View Full Version : You get what you pay for.....

Ken Fitzgerald
09-13-2014, 10:49 PM
I last painted my home in 2003.

The disease that cost me my hearing affects the inner ear so I can have balance issues. Thus I was all set to pay to have my home painted. It really didn't need it but I don't believe in waiting until it gets too bad. One of our neighbors is a professional painter. He is semi-retired, cherry picks painting limiting himself to new construction. He also has a finishing room and does a lot of finishing for local cabinet shops. My wife was returning a dish to his wife and asked him to recommend someone to paint our home. He said "Why don't Ken and I do it? I'll paint the high stuff and he can get the lower surfaces."

Thus I got elected into painting our home one last time. At my age, with the problems with both knees, my right hip and my back, I won't be doing it again.

He had me charge the paint to his account so we got the "Pro" discount at the local Sherman-Williams store and we bought their best exterior paint. He finished the "high" surfaces and trim last week and I have been working on my portion. Between family obligations, my wife's cataract surgery and weather, today I finally painted the 1st coat on the last wall on our home. The shop, carport and attached shed are all done with 2 coats. I like to pad paint on the lap cedar siding and have also been using a cheap paint brush for those areas where a pad wouldn't fit. I wasn't impressed with this "noname" brush.

This evening after getting the 1st coat on the last wall of the house, I decided to start painting the trim around the doors of the shop. I broke out my 11 year old Purdy brush and began cutting in where the lap siding meets the door casing. What a pleasure to use a brush that will accurately and repeatedly flow paint in a straight line.

I'm sure a lot of people will disagree but it sure seems you get what you pay for........

Phil Thien
09-13-2014, 11:12 PM
Many times I have not gotten what I've paid for.

But rarely have I gotten what I didn't pay for.

Bruce Page
09-14-2014, 12:32 AM
So that's why you've been so quiet!
I don't attempt to do that kind of work anymore, I figure that's what contractors and sons are for. Lord knows I paid my dues with my mom & dad. So far the son & son in law have had it pretty easy but their time is coming!

Moses Yoder
09-14-2014, 4:54 AM
Back in the day they didn't make really cheap brushes but my dad always bought the cheapest brush, used it a few times and didn't know how to really clean it so after a couple uses it was shot.

I have been stripping a dinette table this summer and using a cheap brush for the stripper. One time I was going to work some more and left the brush out with stripper and then something happened, I never went back out in the shop. Came back several days later to a brush that was a hard chunk. I looked through my brushes and most of them are Purdy, I had one Wooster, so I have been using a Wooster brush to apply stripper ;)

Larry Frank
09-14-2014, 11:53 AM
I have a couple of the Purdy paint brushes and use them for the trimming. I agree completely that for the trim and cutting in there is nothing better than a good paint brush or in some cases some green painting tape.

Ken Fitzgerald
09-14-2014, 12:21 PM

The first brush I was using was a cheap brush I bought at a local Ace hardware for a one-time, spur of the moment job. After I was done, I cleaned it and hung it in the shed where I store my painting supplies. I will buy a cheap brush for a small, unimportant job.

But for important painting like cutting in "musket brown" trim against "dusk" grey siding, it's hard to beat a good brush. I do use a small amount of green painters tape in places like where the trim meets the concrete at the bottom of a door, etc.

Shawn Pixley
09-14-2014, 12:43 PM
I think that there are often times when you get what you paid for. When I was thirteen, I got a job turning over apartments on weekends. We would clean and paint an apartment or two over the weekend between tenants. I got very good at painting and paticularly edging / cutting in. We used a real good quality brushes (2-1/2" or 3" straight natural bristle) and cleaned them well at the end of the day. The brushes would last well and there would be a minumum of touch-up. I never mask and can still cut in edges well. I did learn however that there was no way I wanted to be a painter for the rest of my life.

Today, I still paint all the interior rooms but let others go up the 35' ladders on the exterior. My house paint brushes I use today I bought 24 years ago (I painted rooms after work when my son was a baby). They were expensive brushes then (in a relative sense). They are all going strong today. If you clean them well and care for them properly, a good brush will flow paint well and last a long time. Cheap brushes however are awful. Periodically, SWMBO will buy a cheap brush and then curse it for the project. I do buy cheap brushes for epoxy paint/finish and dispose of them at the end of the project.

