Fair Woodworking

December 15, 2013

Blue shop towels. Like duct tape, only blue.

Filed under: Fair Woodworking & Hand Tool Blog,Favorite tools — fairwoodworking @ 8:27 pm

So last Friday, I’m trying to do some paint touch ups in a house I’m building, and I run out of clean brushes. Well first we ran out of water in the cistern so I couldn’t clean a brush if I wanted to, and then I ran out of brushes…


Shop towels aren’t great for brushing paint on a wall, but when doing touch ups, you are not trying to imitate a brush stroke. Here I’m just smearing it over the area I want painted. Brushes (and blue shop towels) leave nasty streaks that will show against a previously rolled wall.


It’s in the dabbing that the touch up blends with the rolled wall, and the shop towel beats using a brush hands down.

Anyways what does that have to do with woodworking?

I’ve tried applying finish on my projects with brushes, and I’m pretty sure that brushes suck for that job. I find that brushes leave behind bubbles that are very hard to deal with. Blue shop towels don’t.

Brushes are a pain in the too-too to clean. A blue shop towel can be disposed of (AFTER IT’S BEEN LAID OUT TO DRY!!!), and I can get on with things.

I also love them for applying a coat of wax. That’s what I did today…

One sheet can often be cut down to quarters for these projects as well, so there is very little waste.

Blue shop towels are the duct tape of… well… many things that duct tape has no business getting wrapped up in.


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