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Choosing the right paint brush

There are a huge range of brushes on the market, but it's important to choose the right one for the job!

Types of paint brushes

The hairs, or filaments, in brushes are either natural - most commonly hog bristles - or synthetic, like nylon.

Natural bristles work well only with oil-based paints. Nylon can be used with latex or oil-based paints.

Polyester filaments are recommended for all paints because they don't absorb water or lose their shape, as natural bristles and nylon can sometimes do.

choosing the right brush

Split ends?

A quality brush has a high percentage of bristles with split ends, important for holding and spreading the paint. The better this quality, called flagging, the fewer the brush marks you risk leaving behind.

A quality brush has filaments of varying length, allowing a smooth flow and application.

What lengths to go to?

Brush widths range from 12mm, best for small jobs and touch-up work such as timber trim, to 50mm for doors and screens, right up to 100mm plus for all large flat areas - walls, floors, ceilings, roof, fences.

Long handled cutter brushes are those specially made for door and window frames.

Don't skimp on paintbrush quality

Avoid cheap brushes, especially those with short bristles.

Quality bristles give a more efficient pick-up and steady release, giving an even, streak-free finish. A quick way to check quality is to feel the thickness of the bristle. It should feel full and slightly resistant to being bent.

Final tips for better painting

  1. Flick the bristles a few times before use to remove dust and loose bristles.
  2. Hold the brush like a pencil and use long, steady strokes.
  3. Paint with the tip of the brush, not the sides.
  4. Brush the final coat on lightly with the bristle tips to achieve an even no-streak finish.

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