At first glance the idea of picking the perfect paint brush for the particular job that you are undergoing may seem like a very insignificant decision. Nothing could be further from the truth then correctly choosing the right brush, for the job, and the type of paint you will be applying. This does not mean that you need to purchase a forty dollar brush that will be used once nor does it mean that purchasing a brush from the dollar store is going to be the solution.
Professional painters tend to use very good brushes that last for years and countless painting projects. Paint brushes and tools for that matter are a pretty major investment and daily care ensure their constant dependable use. Brushes are cleaned and stored after each and every use. Personally, I follow the same formula and keep my brushes clean and ready for the next job. Downgrading the status of a brush happens when a fine brush has been in service for many projects and and is no longer suitable for finish work. Instead of tossing the brush it gets used for priming or color samples and eventually becomes a great dust brush. The point is a good quality brush has a very long lifespan when properly cared for.
So How Do You Pick The Perfect Paint Brush?
First you need to narrow down the vast selection of brushes that are available. Are you using an oil based paint or primer, the most common acrylic latex paint, or an alcohol based paint. What type of finish will be chosen: flat, matte, satin or eggshell, semi gloss, gloss, or high gloss. The rule of thumb when deciding on brushes is pretty straightforward and painless: china bristle brushes are for oils, synthetic or nylon brushes are best suited for latex paints. Of course there are some cross brushes that can be used for both mediums and are also well suited for hybrid finishes: water based paints that have oil properties and consistency.
Characteristics of the Perfect Paint Brush
This will vary by your needs and of course your budget, but good brushes have pretty much the same factors in common. Long handles usually of wood which have a slight taper in the middle and tend to be a bit thicker to fit comfortably in your hand. The ferrule, the metal part that connects the handle to the bristles is well constructed and finished well without gaps or visible glue. The bristles are the most important aspect of the perfect paint brush and should be long, soft, and a bit stiff. The ends or tip of the bristles should be even and soft to the touch. Brushes come in two variants, angled and the more traditional straight brush: this choice is just a personal preference and doesn’t detract from the performance of the brush. I tend to go for the straight brush which is better suited for my painting technique and brush work. The angled brush which I usually purchase for the window sash or difficult corners. I use the flat brush for all my large cut-ins, doors, and larger surfaces. Some of the most popular brushes by brand are Corrona, Purdy, and Wooster with a price range of $6.00 up to $200 for some really exceptional brushes.
Picking a brush and choosing the right tools for your painting project should be simple and enjoyable. If you find yourself frustrated or at wits end…just ask the sales staff or even one of the pros that happens to be in the store. If all else fails please free to shoot me a line and will help out.