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Brushmate vapour box brush keeper for oil paint brushes

I used to use a 20-brush Brushmate vapour box to keep all my oil paint brushes in tip top condition. Over time though I have migrated over to the Trade 4 which are more useful for kitchen painting, especially.

Every painter and his dog had one at one time or another, but I have heard less about them recently. Is that because they are such old news, it is standard kit, whats left to talk about, or are they less used especially since the 2010 changes in oil paint formulations?

(I have myself experienced the occasional “curly tip syndrome” with 1.5" Wooster Alphas. Not every brush does it, so not sure what thats all about!)

And on a forum or two I have seen references still to keeping oil brushes in water because of “issues” with Brushmates.

I think the Trade 4 is a cracking little storage box for DIY who are using oil eggshell and Coverstain primer on their furniture and kitchens, just wondering if that is still best advice?

These are the Brushmate products I am talking about.

I have had my brushmate 20 for many a good year, one of the first ones to come out with the plain galvanised steel lid. In fact I liked it so much I got a second one for my outside brushes and odd colour brushes.

I have to say it saves a lot of time and effort in cleaning brushes and as long as you top up the fluid they will say fine for months if not years.

They are not overly cheap to buy but when you think back to before them, when we use to stick our best brushes into an old 2.5lt tin full of water and every morning having to shake off the water and work the brush back into the paint you soon realise its money well spent.

One thing to remember is when working outside always keep your box in the shade or just leave it in the van, as if left in direct sunlight the fluid level drops very fast.

The fluid isn’t cheap so remember to keep the lid on at all times.

I did try the trade 4 but found it a bit top heavy and it spent most of the time falling over in the van (that could have been down to my driving and not a fault with the box) so I gave it away to a customer who thought it was fantastic.

So all in all I think they are a wonderful invention and would highly recommend them.

Only thing i would add to the above, is try and work as much paint out of the brush as you can before putting it in the brushmate , if left in for any length of time they do tend to drip and eventually clog the wick in the base of the box.

Definitely a great piece of kit for any professional or serious diy,er.

I’ve got a couple of brush 4’s one for whites and one for colours which always end up black. I buy the bottles of fluid for the 20’s and soak the pads with a couple of capfuls every 2 weeks or so,It’s much cheaper than than buying the pads!

That’s a good tip using the fluid with the Brush 4’s Mark! I only use Brush Mates in the summer for exteriors, and I usually clean the brushes out quite a bit before storing in them.