Smart, simple solutions for decorators

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Where to buy Brush Mate products

Where can I buy Brush Mate products?

See the Stockists page of this website.

Can I get spares for my Trade 20/Trade 4+?

The Brush Mate Trade 20/Trade 4+ are manufactured by our own workforce in the U.K. All removable parts can therefore be supplied. Your local Brush Mate stockist may be able to order spares for you.

Trade 20/Trade 4+ – how to use them

My Trade 20 carries a hazard label. How safe is the product to use?

Brush Mate storage systems have proved to be very safe in normal use. Only small quantities of fluid are involved and provided that sensible practices are followed it is not expected that any problems will occur. Health and safety is not normally an issue but do read the hazard labelling on the product before use. For more detailed information please refer to the Health and Safety data sheet.

How long can I leave my brushes in my Trade 20?

Provided you ensure the bottle within the Trade 20 does not ‘run dry’, brushes may be stored indefinitely within your Trade 20.

Will my Trade 20/Trade 4+ clean my brushes?

Forget about brush cleaning! The Trade 20 and Trade 4+ keep brushes used with oil based paints and varnishes soft and ready for immediate use without the need to clean them. With a Trade 20 or Trade 4+ you don’t need to clean brushes unless changing paint colour.

How does the Trade 20/Trade 4+ work?

The Trade 20 and Trade 4+ use a specially formulated solvent (Brush Mate Fluid) which fills the product with a vapour. This vapour prevents the paint on the brushes from drying. It does this by stopping the paint solvents ‘flashing’ off the brush and also by preventing the chemical drying process (polymerisation) that normally takes place as paint dries. In the Trade 20 the solvent (Brush Mate Fluid) is drawn from a bottle and up a wick onto the central vaporiser panel. The Brush Mate Fluid evaporates from the vaporiser panel to create the vapour. Instead of a bottle of fluid and central vaporiser panel, the Trade 4+ contains a panel (Vapour Mate) which is impregnated with a solvent similar to Brush Mate Fluid.

What paints will my Trade 20/Trade 4+ work with?

The Trade 20 and Trade 4+ are designed to be used with all conventional oil based paints and varnishes (i.e. all paints and varnishes which normally require brushes to be cleaned in white spirit/turps substitute). The Trade 20 and Trade 4+ do NOT work with water based or acetone based paints (introducing water or water based paints into your Trade 20 or Trade 4+ can cause irreversible damage).

Do I need to clean my brushes before putting them into my Trade 20/Trade 4+?

No. However, it will help to keep your Trade 20 or Trade 4+ cleaner if you remove any excess paint before storing the brush, by wiping on an old rag or newspaper. (If for some reason you have been standing your brushes in water do NOT put them into your Trade 20 until they are thoroughly dry of water – see “What happens if I put water or water based products in my Trade 20?”

Can I put any make/type of brush in my Trade 20/Trade 4+?

The Trade 20 and Trade 4+ can be used with all brushes except those with copper or brass ferrules or rivets. Sometimes the covering of the handle may be softened, but most painters consider this a minor inconvenience when compared with the benefits of using their Trade 20 or Trade 4+ (to avoid this inconvenience many painters now chose brushes with natural wood handles for use in their Trade 20 or Trade 4+).

Why can’t brushes with copper or brass rivets be stored in the Trade 20/Trade 4+?

The powerful solvent vapour generated by the Brush Mate Fluid will corrode brass and copper producing a viscous green liquid. This green liquid may contaminate the paint on the brush. Eventually the brass or copper will be completely eroded.

I use brushes with synthetic bristles. Can these be stored in the Trade 20/Trade 4+?

Yes. Tests carried out by us have shown that Brush Mate Fluid has no detrimental effect upon any synthetic bristles so far tested.

Trade 20/Trade 4+ – maintenance

I have used my Trade 20 for many years but the lid is no longer a tight fit. Will this result in greater fluid consumption?

Brush Mate products are rugged and designed to withstand many years of use (and in some cases abuse!) ‘on site’. Under these conditions it is perhaps not surprising that lids may cease to fit as ‘snugly’ as when new. Whilst large gaps around the lid may lead to increased fluid consumption, slight bowing or minor gaps should not have an appreciable affect. Even when new, the lid is not designed to create a seal; there is necessarily some slight movement of air into and out of the Trade 20.

Can I use white spirit or other solvent in my Trade 20 instead of Brush Mate Fluid?

Definitely not. Brush Mate Fluid has been specially formulated for use in the Brush Mate Trade 20 and is a complex blend of solvents. It not only stops the paint solvents ‘flashing’ off the brush, but also prevents the chemical drying process (polymerisation) that normally takes place as paint dries. Not only will other fluids be ineffective but they may cause irreversible damage to your Trade 20.

