You may be wondering why there are so many different sizes, types, prices, bristles etc. available for paintbrushes. Ever visited a paint store or home improvement store to look for a paint brush? This can be overwhelming as there are dozens of different paintbrushes available at different prices. There is extensive information available online regarding brushes and which ones to use, but today we will discuss the basics. This article will help you select the best type of paintbrush for your interior painting project.
There are two main types of bristles available for paintbrushes; natural and synthetic. Natural bristles are typically made out of animal hair (usually ox or hog hair) and they can only be used with oil-based paints. If you attempt to use a natural bristle brush with water based paint the bristles will absorb the water in the paint, making it extremely difficult to spread the paint properly. Synthetic bristle brushes (made from nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two) are best when used with water based paint. The majority of household paints are now water based making the synthetic brush the best choice overall for most painting projects.
There are also many sizes and angles to choose from (1” to 5”) and straight or angled bristles. 2” and smaller brushes should only be used in tight areas that a bigger brush would simply not fit. Otherwise a 2.5” or 3” brush is recommended. The main benefit of using a wider brush is that they hold more paint and you will spend less time refilling your brush. You should always use a slightly smaller size of brush to the surface being painted. For example if you are painting  3” door trim you’d use a 2.5” brush. When cutting in drywall walls where they meet the ceiling we recommend using a 3” angled brush. The angled (aka sash) brushes allow you greater control in corners, along tops of walls, and along narrow edges. The square cut or flat cut brushes are great for a nice smooth application and some painters prefer these. However, we equip all of our painters with angled brushes in a variety of sizes due to the overall versatility of these brushes. A 3” angled brush (polyester/nylon combination) is the most versatile brush for residential applications.
When deciding how much to spend on a brush keep in mind you typically get what you pay for. An expensive brush will last much longer, give you greater control, and is much easier to wash. If you are completing a small project (2 rooms or less) and you plan on using the brush only one time you can get away with a cheaper brush, but keep in mind they typically wont last more than one or two washings. You don’t have to buy the most expensive brush to get a good finish, but you can expect to pay between $20-30 for a good brush.
If you’d like more information regarding paint brush selection you can visit our website www.gwpainting.ca or head to any local paint store and ask for assistance. Happy Painting!