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Old 05-15-2019, 05:59 AM
struggler struggler is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
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Gum arabic to preserve brush shape?

I'm probably overly obsessed with preserving the shape of my brushes as I store them with the tuft shaped with a weak gum arabic solution.

I've been thinking of making a small pan of dried gum arabic so that at the end of a session I can just get a small amount of it on to the tuft. I'm planning a mix of gum arabic, fructose/honey and some sodium benzoate as a preservative. I already have some food grade gum arabic and sodium benzoate and can snag some honey.

Is this doable? Does it make sense?

What ratio of honey to gum arabic would be okay? Humidity here is currently holding about 20-30% with temperatures reaching up to 40C in the day (North India). My Sennelier paints dry rock hard in about 4 days in this weather but that's just how summer makes them .
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:06 AM
jyaan jyaan is offline
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Posts: 287
Re: Gum arabic to preserve brush shape?

Maybe it could work, but I think it's overkill. I'd only bother protecting the hairs with gum Arabic for shipment or longer term storage. Pure dry gum Arabic is much too hard so I understand your reasoning. However, adding softer substances like glycerin, sugar syrup or honey will reduce the hardness that's protecting the brush. I think honey would retain moisture too well so maybe try 75% gum and 25% glycerin? Or perhaps you could put dissolved gum Arabic in a small 1/2 dram vial? I just bring some travel brushes and make a protective tube from some card and a rubber band for normal brushes. No waiting around for anything to dry and no worrying that my brush will get trained into a terrible shape because I was in a hurry and put the brush away before the gum fully dried. I'd also recommend filling your pans at an angle so that you collect color with the shoulder of the brush rather than wear out the point.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:06 AM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: Gum arabic to preserve brush shape?

Id not add honey, just makes it not dry out, and is much more tasty to bugs.

Using masters soap can do the same thing.

Its really overkill meant to solve a real problem, it isn’t making the shape better. Just store them upright and “free” of things pushing on them.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:47 PM
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CallMeCordelia CallMeCordelia is offline
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Re: Gum arabic to preserve brush shape?

I agree that doing this isn't necessary. Brian's right, the honey might attract insects and just storing them dry, with nothing touching the hairs, is all that is needed. In fact, it seems to me that all of that extra messing around with the brushes might wear them out faster, if you do this every time you use them. Even brushes that puff out when dry should go right back to pointy, when they are wet, again. Whatever you decide, I hope you find a system that works for you.

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