Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: We are currently experiencing problems which are causing some users to be unable to view the FAQs. We apologise for this inconvenience and if you have any questions please email us at: Thank you.

Brushes and Products

  • Which brushes would you recommend for Oils?

    We get asked all of the time for the ‘magic’ brush. Sadly, there is no such thing, though there are certainly plenty of options available. And although it’s difficult to recommend a brush to someone without knowing specifically what they are painting, here are some helpful guidelines I want to share.


  • How do I look after my new natural hair brushes when they arrive?

    When you receive the brushes the heads are set with Gum Arabic. We use this serum for transport purposes and to help the brush keep it’s shape. Gently rinse this out under the tap with Luke warm water. Place the brush head between your finger and thumb to remove the serum. This comes out very easily.

    Natural Hair brushes will have a smell to them that you and I can’t always detect BUT moths and butterflies can sniff them out so be aware. These insects like to bury themselves in to the brush head, chewing their way in and laying eggs on occasion. They then quite literally buzz off leaving you with a damaged brush which will shed hair in fragments and render the brush unusable.

    To prevent this, place the brushes upright in a jam jar and in the bottom place some moth balls / lavender / cedar wood balls, this will keep them away until you have used them for long enough to have washed off the natural smell. This little tip can save you a costly brush.

  • How would you recommend cleaning your brushes?

    We often get asked what the best way to clean your brushes is. Truthfully, there are so many different ways and it really does depend on which medium you’re using, how often you use your brushes, whether you are in a rush or whether you have time to clean them thoroughly.


  • Are your brushes competitively priced?

    I wish I had a penny for each time I’ve answered this one over the last 35+ years! By making brushes and selling to artists’ directly through our website, I am able to eliminate the ‘middle man’ or wholesaler. I simply don’t have the same expensive overheads as some of the larger manufacturers. I use the best raw materials I can buy and do not compromise on quality.

  • What size are the brushes?

    Unfortunately, there is no universal brush size. Our brushes sizes are different to every other brush company out there, and also are not comparable across the ranges.
    We have tried to measure all of the brushes and have brush charts underneath every range on our website.
    Alternatively, we offer a full catalogue which we are able to ship worldwide free of charge. All of the brushes in the catalogue are photographed actual size, and will be a valuable tool for measurements and comparisons for you. Please fill out our catalogue request form here if you’d like one.
  • How do I know which brushes to use for my medium?


    As a general rule of thumb the finest hair used for watercolour is Kolinsky Sable, followed closely by Pure red Sable, Squirrel etc. At the moment, there are some excellent Nylon fibres which imitate Sable thus keeping costs low. It’s not just about ‘snap & spring’ which are familiar terms but how the brush strokes the paper. Sable has the advantage of holding a huge quantity of liquid and ‘flows’ when pressed onto the paper. Some beginners/intermediates would choose Sable/Nylon blends or indeed 100% Nylon as the feeling of a controlled strokes is more prevalent.



    Oils, Sable is a favourite but because of the medium’s heavy viscosity and rapid ‘clogging’ of pigment in the brush head, it isn’t greatly favoured by frequent users as the price is a high one to pay. There are excellent alternatives of stronger Nylon filaments to suit the oil painter and my ranges of Shiraz, Ivory and Chungking Bristle are prime examples. A popular choice for acrylic painters are also Shiraz, Ivory and any of the Golden Synthetic ranges. Masters Choice is also a real treat to use!

  • What is the difference between Long Handles & Short handles?

    Our long handles are approx. 11 inches.

    Our short handles are approx. 7 inches.

    The sizes can vary depending upon the diameter of the ferrule and the length of the hair on the brush.

    Generally speaking, watercolorists use the short handles, acrylic painters tend to use a mix of both and oil painters favour the long handle. Gouache artists tend to prefer the short handles – and ceramists use the short handle. In short, the handle length is your personal preference and in truth, will depend on what feels comfortable to you.

  • What is the difference between Kolinsky Sable Hair & Red Sable Hair?

    Apart from the price (Kolinsky Sable being the more expensive of the two) – Kolinsky Sable has a more snap and spring than the Red Sable. Both hold the same amount of pigment or liquid but the Red Sable does tend to wear down quicker.

    In short: buy the best you can afford. I like to describe the Kolinsky Sable as the finest hair money can buy, closely followed by the Red Sable.


  • In the descriptions of the watercolour brushes, what is the ‘belly’?

