I love my Semogue 1305.  Out of all the brushes I have used over my long shaving life, I like this one the best.  It does every thing well and works with cremes, soaps and croaps.  Nice soft tips, good back bone (I am a face latherer), one of the best handle shapes around (the grove allows it to sit nicely on the edge of a soap tub without falling off or in), and lasts forever.  However, like most 1305s, the green paint on the handle eventually chips, then peels.  This brush is probably ten years old and a "daily" (well, 3x per week) driver:

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I tried priming the worn part and painting it red but that didn't last.  So I stripped off all the paint with a nylon wheel on a bench grinder.  For those who want to know, Semogue first paints the whole handle green, then dips the bottom half into white paint.  The white comes off easily.  The green seems to be some kind of thermoplastic polymer and "melts" a little as you try to grind it off:

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Obviously all the paint didn't come off and light sanding didn't help.  I could have given it a wash with some paint thinner but I was lazy.   I wanted to stain it dark and then put on a clear coat but I didn't want to buy a whole pint of  stain if I was only going to use a little bit.  I look around to see what I had on hand and it was so called natural "Danish Oil" (a  Minwax product) which I think is a combination of some sort of penetrating oil and polyurethane?  Anyways, I dipped it a few times and this is what I got:

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Waited three days for it to fully dry and then sprayed on a clear coat:

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Not great but good enough. Hopefully with time the color will darken.  Actually, from a distance it looks OK in the den. 

We will see how long the clear coat lasts. 


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