The Best Paint Brushes For A Quality Job!
Today, as experienced house painters, we will share how to pick the best paint brush that is not only suitable for the job but will eliminate your frustrations.
There are several options, styles, and sizes for paint brushes. And unless you are an expert, it’s hard to discern which paint brush is ideal. House painting professionals are experienced and understand which brushes are best based on the task at hand. Although, choosing the wrong tool will make your job harder.
Let’s avoid the frustrations and uncertainty!
The Best Paint Brush Manufactures
Three major companies make professional-grade paintbrushes. The most well-known company is Purdy. Purdy was acquired by Sherwin-Williams several years ago and continues as one of the most widespread brushes on the market.
The second company is Wooster. While Wooster is not exactly the largest outfit, they offer an extensive range of brushes for nearly any application. We like Wooster because of its quality control, which we will get into later.
The final company included is Corona. In the world of paintbrushes, this company is often overlooked by DIY’ers. Corona brushes are not cheap but are exceptionally well crafted and have been around since 1952.
Choosing the Best Brush
Understanding all options is vital to choosing the correct brush. One of the most important factors is how a brush feels in your hand. The ergonomics of a brush are primarily determined by the handle size, length, finish, and overall weight.
Brushes are also optimized for specific applications. The bristles and brush thickness are tailored to the paint and surface the paint is applied.
Angled brushes are best for detail and trim; however, angled brushes limit the direction of paint application.
Choosing The Brush Size
An experienced painter can hold a large brush for an extended amount of time, but that’s not the case for everyone. Paint brushes ranging from 3 to 6 inches provide increased paint spread for larger surfaces like interior walls or exterior siding.
Smaller paint brushes offer optimal control and enhance a painter’s ability to articulate around detailed trim such as exterior windows or interior moldings. Similar to the width of a brush, thinner brushes also strengthen the ability to paint complex areas.
The metal body of the brush that connects bristles to the handle is called a ferrule. The quality of a ferrule is prudent to how long a paint brush will last. Quality brushes will have copper or stainless-steel ferrules for increased durability. Be mindful that thicker brushes require quality constructed ferrules to hold the handle and bristles in place after continued use.
Paint brush handles are offered in long, regular, and short lengths. Brush thicknesses vary from thinner sprigs to thicker moose styles.
Choosing The Bristles
Polyester, Wool, and Nylon are the primary bristles in modern brushes.
Nylon filaments are soft and provide lower surface tension. Therefore, nylon brushes are great at smoothing paint and minimizing brush marks. This performance advantage is valuable when using paint that dries fast. On the other hand, nylon cannot be used with oil paints and doesn’t manipulate paint well. So, this brush option will fail miserably with thick or oil paint.
Polyester bristles are versatile and are blended in most multi-use brushes. These bristles are typically black and offer increased stiffness for better paint manipulation. This bristle style is excellent for detail and can be used with oil paints.
Chinex or white bristles are thin filaments that increase a brush’s ability to hold paint. Chinex bristles are also relatively smooth but are known to wear quickly. These bristles, blended with others, deliver some of the best multi-purpose brushes. Chinex bristles alone are best for stains and thinner viscosity paints.
Do not paint oil without using a brush designed for oil paint applications.
The Best Paint Brush Categories
Best For All-Around Exterior Painting
Wooster Ultra Pro Complete Performance
This brush is thick, holds a lot of paint, and maximizes exterior paint production. It is excellent for exterior trim and siding.
Best For Polyurethane, Stain, & Oil
Corona Performance Chinex
Handmade and holds thin materials without loss of filaments! Performance Chinex by Corona helps all oil-based products level nicely!
How to Clean & Maintain A Paint Brush
It is worth noting that leading brands’ brush handles are no longer sealed and finished. Brushes with finished handles simply last longer! Unsealed handles allow the wood to saturate, causing failure in the brush’s ferrule, including nails coming out or loss of filaments.
The tip is to treat the brush handle yourself using a water-based deck sealer before the initial use.
Warm water with a dedicated brush cleaner is best used to remove all paint after usage. You know the brush is completely clean when you squeeze the bristles, and there are no streaks of residual paint.
Any remaining paint in a brush will dry and accumulate after continued usage, limiting how much paint the brush can hold.
A good paint brush will last up to 5-6 years depending on the paint used, how often the brush is used and how well the brush is cleaned.
Breaking in A Paint Brush
Breaking in is the most overlooked part of the initial process. Unfortunately, the only way to break in a brush is to use it. However, a shortcut is to put the brush into water and proceed as if cleaning it. The goal is to move those bristles around to break in the brush before using it when it counts.
A brush is usually broken in after the fourth or fifth heavy use. Brushes that are not broken in will not hold paint well and drip. It’s also harder to get the brush to layover to spread paint or paint straight lines.
Don’t Make the Mistake
Buying cheap throwaway brushes is a wait of money! An old used brush serves better as a throwaway brush than a cheap one!
Fully plastic or no-name brands come apart, shed bristles, show unsightly brush marks, and the list goes on. A good painter or paint job does not exist without quality tools.
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