the painted surface
How To Choose a Paint Brush
How important is it to choose the right paint brush? The professional paint brush will provide a smooth release of paint onto the surface, improve paint coverage, and increase the ability to cut-in fine lines. See "How to Cut-in a Wall or Ceiling". It will feel good in the hand providing comfort during extended use. A quality brush will last, it will paint many rooms. At clean-up time the paint brush will wash and rinse well, ready for use again. The results of using a professional brush will be satisfying in appearance, texture and coverage. There will probably not be a more important single tool in the painting toolbox.
Paint Brush Realted Terms
- a natural fiber of hair, can be from a boar, badger or ox, its "split ends" are a natural occurence
- common name for synthetic bristles made from nylon or polyester
- the shape of the paint brush, formed by tapering the bristles from the ferrule to the tips
- flagg or flagging
- the split ends of the bristles, a well flagged brush will apply paint smoothly
- the reduction in diameter of the indivdual bristles or filaments
- a coating, finish or paint with a solvent of water
- a coating, finish or paint with a solvent of mineral spirits
- a coating, finish or paint with a solvent of denatured alcohol
- bend recovery
- the ability to return to an original shape
- the wrapper or cover for a brush, retains the shape of the brush
- a brush with it bristles cut at an angle, produces a sharper painted line
This article will discuss common types of paint brushes and their uses. They are divided into two groups. First is the filament (synthetic bristle) type and the second is the natural bristle type. NOTE: The term bristle is often used for both natural and synthetic bristles but actually the synthetic bristle is a manufactured filament made of nylon or polyester and the natural bristle is a strand of hair taken from a boar or hog. Though the term may overlap in meaning, the use of the brush does not always overlap. A natural bristle brush should not be used in water or alcohol based coatings. The natural bristle will absorb the liquid, becoming limp, saturated, floppy and almost impossible to use.
To choose a paint brush first look to the major brands. Within these brands buy their best paint brush. The difference in price between "economy" brushes and professional brushes is small compared to the difference in quality and longevity. A paint brush lives up to the adage, "You get what you pay for." Some trusted brands are Purdy, Corona and Wooster. They can be found at paint dealers, home centers, hardware stores and are available at good prices through Amazon.
Professional Paint Brush Characteristics
- The brush should be full. A good paint brush has a substantial thickness relative to its width and is thickly filled with bristles.
- The bristles should be long, longer than the width of the brush except for extremely wide brushes.
- A taper of shape, seen from the edge a tapering from the thickness at the ferrule to the tips of the bristles.
- The bristles will be tipped or flagged. This gives a soft, smooth feeling when the tips of the bristles are stroked across the palm of the hand. A well tipped brush will paint with better coverage, a smoother texture and sharper lines when cutting-in.
- The ferrule should be tightly wrapped and securely attached. If it is stainless steel it will not rust.
- The handle may be wood or plastic but usually the best brushes have wood handles. It should be comfortable to hold.
- Good bristles have bend recovery. Hold a new brush, bend back the bristles and let them go. They should snap back straight in a spring like motion.