Mike Hollingsworth
09-14-2014, 1:25 PM
I buy mine on eBay with cosmetic imperfections. half dozen 2.5 inch goes for $35 shipped. Wooster, Purdy, couple others.
Just can't pay $15 for a brush.

David Weaver
09-14-2014, 2:27 PM
I grew up in a house where we always bought the cheapest tool, except for a couple of things (yard equipment mostly, because we had a big yard with a lot of trees and demanded a lot of the yard equipment - strangely enough, my father still has both tractors he's bought since getting out of college - a 1975 and a 1989 - and has never bought others, but he can't apply the rationale to anything else).

We always had the cheapest brushes and rollers, but my parents did a decent job otherwise painting the house, it just has big brush mark in it. My parents are well off now, but they can't resist trying to do this. We never moved up from bottom of the barrel tools unless they were so bad they didn't work. My dad also is not especially good at taking care of things, so his tools gradually become unusable until they need to be thrown away or hoarded "in case they could be used for something".

Fast forward to my marriage, and my FIL is the other way - he buys good quality stuff and never fails to spend extreme amounts of time caring for his tools. He couldn't remember what type of brushes he's gotten, but over the years, he's managed to wear the bristles shorter on purdy brushes ( I looked in his bin ). I watched a video online when I bought my first house, on cutting in. Bought a half dozen purdy brushes and still have all of them in good shape. They make painting tolerable, and you can do a good job on most of the areas just cutting in. Between sherwin williams (when I can get a discount from the local contractors) and the borgs, I've gotten every type of brush I could use. I sure like the sherwin williams paint better, too (my parents would never buy that, either).

Ken Fitzgerald
09-14-2014, 2:42 PM

As a kid and later when we first got married, we couldn't afford the better paints. We bought and used what we could afford. When my father died, I was in the US Navy and my Mom had to move to a smaller, older home that she could afford. While home on leave she asked me to paint this new house. She bought the paint she could afford at one of the "marts". It wouldn't cover the hideous purples paint on the walls of the home. I took it back and bought a better grade of paint that did cover the hideous colors on the walls of the house she was renting.

I try to buy the best quality I can afford and justify. Sometimes a one time use doesn't justify a big expense. Sometimes it does.

Phil Thien
09-14-2014, 5:24 PM
Okay, I'll admit that my go-to brushes are $2 angled sash brushes I buy at Hobo. I use primarily water-based paint. I hit them with water before I start painting, and I clean them with water and a stainless steel brush. They last quite a long time, and I feel like I get a good value.

I actually do not like Purdy brushes. They aren't stiff enough for my liking.

John Coloccia
09-14-2014, 5:45 PM
I'm sure a lot of people will disagree but it sure seems you get what you pay for........


I just stripped and refinished my deck. The last "pros" that did it did an awful job. I ended up have to do a LOT of sanding to fix years of prior sins. I needed to get in between a lot of bits and pieces. I figured I'd just go to Harbor Freight and buy their cheap multi-tool sander thingy. I rarely ever do anything like that, but I figured that for $20, if I get an hour's worth of use out of it, I got my money's worth and I'd just toss it after the project.

I used it for 5 minutes. It ran so hot that it MELTED the plastic sanding pad. I returned it the next day and bought a Fein. What a difference, and worth every penny.

I guess I just need to be reminded of this ever few years.

Then again, I once bought a $5 rivet puller from HF because I literally needed it to work for just 2 rivets. I had to grind down the nose to get into a tight spot, and I figured I'd just throw it out after those 2 rivets. That stupid rivet puller is still going strong. I have a much nicer puller, but back when I was building the airplane I thought that I'd just keep using it until it broke. Why wear out the good puller for no reason, right? It never broke. So you never know, I guess.

Kent A Bathurst
09-14-2014, 6:28 PM
The adage "you get what you pay for" never rang more true for me than it did when I went for the big-bucks varnishing brushes, as suggested by Obi-Wan Holmes. I still had to master the technique, but at least it was all down to pilot error, not lousy equipment. But - it was dead-simple after that.

