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the brush

If you're using a good quality paint product, then you can achieve some amazing finishes with the most basic tools. I have a very simple assortment of tools that I use for creating special finishes: brushes and muslin. That's pretty much it.

Brushes create and add personality to even the most basic paint. The marks and furrows created by the bristles add a naturalness and texture that give subtle depth. Brushing also demonstrates a love and appreciation for doing things slowly, and well.

My favourite brush is the stipple brush. It's a large and heavy block brush that is bounced gently on to the wet paint surface to soften the criss-cross textures of brushing. The advantage of using this type of brush is that it adds a layer of sophistication to the paint finish that would ordinarily appear amateurish and clumsy.

Evening-out brush marks with a stipple brush almost gives the appearance of a sprayed finish, but there is still a flowing texture and an unevenness that creates an organic appearance of your chosen paint. For me, it's always the slight imperfections created by a brush that give the most interesting, handmade qualities.

In the background you can see an example of the traditional brushstroke. In the foreground I'm stippling a metallic finish: I've brushed on the final coat with a traditional stroke, then lightly stippled over the surface to create a soft and sparkling finish. It's so easy to do and the results are perfectly imperfect.

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