A paint brush is an important tool for any house painting project. It will give you the professional painters finish you want. Just like picking out paint colours or the type of paint sheen before you begin painting, buying a quality paint brush makes all the difference in every brush stroke.
When walking into your local home improvement store and heading down the paint aisles you’re usually hit with a huge array of choices for paint brushes. Big ones, small ones, black ones, white ones, choosing the right paint brush for your next house painting project can be easy with the following useful tips. We hope to help you spot the difference between the most used by professional house painters and the best quality bristles to get the painting done right.
TIP 1. The most used paint brush by professional house painters is a 2.5 inch brush. Because of it’s angled bristles it makes a sharp tip for straight cut lines when cutting in corners or for around trim.
TIP 2. Look for densely packed bristles all the way from the ferrule (which is the metal band that holds the bristles together). Ensure there is no filler in the centre by rubbing the palm of your hands through the bristles. They are solid when the bristles spring back when you bend them at the base.
TIP 3. Select a brush that has multiple length bristles. The variations in the length of each bristle help create a slim tip not a blunt edge. It makes the cutting in corners and around trim and baseboards easier.
TIP 4. A brush with flagged tips that look like split ends at the end of the bristles are also good because they hold more paint and help to spread it evenly.
Just like there are two most commonly used types of paints such as Latex Paints which are water based and little to no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) or Oil Based Paints which is commonly used for trim work as trim and baseboards take on more daily wear and tear over time than the paint on the walls. There’s a right tool for every job and not every paint brush should be used with any kind of paint.
Picking The Right Paint Brush For The Different Types Of Paint
A professional house painter will tell you that you can not use a paint brush made of natural bristles with Latex Paints. Natural Bristles don’t work well with latex paint because the natural paint brush bristles tend to soak up the water in the latex paint and the bristles on the brush will actually become limp.
Natural Bristles work best with oil based paints or varnishes.
Latex paint is easier to work with and dries more quickly. It’s commonly used in painting of walls and ceilings.
Which size paint brush is right for you? Most professional painters use a 2.5 inch brush as it is the handiest. Of course the 2 inch brush is also convenient it’s a personal preference really. So try one out at the store before you buy and see which one feels most comfortable in your hand. Note that if your using a quart of paint can the 2.5 is the largest you will be able to fit into the can. Consider purchasing an angled paint brush to help you cut straight lines around the windows, doors, moulding and ceilings.
NOTE: Be sure to apply a coat of primer before you begin painting. Latex based primer goes on latex paint and oil-based primer works best with oil based paints.
Here’s an extra tip. If you are planning on painting a small spot or patch, or using a stain or patching compound that are hard to clean off expensive brushes and you know you’ll only need it for a one time use, consider buying disposable brushes. Cheaper in price and quality of course but if you’re never going to use them again it won’t hurt the wallet to throw it away if you’ve used a product you can’t clean off. Since throw away brushes are of lower quality they tend to lose the hairs, so just brush out any loose ones before you start using it to paint.
Take Care Of Your Paint Brush
Taking care of a paint brush is important if you are in the business of house painting. Even as a DIY homeowner who enjoys painting their own house should take good care of the paint brushes. An expensive good quality paint brush is an investment so don’t forget to clean it well once you’re done with your painting project.
Most latex paints will clean up easily with some warm water. Just rinse it until no paint remains on the bristles. Shake off the excess water and leave to air dry.
Oil Paints on a paint brush need to be cleaned with a paint thinner. Avoid soaking the brush past the metal band in the middle that holds the bristles from falling out. Soaking it past the metal band area may cause damage to the paint brush and the bristles may fall out.
It’s always a good idea to double check the paint can label or the solvents label for any special directions.
Tip: If you have an old brush that’s turned stiff you can still bring it back to life. Simply soak it in hot vinegar for about half hour. It will soften most of the paint residue and restore the paint brush for you to be able to use again.