I will never have a similar experience with house painting - neither inside nor out. Some kind of allergic reaction, or religious conviction, I guess.

Bert Kemp
09-14-2014, 7:26 PM
Well I guess I'll throw in my 2 cents worth also. I think I mentioned in a thread someplace that I rebuilt my GF's deck this summer , well that included painting it and the walls and trim of the house also. She went to wally world and bought a 6 pack of those cheap nylon brushes. Well hey for slapping stain on the deck and railings they were ok but when It came time for the trim around the windows and doors I jumped on the bike and went to Sherwin Williams and got a decent brush. It does make all the difference in the world.
My Gran daddy always said you get what you pay for, he always bought craftsmen tools and when he passed away I inherited all his tools. There were many sockets that were stripped out some worn out wrench and stuff. I took them all to sears and they replaced them all no questions asked and I still buy craftsmen today. My best friend likes to buy dirt devil vacuums he's gone thru about 5 of them in the past 10 years, so for $200 he gets about 2 years, I bought an electolux 17 years ago and its still sucks:) so again you get what you pay for.

Raymond Fries
09-14-2014, 9:18 PM
I agree with you Ken! Purely makes excellent brushes. I started cheap years ago. After my first Purdy purchase, I never looked back. I had three and loaned them out. Well you know what happened...

I replaced the 3" this summer when I did some exterior painting. Will replace the other two next time I have the need.

Oh yeah - gonna try to keep the paint off the handles this time around. LOL

Jim Becker
09-15-2014, 10:01 AM
One of the first rules of painting, even when it's exterior that folks don't generally look at up close...is to use good equipment. The paint goes on better, smoother, more evenly. And in the scope of things, that "good" brush, even if you inadvertently ruin it for some reason, is a small price compared to the high quality paint you (bravo!) chose to use. I don't even bother to buy "cheap" brushes anymore...the good ones are actually less expensive in the long run.

Matt Meiser
09-15-2014, 10:48 AM
I just payed a friend who's a contractor to paint the entire inside of my house. He's not a painter, but does a lot of painting and did a WAY better job than I could have. He did a bunch of other stuff for us too so it worked out well to have him do everything instead of trying to coordinate another contractor. Money well spent.

We bought our paint as SW too. The local store suggested we buy a couple cases of untinted base during their 35% off sale. If we needed more mixed, bring it in to be tinted free of charge, then bring back whatever was unopened. That worked out great.

Ole Anderson
09-16-2014, 7:45 AM
I have a friend (now deceased) that was a pro painter. He always used SW brushes and turned me onto them. Great for cutting in on interior paints. However, I found myself having to re-stain my home's exterior after a hailstorm meant a new roof. A new roof meant me finally replacing all of the fascia boards and many sub-fascia boards and soffit RS ply due to rot before the roofers arrived. Home is mostly brick with RS cedar trim, T-111 accents and RS fir soffits. So, although I just stained it 4 years ago, I just stained it again, finished yesterday. Last time I used SW solid latex stain. So I sent my wife to SW (something I rarely do) to pick up a matching gallon to augment the 2/3 gallon I had left from last time. Over $60! It didn't really hold up well on surfaces exposed to the sun for just 4 years. So when I needed more, I took a chip to HD and got 3 more gallons of the Behr solid stain, at $25 per gallon with their Labor Day sale. Then I noticed that when I stained my deck railing spindles 8 years ago with Behr solid stain, it was holding up much better than the SW stain on the house, so I felt better about going cheap. I should have known as when painting I always use Behr products.

And I bought a few compact 99 cent 2 inch chip brushes intending to throw them away after sealing the ends of the freshly cut composite fascia boards. Frankly they worked so well, I preferred them to using my good SW brush on the RS wood. The flat surfaces I rolled. This is where I learned something new: I bought a small diameter 6" long roller with a quality long nap (not foam) cover. Man, that thing rocks for anything other than large interior walls and ceilings. I got at least 8 cleanings out of that little roller cover and it was great for 6" fascia boards and 12" and 24" soffits, working overhead. Another worthwhile purchase: a ladder stabilizer for my 20' extension ladder.

