A good brush with allow you to apply a thicker
and smoother coat of paint, which leads to a better paint job. If you
try to save money by using a cheap brush,
you risk getting an uneven or streaked coating.
Plus, if properly cared for, a quality brush
can last longer and both get better and save
money over time.
Types of Brushes
Brushes are made with natural or synthetic
bristles. Natural bristle brushes last longer
(the best natural bristles are called "Natural
China," which are really hog hair),
but that alone is not the reason to choose
them over synthetic brushes. Check the recommendations
on the paint or stain you are applying, because
in general, latex paints require synthetic
or nylon/polyester bristles whereas oil paints
require natural-bristle brushes.
Selecting a Brush
When selecting a brush, look
for these features:
- split or "flagged" ends that are
flexible at their tips
- a sturdy, comfortable handle with a sturdy
metal ferrule (the band that holds the bristles
to the handle)
- tapered bristles with slightly longer bristles
in the center
- brush dimensions such that the bristles are
at least half-again as long as they are wide
(for example, the bristles on a 2"-wide
brush should be at least 3" in length).
The larger the brush, the more paint it will
hold, so pick the right size brush for the
job you are doing. For example, use a 4"
brush with tightly packed bristles in a 3/4"
to 1" thickness for painting siding,
ceilings walls, and floors. Use smaller brushes
for window frames, trim, and woodwork..