastic grocery bag, and it'll still be very useable when the coat is dry several hours later. I can get 3 or 4 coats out of it. The bad: there's a great selection, but I don't use the larger ones. If I was making furniture, the larger ones would probably be a lot more useful. Also, after a few coats, the foam begins to deteriorate and leaves a few fragments in the finish. Not actually a big deal, as I can either pick them out with tweezers while wet or wipe them with the edge of the foam brush. Overall, the good definitely outweighs the bad, and I'll buy them again.
These brushes are exactly what you pay for in a reasonable foam brush. The problem is that these are open cell foam and not closed cell foam. Closed cell foam is the best. Go to your local hardware store and buy one then compare. At .30 average price each, you will never get that price at the local store. I use these brushes for only one purpose. You will like the results. When finishing furniture or other wood project apply the stain, let dry, buff with steel wool, apply your first coat of polyurethane with a brush, and let dry. Now use a 3M SandBlaster between coats pad 320 grade and sand the surface to get a smooth finish. Remove the dust and apply the second coat with a good brush (I use a chip brush) that is right a cheap chip brush. Just after you apply this coat dip the foam brush in the polyurethane (only to a depth of 1/16 ), how stroke the surface in one direction to remove any foreign particles and bubbles. (If the foam brush becomes loaded with, polyurethane just remove it by stroking it on a clean scrap piece of wood.) This will also pick up any stray brush hairs and remove potential runs. When you stroke the surface do not apply a lot of pressure. Use just a very light touch. This last step gives a very smooth surface. I first started to use this technique when I purchased a kit boat from CLC. The only difference was that I rolled on a marine lacquer with a 1/8 closed cell roller than followed up with the closed cell foam brush. I have found that this technique works very well with polyurethane type finishes. I make and sell gun and fishing rod racks and my customers are amazed at the finish. Editor's note: I concur with your technique Robert. I actually began using the very same technique over 30 years ago with great success. The only thing I might add is that timing it critical to the technique. You have to do the following with the foam brush while the poly is still as 'wet' as possible. Wait too long and it can streak and you'll be looking at sanding down and adding another coat. This usually means applying to one surface plane of a project at a time. However, when one takes the patience to learn the technique, the results can be fantastic.
glue the foam onto the handle first- still a great deal
In my experience the foam nearly always detaches from the handle at some point.(I may be a bit aggressive). A little pre-emptive gluing seems to do the trick (with any good waterproof glue, though I like "Mr. Sticky's Octopus Glue", which is a kind of flexible epoxy.) I still discard them when I'm done, but it saves a lot of annoyance
I agree with the above comments about the floppyness of the brushes. I use these brushes for rough stuff that does not require a high quality finish, so it does not matter as much for me. On the other hand, I have been able to get two or three uses from the ones from the local hardware, but the price was much higher. And, I keep the handles, the plastic insert pulls out easily.
I may have received a different product from that discussed by the previous reviewer. The ones I received were generally adequate for cheap foam brushes. The wooden sticks stop at the bottom of the foam brush but, like some other brands, a plastic insert extends into the foam. I tore the foam off to look at it. I partly agree with negative review I read here. The one-inch brushes are too floppy. Unlike some other brands, they are as long as the 2" and 3" wide brushes (2-1/2"). The plastic inserts in the 1" brushes, however, only extend about 1.65" into the foam, leaving nearly an inch of unsupported foam at the tip. They flop. One star for them. The 2" and 3" brushes have (relatively) wider plastic inserts and they extend further into the foam. I think they are about as stiff as costlier foam brushes I have bought. Three to four stars (value included - sold at half price).I commend Rockler for publishing negative reviews of their products on their website. Five stars.
They all broke. Every brush had the foam pad detach within 10 minutes of use while applying thinned down poly. Also, the foam seemed to very easily pill and the little foam crumbs were left scattered throughout the finish. I used a foam brush by Wooster to do the same work and one brush lasted the entire project (8 hours in total) and no foam pieces in my finish. I will never buy these again - Waste of money!
These seemed to fall apart very easily, coming separated from the handles. I purchased another brand on Amazon that was far more durable (Leow Cornell). I understand that these are disposable, but they didn't last through a small project.
I was disappointed with the quality of these brushes. The foam cells are large, making the brush somewhat course. I prefer a denser small celled foam. Using them with gel stain, the glue holding the foam to the paddle came loose. I would not buy them again.
3" brushes break too easily. They break where the wooden handle meets the internal plastic support for the foam. At that point the plastic is only 3/16" in diameter, and the back-and-forth action when using the brush eventually breaks it. While applying a single coat of very fluid stain to four 2' x 3' raised panels, I went through 4 brushes! Really cheap.If you have already bought some of these, one way to reduce the breakage frequency, I've learned, is to hold the brush at the top of the foam part close to the handle, not by the wooden handle itself. You're likely to get paint/stain all over your fingers, but at least this will avoid the constant flexing and subsequent failures.