Matt Meiser
09-16-2014, 8:39 AM
99 cent 2 inch chip brushes

Whoa...bought the high dollar ones, eh? :D Two words: Harbor Freight.

Phil Thien
09-16-2014, 9:45 AM
Whoa...bought the high dollar ones, eh? :D Two words: Harbor Freight.

No the Harbor Freight brushes suffer two problems: The red "pigment" in the plastic handles wears off on your hands (and anything else they touch), and the bristles are terrible (you get 2-3 cleanings and then garbage).

The inexpensive brushes at places like Home Depot really aren't bad. As I said above, the brushes I buy at Hobo for $2 last a long time, and the bristles are stiffer for fuller-bodied paints (some of the new BM and SW paints are like spreading mayonnaise).

I'm not a big Purdy fan, but I do like Wooster brushes quite a bit. Especially the "Shorty" brushes. They're a little stiffer.

But one thing I've learned is not to equate price with quality. It is often an indicator, but just as often not.

And I also agree with Ole that the 6" rollers are dynamite, although I even use them for painting ceilings and wall inside. I wouldn't use them for a large room, but for a hallway or small bedroom, I like them just fine.

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 9:58 AM
I've heard what Ole says about SW paints, and one thing I learned going there (that I'm sure is obvious to everyone) is that if you go there without a contractor discount or a sale offer, you get nailed. You're a target for them, in my opinion.

I used behr until this last time using SW (stain issue notwithstanding), my contractor gave me paint colors to match windows that were put in on a room conversion in my house and SW was about $45 a gallon for the paint and primer (with discount), but as the contractor said, the primer he suggested could be sanded in an hour, and I could have the primer and first coat of paint on as quickly as I wanted and do the second not long after and the coverage would be good. I can see why contractors like it.

My door on the inside was covered by SW in two coats, completely. I didn't have exterior paint so I got HD to color match with behr on exterior paint, and it took 5 coats to get decent coverage and it never laid out as well. Something that sticks in my mind is the comment I saw on a pro painters forum is that with the high build SW paints, you put it on and that's it. If you go back and try to work the paint, you'll get in trouble.

I've used behr for interior until this room and always lamented how if it gets an appreciable amount on tape, it remains somewhat pliable and tears where the tape comes off. The SW didn't do that. My FIL likes the behr because of the price and doesn't mind putting on a lot of thin coats (watching him paint, he really likes to work the paint a lot), but I think I'll switch to SW from now on as long as I can find a sale deal.

Matt Meiser
09-16-2014, 10:09 AM
No the Harbor Freight brushes suffer two problems: The red "pigment" in the plastic handles wears off on your hands (and anything else they touch), and the bristles are terrible (you get 2-3 cleanings and then garbage).

I buy the wood handled ones. And I NEVER wash one. Strictly a disposable brush for utility purposes.


David Weaver
09-16-2014, 10:32 AM
I buy the wood handled ones. And I NEVER wash one. Strictly a disposable brush for utility purposes.


"Krause and Becker" brand (someone must've been thinking black and decker when they came up with that fake brand name).

Mel Fulks
09-16-2014, 11:11 AM
Yeah Matt,I just toss most of the HF brushes ,but not the 1" shaving brush size which seems to improve with age.

Jim Becker
09-16-2014, 2:53 PM
As an aside, Sherwin Williams offers a discount program for just about anyone including some very attractive special offers. Never pay retail! ;)

Ed Aumiller
09-22-2014, 9:13 PM
When you go to Sherwin Williams, set up a charge account with them.... charge your paint on it and pay the invoice when you get it in mail... That way you get contractors price all the time.... NOT a charge card... a charge account...

A few years ago, bought the best paint Lowes sold... "1 coat covers all"... color was antique white going on antique white... when it was apparent that it did NOT cover on one coat, took it back (and they would not refund price, just wanted to give me enough to paint it again).... finally got credit in the paint dept was all they would do as I did not intend to put another coat of their paint on it....

Went back to SW and there 400 series does just that... one coat is enough....
Only thing we use now...

Rich Riddle
09-23-2014, 11:10 AM
Being a cheap-minded person, I am not a fan of this thread title. It's mostly right, but still wish it wasn't.