Proform Picasso “the Bull” 2.0 brush

Update 10/12: On further review, these brushes have not held up as well over time as other pro level brushes that we use. They are good as long as they hold together, but when they are done, they are done. Not typical of professional quality brushes.

Picasso paint brushes have been getting a good bit of attention for the past few months. Most of the feedback from paint contractors has been that Proform makes a great brush. In fact, the only negative, which I read on one of the internet paint forums, was regarding bristle shed issues, particularly during cleaning of the brush.

As the Picasso brand is not available in my local area, I put in a request to Proform for some samples, and they agreed to send them out for our review. Please note that this is not a product review, just a quick introduction of the tool. We will likely be sharing more about Picasso brushes in the future as we continue to use them in different applications, which perhaps will result in a full review down the road.

“The Bull” is a short handled brush that is designed for tight spaces, but capable of holding and releasing plenty of material on the open road. One feature that is unique about this brush is that it is an angled sash, but with an oval shaped ferrule. The bristles are soft, but the video (below) shows it to be plenty snappy in the delivery of paint, which is a desirable balance between soft and firm bristle construction.

Our video footage shows the Bull in acrylic primer on multi-step poplar trim profiles, as well as flat panel birch veneer plywood panels. The brush was used in this series of tasks with all substrates in horizontal orientation. In between tasks, the brush was either left standing in material, in which case the bristles didn’t bend, or laying out flat and full of material. At the end of the video, you can see that the brush cleaned well.

Not one bristle has been shed in the use of this brush so far. One thing that I can already tell that I will not like about Picasso is the jacket that it comes in. It is not as inside out moisture resistant and durable as others we use. But that is a minor point.

If you are a Picasso user, please let us know how they have been performing for you.

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you! Scott's Google Profile .

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Benjamin Moore Wb Satin Impervo (046) - Brushed | Topcoat Review | August 11, 2012
  2. Proform Picasso the Bull paint brush | Topcoat Review | Oil Painting Outlet | March 31, 2012
  1. dave darovec says:

    I have to tell you, the 3 inch, oval handled picasso brush is by far the best brush I have ever used! It cuts a beautiful and long bead like nothing else I have used, ie. Woosters, purdys, and others. Cleans beautifully and filament near handle is still quite supple. Actually bristles still look near spotless and free from aged residue found on other brushes I have used in the past.

  2. john garner says:

    I have been a painter for 18 years now and have always been partial to the Sherwin Williams contractor brush, particularly the 3″ angle sash with the oval handle, but then one day they discontinued my favorite brush and it was off to find a replacement. the purdy line was too soft for rough wall texture, and the woosters didn’t have a good tip and the bristles would separate, then I came across the Picasso 3″ angle sash Oval with the oval handle which is much more comfortable for us old painters to hold, and so far I am very impressed with its performance. Only had it for 3 weeks but so far it’s great, came across a bathroom were the mirror was a quarter inch from the wall and was able to sneak the tip in and not one strike on the mirror side, not an easy feat with a big brush, brushes over rough cedar just fine so it is not as limp as it feels, overall i am looking to buy a case for next summer were it will really get a good try out, will let you know how it goes.

  3. Richard Turner says:

    I began using Picasso brushes a few months ago. The bristles immediately began to fall out when cleaning. The manufacturer was contacted and explained that there was a ”bad batch” produced in regards to the bonding material. They sent replacements and my current complaint is that they dont remain pliable very long. I think for my money I’ll stick with my blue bristle Purdys!

  4. Matt says:

    I’ve been using the 2.5 angled beaver tail for over a year, and haven’t experienced any issues. I like it a lot. I haven’t used the FTP but keep some Alphas around. Some have mentioned issues regarding durability, but I have seen them take an absolute beating and keep on tickin’.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Thanks for checking in, Matt. I am looking forward to checking out the beaver tail, looks like a sweet brush. Our crew continues to be happy with the Bull.

  5. We are working through a bad batch, apparently with the shedding problem. We really like how they cut in and the tip naturally points into inside corners. Not sold on the bristles per say, but the shape, I am not a fan of chinex bristles, and these seem similar bit a bit softer than chinex. Not sure on the exact make up of them. Give me a Cortez in the Picasso shape and I would be very happy.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Dean

      I think I would send them back. It seems (from the pt thread you had) that the mfr is aware of the problem. The batch I am running has been good, no shedding. I do like the shape and bristle pattern as well. Been running them head to head with some of our old Purdy standbys lately and they are definitely in the class. It is too bad we can’t all design our own brushes to meet our preferences, like those burger joints where you can build your own burger.