When do I need to replace the Vapour Mate in my Trade 4+?

The ‘tell tale’ fastened to the Vapour Mate pad gives an indication. When the star in the ‘window’ noticeably fades in relation to the other star it is time to replace the Vapour Mate. You may wish to keep a spare Vapour Mate for when your current Vapour Mate needs replacing. Typically a Vapour Mate may be expected to last up to 6 months when used for DIY use. Professional users opening their Trade 4 more frequently will need to replace their Vapour Mate more often.

How long will the fluid last in my Trade 20?

This depends on a number of factors (see “How do I minimise fluid consumption in my Trade 20/Trade 4+?”). Typically a Trade 20 will consume about 2 – 3 ml. of Brush Mate Fluid per day, so you may expect to replace the bottle of Brush Mate Fluid every 3 – 4 months. However in some circumstances (e.g. if you store your Trade 20 in a van where there are large temperature fluctuations) consumption can be greater.

What happens if I put water or water based products in my Trade 20?

This will impair operation and may cause irreversible damage. Water vapour will clog the vaporiser panel preventing the evaporation of Brush Mate Fluid. In addition it may damage the seal around the base and cause distortion to the nylon lid. If for some reason you have been standing your brushes in water, do NOT put them into your Trade 20 until they are thoroughly dry of water.

How do I minimise fluid consumption in my Trade 20/Trade 4+?

  1. Ensure the lid is properly in place at all times except when removing or replacing brushes.
  2. Preferably only remove lid in still air conditions.
  3. Whenever possible store your Trade 20 or Trade 4+ in a cool, draught free position.
  4. Avoid keeping your Trade 20 or Trade 4+ in a place where there are large variations in temperature.

Can I buy a new drip mat for the bottom of my Trade 20?

Yes, ask your stockist for a Service Pack. This also contains a vaporiser panel and 5 brush clips. We recommend that to maintain efficiency you should ‘service’ your Trade 20 about every 6 months.

How often should I replace the vaporiser panel in my Trade 20?

We recommend that the vaporiser panel be replaced approximately every 6 months in order to maintain the efficiency of your Trade 20. During use the panel slowly becomes clogged with paint and other contaminants that over time slow down the evaporation of Brush Mate Fluid from the panel. If you didn’t replace the panel the Trade 20 would eventually lose effectiveness. Ask your stockist for a Service Pack this also contains a replacement drip mat and 5 spare brush clips.

Andy Sandy

What are the advantages of Andy Sandy compared with abrasive paper?

Andy Sandy is more convenient to use. It has a contoured shape so it is easy to grip and has a nice ‘weighty’ feel to it. Unlike abrasive paper it won’t tear when you rub over an old nail or similar sharp object. You are also less likely to cut your fingers on sharp projections! The Andy Sandy can also be shaped easily to fit timber mouldings.

On what surfaces can I use Andy Sandy?

Andy Sandy can be used on most surfaces including old paintwork, plaster, wood, metal or plastic.

What is Andy Sandy?

Andy Sandy is a clog free sanding block manufactured from medium/coarse carbide grit. The grit is ‘rubbed away’ during use and therefore never clogs.

Can Handle

I use a bit of bent wire at present, why should I buy a Can Handle?

A Can Handle is far more convenient, versatile and safe than a simple wire hook. It can grip cans, kettles, scuttles or buckets with or without handles (even a rimless plastic pot!). It holds them clear of the ladder, so you don’t have to reach through the rungs. And it’s designed for the job! Will your insurance cover you if your pot of paint falls off your bent wire onto someone below? The Can Handle will last you a lifetime .. a small investment for the added convenience and peace of mind!

Can I use the Can Handle with a paint kettle?

Most certainly. The clamping arm features a special ‘pinch’ designed to accept paint kettle handles and clamp them positively in place. The Can Handle can grip spray guns, cans, kettles, scuttles or buckets with or without handles (even rimless, plastic pots!).

What ladders will my Can Handle fit?

The Can Handle is designed to fit most conventional, runged ladders but will not work with stepladders.

I’m left handed, can a Can Handle be used either side of a ladder?

Yes. By rotating the clamp mechanism 180° the Can Handle can easily be switched from one side of the ladder to the other.

How much weight can a Can Handle carry?

The Can Handle is strong and sturdy, certainly capable of carrying weights up to 20kgs – not that we would recommend you to try to take that much up a ladder!


How much aroma do I need?

Just a few drops will normally surfice.

Safety Data Sheet – MSDS