    Although a good point is essential it shouldn’t be the sole criterion when choosing a Pointed Round Brush. The belly of the head is where the bulk of the liquid is held and the most bulbous part, this is when balance is achieved. The bellies of the hairs must be located in the lower half of the head i.e. close to the ferrule than the tip of the brush. If the bellies are too high, the brush will feel ‘lifeless’ and lack any resilience. To get the belly in the correct position, longer hairs than required are used and the excess cut off inside the ferrule to accommodate the handle. Of course, shorter hair is less expensive but if used to make a large head just to lower the cost the the bellies will be too high.

  • The protective cap which arrived with my new brush won’t go back on now I’ve used the brush!

    This is placed on the head by us purely to keep the brush in pristine condition in transit. Once natural hair is wet it will swell and the belly will expand thus making it nigh on impossible to squeeze back into the cap. I tend to throw mine away and store brushes without caps as this will allow the brush heads to remain dry and ventilated, also this discourages any mould.

  • My Nylon brush has curled at the tip. What can I do?

    You could try the ‘boiling water’ idea. Carefully pour boiling water into a suitable container, immerse the brush head for literally two seconds then reshape and allow to dry naturally. This sometimes revives the twist or curl. However, after continued use, Nylon will eventually curl.

  • How long will my Sable brush last?

    Depending on how often you use it and how you clean and condition it, a good Sable brush should give many years service. Rough paper and cheaper watercolours which contain ‘fillers’ can wear down your brush. Remember not to ‘scrub or mix’ paint with a good point!

  • In the Red Sable and Kolinsky Sable Pointed Round Series, Why is there a significant price increase between – eg. Size 8 & 10?

    Sable hair is taken from the tail. When a tail is ‘dressed’ the hair is graded (sorted) by length. I usually work with around twelve different lengths from 12mm to 74mm. There are far less 74mm hairs on a tail than the shorter/medium hairs, hence we need more tails to produce the same weight. My brushes are costed on the ‘fill’ and weight of hair inside the ferrule. When I’m making a size 8 I use the shorter lengths of hair where as size 10’s require a longer length.

  • Do you cut or trim the Sable hair to get a good point?

    Ouch! No No No! The brush is formed in a ‘goblet’ (sometimes called a brass cannon) and tapped/twisted by hand. With experienced manipulation I can form a beautiful sharp point from the natural hair tips. As I’ve mentioned before, a smaller size brush would require the shorter lengths of hair progressing to the longer lengths for the larger diameter brush heads.

Delivery Information

  • I’m in the USA and my order still hasn’t arrived – what can I do?

    Please DO NOT contact Paypal, please correspond with us first. We can almost always tell you where your packet is and speed things up for you. Paypal charge our company $20 if you contact them and raise a ‘dispute’. Often USPS don’t regularly update their website and can fall days behind. We can normally contact them for you and chase things up.
  • Do I receive a tracking number with Airmail?

    You will receive a tracking number for Airmail, however, this is only used as a confirmation for delivery and you won’t receive updates on your order. Airmail is a non-tracked service. Confirmation of shipping & delivery is all you will receive (via email).

  • How can I track my order?

    United Kingdom

    All orders are dispatched 1st Class using Royal Mail. Unless you have specifically asked for a tracking number then your order will leave in the standard post. Most deliveries arrive the next day. Occasionally it can be 2 working days.

    United States

    You should have received a tracking number within 2 working days of placing your order, even though your order will have been shipped earlier. (The airmail system takes time to catch up). You will receive tracking updates from USPS not from Rosemary & Co!

    All other Countries

    You will receive your tracking number within 1 working day from Rosemary & Co. This can then be tracked online at

  • How much do you charge for overseas postage?

    Please visit this page for detailed shipping information:

Gift Vouchers

  • How do I buy an e-voucher?

    You can purchase an e-voucher over the phone or online.

    To buy online, please click here. Or to buy over the phone, please call us on 01535 632666 (+44 1535 63266 for international callers).

  • How do I buy a paper voucher?

    You can purchase a paper voucher over the phone or online.

    To buy online, please click here. Or to buy over the phone, please call us on 01535 632666 (+44 1535 63266 for international callers).

  • How do I use my paper voucher online?

    Once all your items have been added to your cart, hit the checkout button at the top right hand corner of the screen as normal. When the “My Shopping Cart” page appears, enter your voucher code in the box provided and press the ‘apply voucher’ button (show in the image below). This will then automatically deduct the value of the voucher from the total in your shopping cart.

    voucher-codeTIP: Any remaining credit on your voucher can be used against future orders.

  • How do I use my e-voucher online?

