The Must List: Miss Mustard Seed

by Chris on April 11, 2012

What can’t Marian do? She paints (beautifully), has fantastic photography skills, and can sew a slipcover like no one I’ve ever seen. Asking her to participate in this series was a no-brainer. She’s uber-talented, and I’m so happy to have her here!

Miss Mustard Seed

When Chris asked me to write about painting tools, I started putting together a list in my head and I realized it would be a crazy long post to cover all of the supplies I use for painting, so I decided to focus specifically on brushes. I have a bit of a brush fetish, so sorting through my collection and picking my favorites wasn’t easy, either! Some girls love shoes. I love brushes. Here are some of my favorite, most used brushes…

I must have a 2 1/2″ sash brush. I probably have about eight of them, because I buy them regularly…partly out of fear that I won’t have one when I need one. Mostly I have so many because I like to have at least one with a sharp edge and smooth bristles. I also like to have one with a longer handle and one with a short one, for tight spaces. I’ve used other brush sizes and shapes, but the 2 1/2″ sash is what I always go back to. If you can only have one brush, this is it.

Mustard Seed paint brushes

I also pick up a handful of chip brushes every time I walk past them in a store. I use these cheap brushes for tons of things…applying paint stripper, stain, wax and for dry brushing techniques. I wouldn’t use one of these when I want a super smooth paint finish, since there aren’t a lot of bristles and they aren’t very even. I like a thick, smooth brush that will hold lots of paint when I want a really smooth finish.

Mustard Seed Chip Brushes

I have a large collection of 1 – 1 1/2″ flat and sash brushes that are thin and smooth. These brushes are great for detail work, like cutting into really small areas. I also use them to apply glue and sizing to craft projects or for painting smaller pieces like lamps and accessories.

Mustard Seed small brushes

I have a few moppy paint brushes to use when applying paint to large areas that don’t require cutting in or for applying furniture wax. These guys hold a lot of paint and allow the paint to flow smoothly, and they beat a cloth when applying wax because they can get into carved details and turned legs. They also are easier to maneuver than a regular flat paint brush that only allows you to paint in two directions.

Miss Mustard Seed

Lastly, I always make sure I have a large, super soft brush in my collection. I use these to soften decorative finishes and buff gold and silver leaf.

Miss Mustard Seed paint brush

If you’re new to the wonderful world of brushes, I’m going to warn you…some of them can be very expensive. It depends on the material, the size of the brush and the quality. Here’s the thing about a high quality paint brush, though…it will last you a very long time and really will make a difference in your finished product.

I hope sharing a few of my favorite brushes gives you some inspiration to add a few new ones to your collection!




Kim @ Plumberry Pie April 11, 2012 at 8:02 am

Geez o petes, Chris! your guest line up is ridiculous and when I say ridiculous I mean impressive! But then again, you are one of the cream of the crop too, so it makes sense!!! :) Thanks for bringing us this wonderful line up of guests!! Happy Wednesday! Halfway to the weekend! Yay!

Desiree April 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

Loving the info and tips! Thank you ladies for sharing!

Claudine April 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thank you, Marian!
Brushes make me confused, but I almost “got it”!
I still don’t have the wide flat one since I am still a beginner and don’t do gold and silver leaf finishes.
I put this list on my cell phone and will refer to it next time I am at the hardware store!

Erika April 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

This is great! Thanks for sharing!

breida April 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Well, I always have a lot of questions swimming around in my head and this has answered a couple of them! Thanks for the tips, Marian. I used my “paint” brush for wax the other day – and now I’m thinking that it won’t be good for paint again. I washed it really well but it seems that it will remain just a little waxy. Do you keep separate brushes for waxing and painting or do you find that they can go back and forth?
breida with a b.

Heidi April 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I have 4 2 1/2 inch sash brushes and I love always having a clean, dry one when I need it. I plan on buying a few more too. But you’ve inspired me to get a smaller 1 1/2 inch brush on my next trip, thanks for the tips!! :)

Danielle April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Great post, Marian!

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