Saturday, January 5, 2008

How to Choose a Paintbrush

When selecting a paintbrush for exterior or interior painting jobs, consider your personal comfort as well as the type of paint you'll be using and what kind of job it is. Select the most comfortable handle, taking into consideration the amount of time you will be holding the brush. When choosing between fat and skinny handles, hold the brush in your hand as you would when painting, to get a good feel for what is comfortable for you.

Types of brushes
* Flat Paintbrushes
* Ox-hair Brushes
* Angled Paintbrushes
* Stain Brushes
* Chinese Bristle Brushes
* Enamel Brushes

If using oil-based paint...
Choose from Chinese bristles (hog's hair brush), ox-hair brush or a nylon/polyester blend if using oil-based paint. Natural bristles are your best option because they hold oil-based paint better than synthetic brushes.

If using latex (water-based) paint...
Choose from nylon bristles or a nylon/polyester blend if using latex (water-based) paint.

For painting carefully up to the edge...
Use a large, flat brush (non-angled) for fast application when cutting in (painting carefully up to the edge of) walls and corners.

For trims and moldings
Use angled brushes for trims and moldings. Brush angles generally range from 1 inch to 3 1/2 inches. Painters recommend the 2 1/2 inch angled brush.

Tips & Such
* An ox-hair brush is usually preferred over Chinese bristles because its flexible bristles allow for smoother application.
* Keep in mind that larger brushes are heavier and can become cumbersome when used for a long period of time.
* Look for brushes that are well made - they'll last longer than cheaply made brushes.
* Wooden handles are usually preferred over plastic handles.

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