  6. Ron Taylor says:

    Hi Scott

    I have used, briefly the Wooster FTP chinex brush. It gives a very sharp line when cutting in but definately needs to be used with thicker coatings. The brush gives a nice, fast line due to the fact the bristles want to get rid of the paint as fast as they can, paint just doesn’t cling to them. This is fine until you use the brush upside down when, with prior pre-wetting of the brush, the paint also wants to exit the brush as fast as it can, usually down the ferrule, handle and your arm.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good brush, but as you say certain brushes work best in specific situations. It washes out like no other brush I’ve used.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Thanks for the thoughts, Ron. I have been running Purdy chinex this week and find them nice to work with, I actually wish they had a tiny bit less flex, in the sense that they fling tiny spatter even with thick product when I am aggressively spreading inside a cabinet carcass for instance, but I do love the way they clean up and come back every time. Still going to purchase a few ftp when I see them.

  7. Ron Taylor says:

    I’ve been using the Picasso 2.5″ angled and flat here in England for about 9 months now and I’m very impressed with them for cutting in ceilings and walls next to trim. It leaves a good line and carries plenty of paint. It doesn’t wear well though, and I’m replacing them more often than I would an equivalent Wooster.
    A better Proform brush for painting trim is the fairly unassuming Contractor line. The bristles are very soft but they have little trouble laying on acrylic trim paints such as Mythic Gloss and Semi-Gloss to a very good standard. If fact I think the Contractor is the best brush I’ve used for acrylic trim, and gives a much better finish than the Picasso or the Wooster Alpha in this application.
    I actually love the orange finish of the Picasso, but as a follower of a football team that wears that colour I would say that.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Thanks for the insights, Ron. Nice to hear from folks who have been using the Picasso line. I have not checked out the contractor series yet, but you have piqued my curiosity. Always looking for more options for laying down trim paints. Most of the better brushes can cut good lines, but the best ones excel in laying it down on trim. In fact, I was running three different brands in the same primer the other day and was noticing how some will spatter off the end of a stroke more than others based on the spring of the bristles. The same primer can work differently on 3 different brushes based on the load handling characteristics of the brush. The comments I am getting on this post definitely have me leaning toward doing some work with the contractors series and wooster ftp. Thanks.

      • C MONTAGUE says:

        HI I,M READING ABOUT THE PICASSO AND THE LATEST WOOSTER. HOW DO THESE COMPARE WITH THE PURDY PRO MONARCH BLUE BRISTLE THAT I HAVE BEEN USING FOR YEARS A 2 INCH FOR OIL AND A 3 INCH FOR WALLS AND CEILINGS KEEN TO KNOW

  8. Just ordered a case last night. Every painter I give one of these brushes loves them. Started using them over a year ago when JP put me in touch with someone to send me a sample.

  9. Not used the Bull ,but the beaver tail is an excellent brush, beautiful balance, ahead of most of the rest by a country mile for wall and ceiling work and a killer on windows. Not seen a bristle shed.

    Is a cheap CT bristle, though, so does wear quick, and not robust enough to excel in oil paint or applying paint on high suction surfaces. Never thought there would be a better brush, but to be fair, the Wooster FTP excels in all departments where Picasso falters.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I haven’t seen a beaver tail yet, or used the FTP much lately. Good points though. I haven’t primed drywall with the bull yet but that is often a great indicator of bristle performance. One brush needs to be able to do most anything but I always seem to have mostly specialists. I am so far impressed that this Picasso bristle cleans very comparable to what we are uses to in chinex.

  10. Sean. M says:

    I recently had a similar first impression with the Picasso’s and have maybe 20 hours of use with them. I agree with the comment about the covers and I also did not experience any shedding. I have yet to find them locally but went into using them skeptical and critical and ended up being pleased so far.

    Look forward to your opinion after longer term use.

  11. Pat says:

    Hi Scott, looking forward to your reviews on the Picasso brushes, I have been using them for awhile now and love them. They are great for cutting lines due to how sharp the edges get.

    Pat

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