    Once all your items have been added to your cart, hit the checkout button at the top right hand corner of the screen as normal. When the “My Shopping Cart” page appears, enter your voucher code in the box provided and press the ‘apply voucher’ button (show in the image below). This will then automatically deduct the value of the voucher from the total in your shopping cart.

    TIP: Any remaining credit on your voucher can be used against future orders.

  • My voucher does not work?

    If you find that your voucher is not accepted at checkout, please check the voucher code you have entered and try again.

    TIP: Please note the code is case sensitive.

    If you continue to experience any further difficulties please contact us or call us on 01535 632666 (+44 1535 632666 for international callers). Our office hours are 9am – 6pm (GMT) Monday-Friday.

  • I’m in a rush, which voucher should I buy?

    The e-voucher is the quickest way to get a voucher to your recipient. These are sent via email as soon as your order has been processed by our invoice clerk. Your order will be processed during our normal office hours. Our office hours are 9am – 6pm (GMT) Monday-Friday.

    If the voucher is urgent please contact us.

  • Can I print off my own voucher?

    When purchasing a paper voucher, you will be sent a voucher through the post (to the shipping address you used) so there is no need to print your own.

    When purchasing an e-voucher, the recipient email address which you enter when adding the e-voucher to your cart will receive a nicely designed email which can be printed if required.

    TIP: If you wish to print the voucher yourself to give to a friend, enter your own email address as the recipient.

  • I have sent my e-voucher to the wrong email address – what should I do?

    If you entered the wrong recipient email address then please contact us immediately so that we can try and help. Unfortunately, if your voucher has been sent to the wrong recipient through your own error and has been redeemed, we cannot be held responsible for this and no refund will be offered.

    TIP: Please make sure you are careful when entering recipient email address for e-vouchers.

  • I have forgotten/lost my voucher code.

    Please contact us so that we can try and help you.

  • What if my voucher value is more than my order value?

    If your voucher has a value higher than that of the order you are currently trying to place (so that your order total is 0), you will now need to scroll back up the page to the payment method section and select “Free Checkout”. This will remove the need for entering your credit card details on the next page.

    TIP: Any remaining credit on your voucher can be used against future orders.

  • What if my voucher value is less than my order value?

    In this case, you will need to pay the remaining balance using your usual payment method when shopping online (Eg: credit/debit card, paypal etc…).

    This also applies when ordering over the telephone.

  • I have an e-voucher – am I able to redeem this for it’s monetary value?

    Unfortunately, all e-vouchers and gift vouchers are non-refundable.

  • I want to return something bought using a gift voucher.

    If you have to return goods you have purchased online using a gift voucher, then in most instances we will credit your online shopping account against further purchases. Please contact us to discuss returns. This does not affect your statutory rights.

  • I have more than one voucher, can I use both codes on one order?

    Yes, you can redeem more than one voucher on the same order through our website. Please enter your codes one after another in the gift voucher box found on the checkout page.


    TIP: Paper vouchers and e-vouchers can be redeemed on the same order.

  • How long is my voucher valid for?

    The gift voucher or e-voucher will expire 12 months after the purchase of the voucher code. We cannot refund any balance remaining and unfortunately, the card will be invalidated.

  • How would a paper voucher be delivered?

    Paper vouchers will be delivered via post and will fit through your letterbox.

  • Can I use my voucher at your stand/booth at an exhibition?

    We have no problem with you bringing your voucher to us at an exhibition. Please make sure you have the voucher code with you otherwise we will not be able to accept it. Please contact us for more information.

  • What does the paper voucher look like?

  • What does the e-voucher look like?

  • How much is shipping for a paper voucher?

    Prices are regardless of voucher value and depend on where you would like the voucher to be shipped. When you come to check out and enter your country, you will see your shipping options and prices.

Payment Information

  • What payment methods do you accept?

    We accept Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, BACS Transfers and cheques (UK Only).

    To pay via American Express, you must select the Payment Method labelled “Paypal / American Express”. See the image below for details.

  • Can I view your prices in my own currency?

    We have several currencies available for you to view our prices in. If you look at the top-right of our homepage you will see a flag icon – click on it and you will see several currency options. If you your currency is not listed please feel free to Contact Us.

  • I am outside the EU – Will I still pay taxes?

    We do not charge UK VAT (20%) for shipments to countries outside the EU. Any taxes that appear on the website will be deducted from your order total when you enter a delivery address outside the EU on the checkout page.

    However, we cannot be held responsible for any Tax or Duties your country sees fit to charge. For small orders generally speaking there isn’t any tax especially if you are the end user and not a retail outlet etc… if you are concerned please check with your own country’s authorities who will answer your questions accurately.

