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How to Choose Paint Brushes Like a Professional – Follow these steps and you should be able to select the right paint brushes for your painting jobs.
Table of Contents
How to Choose Paint Brushes Like a Professional
How well you paint is partially determined by the paint brushes you use.
For years now paint brush buyers have been able to shop for paint brushes in big-box stores and discount outlets, sometimes buying them for one or two dollars each, and thinking that they have nailed down a good deal.
When it comes to paint brushes, however, the lowest price brush might turn out to be the costliest in terms of paint finish appearance and the length of time it takes to get proper coverage.
Professional painters know the value of a buck. If clearance and discount paint brushes would do the job, the professional paint store wouldn’t carry such a large inventory of quality brushes that are bought by the professionals, almost exclusively.
It is the quality paint brush that the pro painter buys, not the discount brushes.
Why A Good Brush?
Take a look at the cutting or paint framing around the windows, in the corners or where the wall meets the ceiling of a paint job you have done.
If you are a typical do-it-yourselfer, you may see voids in the paint. Sometimes those voids, brush marks, and those poor coverage areas are there even after the area has been painted twice.
That’s likely the fault of the brush, not necessarily the painter.
Quality brushes are able to hold more paint and apply that paint more evenly to the surface than cheap brushes can. Some professionals can cut a wall once, and there are absolutely no voids when they are done because they use good quality paint brushes.
Since paint flows more easily from the larger volume of paint on the quality brush, it’s easier to make cut lines straighter as well.
You may only have to move the brush along a cut once, eliminating the wandering that may happen if you have to repeat the stroke numerous times in an effort to get paint coverage.
Cheap Brush More Expensive
And that brings us to money, and why the pro painter uses good brushes to save some.
If one brush doesn’t hold as much paint as another better quality paint brush, using that one will mean more trips to the paint can and more time to get enough paint on the surface to cover the area. And, if the cut lines aren’t straight, that takes more time to fix.
Pros cannot afford to use cheap brushes, and really, neither should you. Visit the pro paint store and spend a bit more for a paint brush that will do the job for you properly. You will really notice the difference.
Paint Brush Sizes
Brushes come in a variety of widths, lengths, brush shapes, handle material, and types of “bristles”.
I can’t get excited about what the paint handle is made of, though if I’m doing a big job, a softer material would be better than harder material.
For cutting, I like a brush with an angled face (brush material cut on a bit of an angle from side to side), this style is known as a sash brush.
True Bristle brushes are made from animal hair, usually horsehair, and are the best to use with oil or alkyd paints.
Paint brushes with nylon or polyester “bristles” are best to use with latex, water-based paints.
Since the use of oil/alkyd paints is now usually relegated for high wear surfaces or specialty applications, most homeowners don’t need a large supply of true bristle brushes for oil paints.
A small range of polyester or nylon “bristle” brushes hanging on the workshop wall will handle most home painting applications.
Can you use artificial brush materials with oil/alkyd paints? For most, sure you can. You cannot get the surface finish that a true bristle brush can provide with oil paint, yet you will still get the paint onto the surface.
Brushes come in a variety of widths, and it’s wise if you pick the size that suits the job. You won’t pick a 4″ wide paint brush to apply paint to the mullion in your window, for example. Though come to think of it, maybe someone did! 🙂
For general use, I can tell you that professionals buy 2 1/2″ wide (63 mm) brushes more often than any other size.
If you are fussy about the final finish of your paint job and the amount of time it takes you to get satisfied with the result, then use the right, good quality brush for the job. If you don’t much care, then the el cheapo brush will probably do!