Which Paintbrush is Right For My Project?
There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they just can’t take that color on the wall anymore and they absolutely have to do something about it. If you’ve reached your breaking point, it’s time to make some serious decisions. Obviously, you’ll need to plan a new color scheme, but after that you’ve got to get the right hardware. Number one on the list? Your brush!
A Brush is a Brush, Isn’t It?
No. There are as many varieties of paint brushes as there are fibers in your carpet. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but not by a lot. The type of brush you choose will need to match the project you’re doing, as well as the type of paint you’re using. Here are some guidelines, not hard rules, you can follow to make it easier to choose the right tool.
You’d think that bigger is better, but that’s not always true for paintbrushes. There’s such a thing as too big and too small when it comes to painting, and although the size you need for your objective may vary slightly, you can generally assume these sizes for these jobs:
Under Two Inches. Typically, a brush this size is used for trim and other detail work. The shape will ultimately determine how easy the brush in question will make your job. If you’re handy enough with a paintbrush, these little guys can make it possible to paint without taping as long as you have a steady hand!
Three Inch. This is a good size brush for general use. If it’s not too thick, you can theoretically do most of what you need to and still get a decent result. Don’t try to approach fine detail with it, though, because you’ll just have a mess.
Four Inches and Above. When you’re picking a brush this size it’s for one reason: to fill in a lot of empty space. Depending on the project, you may be better off with a roller, but this article isn’t about rollers, is it? Four inch paint brushes are great for making short work of big, long walls.
After the size of a brush, it’s vital to know how the end of the brush is shaped. For example, if you tried to cut in trim with a square trim end shape, you’ll end up throwing the brush out the window in frustration. Instead, refer to this short list for the right end trim:
Square Trim. The ends of the brush are literally cut flush, so that each bristle is the same length. This is great for filling in big areas since you’ll get consistent paint coverage, but not so great in delicate spots.
Chisel Trim. When it comes time to cut in your corners and edges, nothing but a chisel trim brush will do. Because it’s cut at a slant, with only some of the bristles reaching the flat end, you have major control over paint application. Someone who paints with a chisel trimmed brush on the regular may be capable of doing all your cutting in without even taping first.
Angled Cut. Last, but far from least, is the angled cut. These brushes are also called “trim brushes” because, well, they’re really best for trim work. The angled end makes it possible to get near-inkpen-like precision with some practice.
Many of the brushes you’ll see in the paint department at your favorite home improvement store will be made with synthetic fibers. This is because they’re the easiest to work with for DIYers who may not have a lot of time to learn how to handle a brush with natural fibers. It’s ok, no one’s judging you.
In addition, synthetic fibers are ideal for use with latex paint, since natural fiber brushes can soften and lose their rigidity when facing the water-base of these paints. However, if you’ve decided only oil will do, check out the natural fiber brushes, too. Both natural and synthetic fibers are good for oils.