Shopping Cart / Website

  • I just ordered some brushes just now but didn’t see an option to apply my “smart points”?

    You will not be able to use the smart points that you earnt on that order against the same order. You will be able to use them on future transactions though, but just make sure you sign in so the website knows it’s you & your account. When you come to the check out, you will see you can “Apply Smart Points”. Enter the amount of Smart Points you’d like to apply, and you can go from there.

  • How do I create an account on your website?

    To create an account on our website simply visit this page, or use the link found at the top of any page on our website which is highlighted in the image below.


    You will need to enter some personal details such as name, email address, telephone number and postal address.

  • I have forgotten my password / my password is not working.

    To request a new password, please visit the password recovery page, enter your email address and press the “reset password” button. You will be emailed a new password automatically. Alternatively there is a link to this page pictures below which can be found on the login page.

  • My email address is not recognised when trying to reset my password.

    If you are trying to reset your password and receive the message “Warning: The E-Mail Address was not found in our records, please try again!”, please double check that you entering the correct email address.

    If your email address is still not recognised, it is likely that you do not have an account on our website. If you would like to create one you can do so on the registration page.

  • I have not received my new password after using the password request form.

    Your new password should arrive at the email address you entered immediately after clicking the “reset password” button. If your new password does not arrive, please firstly check your spam box incase your spam filter caught the email. You might also like to try adding “” to your safe sender list to make sure your email service provider is not blocking the email before retrying the password reset form.

    Failing this, please contact us at, or call us on +44 (0) 1535 632666.

  • My email address has changed – how do I login?

    If you have an account with us already and have changed your email address, you will firstly need to login to your account using your old email address. You may then visit the “My account” section of the website using the link at the top right.

    Once on the “My Account” page, click on the link labelled “Edit your account information”. Here you can change your personal details including email address. When you have made the changes click “Continue” to save the changes.


  • I want to update my personal account details (address, email etc).

    To update your personal details, firstly please login to our website. You may then visit the “My account” section of the website using the link at the top right.

    Once on the “My Account” page, click on the link labelled “Edit your account information”. Here you can change your personal details including email address, name and telephone number. When you have made the changes click “Continue” to save the changes.

    To change your address, or add a new address please use the link labelled “Modify your address book entries”. Again, this is found under the “My Account” section of the website.

  • How do I change my password?

    To update your password, firstly please login to our website. You may then visit the “My account” section of the website using the link at the top right.

    Once on the “My Account” page, click on the link labelled “Change your password”. On this page please enter your new password, then once again in the next box to confirm it. When you have entered your password in both boxes, click “Continue” to save the changes.

  • How do I logout of the website?

    To logout of our website, simply click the “Logout” link which is found at the top right hand side of any page on our website. If you can’t see this link – you are not logged in. See the image below for more info.

  • How do I amend the quantity or remove items in my cart?

    If you would like to change the quantity of items in your cart, or to remove them completely. You must first visit the shopping cart page. You can find a link to this at the top right of any page on our website – as shown in the image below.


    update-quantityTo the right of each product in your cart you will see a box with a number and two icons next to it. To update the quantity of that product enter the number you would like in the box and then press the arrow to save your changes. To remove the item completely, simply click the red X icon.

  • The website shows “your transaction cannot be completed” when I try to checkout.

    If the website shows “your transaction cannot be completed” and you are sure you have typed all the details correctly, this could be due to your bank blocking the transaction. This happens occasionally for customers who are overseas where transactions are flagged as fraud by the customer’s bank. You would have to contact your bank to confirm if this is the case.

    Alternatively you could select “Paypal” as your payment method on the first page of our checkout. With this method you can still use your credit/debit card but you will be taken to the paypal website to make payment.

  • Can I add brushes to my order once if has been placed?

    If you call us on 01535 632666 or email, we will try out best to get the additional item(s) added on to your order. This may not always be possible, though, as we aim to get all orders processed and dispatched as quickly as possible. If your order has been dispatched then unfortunately there is nothing we can do.

  • How do I start to shop?

    To start shopping on our website, hover over the category of your choice on the menu bar at the top of our home page. Upon selecting your choice you will be taken to a page with several more options. Keep making selections until you reach a product page where you can select the sizes you would like and add the products to your cart.

    We will be updating this guide with a comprehensive tutorial on how to place an order soon.

  • What events/shows will Rosemary & Co attending?

    To view which events Rosemary & Co will be attending please click here.