FRETS.COM Tips & Tricks

The world's cheapest paintbrush. . .
Toothpick "Brush"
© Frank Ford, 5/31/98; Photos by FF, 5/31/98

I keep a box of regular flat toothpicks handy for all kinds of little emergencies, like filling stripped screw holes.

This is what I do when I need a really tiny paintbrush for one quick dab of stain. I'd rather not have to clean up a fine artist brush, so I'll reach for a toothpick if the job is a quick one and not too demanding.

I just take a flat toothpick and mash the end, while rotating it between my fingers.

In seconds I've shredded the wood fibers and I have a little "brush."

It's not flexible and the fibers can break, so it's not much of a brush, but. . .

It's just enough of a brush to suck up a nice load of stain from my little artist palette:

This is my little palette with dried-up stains. I don't clean up after I use it, and
here's why.

I can paint on just a little right where I need it:

Nothing like this little tool to paint a dot of stain in a hurry.

Sure, I'll use my fine little sable brushes for more sophisticated staining, painting grain lines, etc.

I can make up, use, and throw away one of these little toothpick brushes so easily, they're a real staple in my touchup arsenal.

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