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The first thing you notice about the new Large Annie Sloan Wax Brush is it’s shape, it’s very different to the old model, with an ergonomically shaped handle and bristles tapering towards a point, rather than a flat crown.
The smaller brush has a slightly smaller head and a much fatter handle – which reminds me of a shaving brush! – Haven’t tried that one out yet, but it will be good for tight space no doubt.
When I used it for the first time, and I’ll be honest here, it took me a while to find a comfortable way to hold it. I ended up holding it the same way you’d hold a pen, except a much bigger pen than normal! You could also wrap your fingers around it and hold it like that, but I guess it’s just finding whichever works best for you.
Before using it for the first time, as with all real bristle brushes, I gave it a thorough wash to get rid of any loose bristles which can come off in the first few uses.
The first job I tried out was a glazed cabinet with a tongue and groove panelled back, quite large, so there was quite a bit of wax to get down.
Having painted the exterior Paris Grey and the inside Cream it was time to do some waxing before I did a bit of fancy stencil work on the glass (there’s another blog piece about that here).
I heated the wax up a little on the radiator for 5 minutes just to get it a little softer and set to work. In the absence of the old Wax Brushes I had been using Medium Annie Paint Brushes, the new Brush picked up the wax well and covered the outside in no time at all. With the inside it was a similar story, but a big difference I noticed here was the tapered head got into the corners much easier than the old brush. The only downside was that when I was waxing up and down the panelling the tapered head was getting so far into the furniture it was pulling out some bits of old dirt that kept getting in the wax. My fault really, I should have run a hoover over the top to suck out any hard to get to pieces or used the brush dry, to clean these cracks out first. But it did let me know that the brush was getting to parts that previously would have been unreachable.
I have a few pieces with intricate mouldings coming up, and I know the new brush will work great on these.
The next job I tried out was a small table painted in Graphite with a textured surface where I’d be using Dark wax as well as Clear.
After a skim over the surface with some Clear, I used the Dark, I switched my grip to hold the brush and use it in a more stabbing-like motion to make sure the Dark Wax got into all the crevices in the surface, before cleaning off with some Clear Wax.
It worked well.
Then a job, I hate doing. Cleaning the brush – first I squeezed off as much wax as possible with a rag which I’d put a little bit of White Spirit on. This helped get rid of most of the wax (which is good, because you don’t want wax clogging up your sink!) After a while of massaging Fairy Liquid and warm water through the bristles the Dark Wax disappeared. I shook the brush out and left to dry on a radiator – good as new!
So at £29.95, is the new Large Annie Sloan Wax Brush worth the money?
I would say, if you’re serious about your paint projects, yes. It seems to magically cover big areas quicker, as it holds a lot of wax – and the way it cuts into corners and mouldings is a huge improvement on anything else on the market.
You could save yourself £6 and go for the smaller model perhaps. But, I would strongly advise going into your local Annie Sloan Stockist and actually picking them up and having a pretend wax! This will help you decide which brush is best for you and will also look very funny for anyone watching!