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  • Lucas ProTools – Making your mark

    Fashions change in all walks of life and interior decor is no exception. The term ‘retro’ is part of a designer’s everyday language, and it seems that paint or – more importantly – its application, is learning lessons from times gone by. Cath Rolphins explains.

    From the days of the caveman, the idea of adorning blanks walls with coloured liquid has proven to be popular. We will never be absolutely sure if the cave paintings were an attempt to record history or to decorate an otherwise drab interior, but the evidence suggests that painted walls are becoming increasingly popular again, and the brush application is also witnessing a resurgence.

    For many years the roller has been the first choice tool for painting a wall, primarily because of speed of application. However, the traditional brush application brings with it a slight lack of uniformity which highlights the individuality of the work – something that many architects are calling for in their specifications.

    What may be surprising to many is the amount of research and development afforded to both paints and brushes. Oil-based coatings are pretty much a thing of the past. Timber is now covered with some highly developed water-based product that performs every bit as well as the sturdy gloss finishes of the past.

    Opacity and colour-fast qualities are the key benefits of good emulsion paint. Single-coat application is a great time saver – particularly important for the professional decorator.

    However, it is in the field of brush manufacture where great strides have been made, with Lucas ProTools being at the forefront of this with its new ProFinish paintbrush. There were several important criteria taken into consideration when designing this brush … it had to give outstanding coverage leaving very fine brush marks for the desired on trend brush finish with minimal effort using a wide range of water-based paints; no short cuts could be taken with manufacturing techniques’ and, above all, it had to be something the professional decorator would want to use, time and time again and specifiers will want this tool used in their interiors.

    From the start of the design process, the company realised that working with paint specialists would be crucial to the brush design, and asked prestigious paint manufacturer Zoffany for their input.

    Gone are the days of pig bristles being used for the actual brush. Instead, detailed research into man-made alternatives was made, resulting in the selection of a material called Chinex – a synthetic mix from DuPont. This oval shaped, tapered and flagged filament produces the ideal environment for holding and applying paint, with the purposefully introduced ‘split ends’ ensuring paint is applied easily, consistently and smoothly.

    The brush width is 63mm (2½in.) and the filament length is 87mm.

    Further attention to detail can be found in the ferrule, which is made from aluminium with a fine shot blast texture. On the ferrule are two embossed ‘brush rest’ dimples which ensure that when the brush is placed on a flat surface, there is a small gap between the painted filaments and the surface to ensure no unsightly paint marks are left. There is no need for balancing the brush on the rim of the paint tin.

    The beech used in the manufacture of the handle is FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) timber.

    The result is a brush that becomes a ‘must have’ for all professional decorators, as it will last for many years and give consistent performance. It is supplied boxed with a number of ‘extras’ including a cover guard for when the brush is not in use, and a comb to help clean between the filaments of the brush in exceptional circumstances.

    Lucas prides itself on the attention to detail and the fact that only the best will do. This has resulted in the company being awarded some really prestigious projects, including work at the McLaren HQ in Woking, The Shard and some of the refurbishment of the Cutty Sark in London.

    The ProFinish paintbrush is yet another example of the Lucas philosophy at work.

    Cath Rolphins is an interior design consultant with Lucas ProTools.

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    Visit Website: www.lucasprotools.com

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