They’re Nuts About Brushes

By Jerry Rabushka,

  Filed under: Feature

A display from ArroWorthy; the company can provide you with larger or smaller displays to fit your available space.


How to explain applicator prices

Sticker shock! When Starbucks increases its already inflated prices, it becomes international news. Latte lovers may grumble, but then they’ll pay up and go about their business. Plenty of folks will avoid Starbucks and get their coffee at QuikTrip, but those who want what the Seattle grinder has to offer will swallow the upcharge.

It’s somewhat the same with you; folks who want the products and the atmosphere you have—and when you get down to it, both of those figure into it—will pay the price they need to in order get the products you sell.



Even so, Carl Rumpf, VP of Sales at Premier Paint Roller, argues that newer manufacturing technology lets you carry quality products without having to forklift your customers off the floor after they eye up the price tag. We asked him how to deal with the inevitable customers who will ask about price. “Over $20 for a brush?! I’ll just get the three-for-$10 at Family Dollar.” Surely you’re heard that at least once.

“I agree with the consumer,” he said. “You don’t need to pay over $20 for a paint brush anymore. While I don’t think they should buy the low end three-for-$10 brushes, improvements in manufacturing technology allow the average consumer to purchase professional quality paint brushes for less than $20.”

If your customer is either a DIYer painting just a few square feet or a contractor buying a bagful of brushes for a crew of sixteen, chances are they’ll be thrilled to know you have something to keep them on budget. “Most paint stores carry nylon/polyester or polyester brushes that deliver a professional finish for prices the average consumer can afford. Premier Paint Roller manufactures the BM series, Avant Garde semi oval series, and a plethora of private label options for ALLPRO and many large independent dealers throughout the United States,” said Rumpf.


Easy and Pretty? Pretty Easy!

Another solution, adds Ben Waksman, President of Corona Brushes, is to fully explain to the customer what they are paying for. Make sure they know how springing for that better brush will make their project easier—and prettier! If they’ve already got quality paint, why waste it on bad bristle and a faulty ferrule?

“A better quality tool helps the user achieve better results,” he says in a nutshell, so let’s crack that shell and see what’s inside. “The application will be much easier and the finish more pleasing. And, of course durability is a factor.”

Walnuts, pecans, whatever you’ve cracked, it’s time to explain why you’re not nuts to sell a higher priced applicator—you’re selling know-how along with it. “We use the finest raw materials, but we also have to process, blend, and formulate the materials to make them the most effective in paint pick up, cutting in, spreading the coating evenly, and leaving a smooth finish,” said Waksman. “After that, we work on matching types of lumber and shapes of handles to insure optimum balance and comfort. In selecting a Corona tool, the painter is not just buying a good brush. He or she is investing in a good paint job.” And that’s it, again, in a nutshell. It’s not just a brush. It’s a paint job.


Sell Confidence With Confidence

Surely you know some painters who bonded with a brand they liked 25 years back—end of discussion. If you don’t have it, do you send them to the dealer next door who does? Or again, do you explain?

With Corona, says Waksman, you can be confident in the brand, therefore you can inject that confidence into your customer. “Dealers know they can sell Corona handmade painting tools with complete confidence in customer satisfaction,” he asserted. “We appreciate that painters build brand loyalties, both to paint and to the brushes and rollers they use, and we work hard to earn that loyalty,” he continued.

Since part of your job of helping them pick the right tool for the job, if you can demonstrate that the brush you have will get the job done, they might just save some time and gas and buy right off your display!

“Paint has changed dramatically over the last few years,” Rumpf reminds us. “As a result, the applicators have had to adapt to today’s coatings. Professional paint store employees are trained to offer the proper tools to be used with the brand of paint they are selling.”


Too Much is Not Enough

Then there’s that exasperated customer: “Last time I came here you had 10 brushes to pick from and now you have 27! How do I begin?”

It goes back to adapting to changing paints, of which there are more and different varieties than there were the last time that customer bought a brush in 1997. “There are many kinds of applicators because there are many variances in quality and sheens of paint,” Rumpf explained. “Also the texture of the surface has to be taken into consideration before you can buy the proper tool for your intended project. Other key factors to consider are the customer’s budget and if they want to reuse the applicators.” Buy asking these questions, you can help them narrow down to just the right product.

Not to mention, adds Waksman (well, we are going to mention it), a larger selection helps the pro or DIY customer slip in with just that right tool. He agrees with Carl that the can of paint you sell can answer the question of what brushes and rollers to take along.

“There are differences in paints, whether in the viscosity of interior and exterior paints, alkyds, acrylics, latex, hybrid-waterborne-alkyds, enamels, varnish, stains, and more. The wide range of materials actually provides the painter, whether professional or not, the best possible applications of this wide variety of coatings,” he said. Corona offers guides for you to post near your display to help customers choose. For example:

• Natural bristle for solvent based finishes.

• Natural bristle and ox-ear hair for solvent based ultra-fine finishes.

• Performance Chinex® synthetic filament for high viscosity acrylics, waterborne finishes and primers and all coatings.

• 100% nylon for latex paints (especially Corona’s Champagne Nylon for water-based alkyd hybrids).

• Nylon/polyester blends for all interior and exterior paints.

“Our guides are available for our customers to display next to brush walls or as part of a brush wall,” said Waksman. Keep an eye out for updated guides as new paints and coatings demand new brushes and rollers.

The more educated your customers, the better choices they can make—including that amazing choice to get their next applicators from you, whether it’s next week or the year 2037.