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How To Choose The Right Paint Brush For Your Project

The number of paint brushes in your local store can be a little overwhelming, but there are only three basic types of brushes. Click the icon below to find out more. 

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Posted 2014-10-09T23:34:57+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL
Good video and I can't stress enough the folly of buying a cheap paint brush.  In most cases, you need to spend at least $10 to get a good brush.  Of course, with proper care that brush should last the typical homeowner many years.

My "go to" brush is synthetic 1 1/2" angled sash. Now most pro painters will use a 2" or even 2 1/2" in brush because the larger brush holds more paint, meaning less trips back to the bucket to refill the brush.  I think I get better control with the smaller brush and because I don't paint for a living, I don't have to worry so much about being productive.

The same thing is true of roller covers, don't buy cheap ones.  You'll be picking fuzz off your walls all day long!  I've had good luck with Purdy White Dove rollers ($11.50 for a pack of 3).
Posted 2014-10-13T00:41:25+0000  by Adam444
Thanks for the kudos on the video Adam!

My experience matches yours:

1) Buy the best brush available for the paint, stain, or clear coat you're using;
2) DIYers should select a brush that fits your hand and is easy to control ... 2.5 inch angled sash in my preference; and 
3) Cheap is as cheap does ... roller covers that shed will ruin the appearance of a quality paint every time.

Finally, the cost of water to clean a roller cover exceeds the benefit of re-using the roller cover.

I switch to a new roller cover whenever I change rooms or change colors.
Posted 2014-10-14T15:51:43+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I spent a lifetime as a painting contractor buying quality rollers and reusing them until they became "raggy". Quality rollers shed little or not at all. They also do not mat down, resulting in the roller being unable to pick up adequate paint and unable to deposit it evenly on the wall, especially on textured walls.

Good quality rollers run 4 to 5 dollars. A bit pricey to just chuck after every use! It can be cleaned in about a minute in a deep laundry sink which allows the roller to be spun on your forearm to rapidly remove the water and pigment. I leave the roller cover on the roller frame to facilitate the spinning. A dedicated roller spinner can also be used. If you just merely run water down the static roller, then yes, you will be standing there for several minutes until all the pigment has exited.

Rollers worn out for interior work were often recycled for exterior work where everyting was back-brushed anyhow and an initially rough texture was not important. Every 9 inch roller can be coverted to a 7 inch cover suitable to clapboard siding. I even had the 7 inch mark penciled on my radial arm saw in the shop!  :)

I have recently been using the new micro-fiber roller covers and have been quite impressed. They do not lint and they hold more paint  -  less trips to the pan to reload! They also conform nicely to the textured walls so prevalent here in Portland.
Posted 2014-10-16T01:21:31+0000  by ordjen
Thanks for joining the thread ordjen!

Your experience and point of view as a paint contractor is a great asset to our Community!

You're so right ... in the world of contract painting, there is no substitute for quality results.

Naps (roller covers) that shed make it nearly impossible to meet your customers' expectations for a quality paint job.

And, since word of mouth is the primary source of referral, each job needs to match customer expectations.

Most contractors also want to cut costs, but not at the expense of quality.

In this vein, I'm certain there is a limit to how many times a roller cover can be reused.

As you know, I most frequently write for DIYers who may not take time to properly clean roller covers ... or brushes.

This group isn't likely to store their paint supplies either.

And, in my area, the cost of water includes a sewer fee that equals two-times the water use fee.

Any homeowner (in my area) will find these two fees a deterrent to using water ... particularly water to clean a $3.50 roller cover.

At these rates, the water costs will quickly exceed the value of the roller cover.

So, for this particular audience, I still recommend that they discard roller covers when they change rooms or change colors.

DIYers clearly have a different perspective on cost containment.

It is also the case that many contractors clean their roller covers and brushes on the job site.

This eliminates the cost of water and sewer fees as a business expense and shifts the cost back to the customer (whose water supply is used for cleaning).

Perspectives are vastly different from business owner to home owner.

But the common thread that links both is the expectation for a quality paint job.
Posted 2014-10-16T15:59:02+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Interesring fact about the Wooster Pro nylon/polyester brushes is that the Behr Ultra line of paint was used in testing these brushes' performance and makes them the most optimal brush for that line of paint. Purdy makes excellent brushes also, my only knock on them is being owned by SW.
Posted 2014-10-22T03:37:18+0000  by champflash3606

During my contracting years, I was a devoted user of the Purdy XL line. I still prefer these brushes for general production work. They are somewhat stiffer than the Woosters, which is of benefit in cutting in edges and ceiling lines.

For fine laying out of paint on woodwork, I would give the edge to the Woosters. Their slightly softer bristle tends to lay out the paint better initially. the Woosters seem to hold a little more paint also.

Some general tips for newbie painters:

-  before dipping your brush in the paint, prime the bristles by dampening  them  with water , if using latex paint, and "kick out" the excess water on the toe of your shoe.

-  initially fully load your brush about 3/4ths of the length of the bristle. Newbies think that they will make less mess if   they only dip the tips in the paint. In reality, this forces much more dipping. All good brushes have an internal space which forms a reservoir. If the bristles are not  dipped sufficiently, the brush will perform poorly.

- never let the paint dry in the bristles. If you are going to stop for more than a couple minutes, cover the brush with plastic. When the paint begins to harden at the heal, simply stop and wash it out, a process that only takes a couple minutes if done when the paint is still soft. WAr water and a couple drops of dishwashing liquid speeds the process. AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE! Good brushes are not cheap, but they will last a lifetime if not abused.

- when finished for the day, wash the brush out and lay it flat or hang it up so that the bristles dry in their natural position.  Bristles that dry out jambed up may be permanently damaged. Similarly, save the cardboard sheath that it comes in. For long term storage, it will also help the bristles remain their optimum shape.

Posted 2014-10-22T18:11:59+0000  by ordjen
Outstanding advice Ordjen!

Buy the best and clean immediately when done and it will last many years!
Posted 2014-10-28T21:18:32+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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Posted 2015-06-04T16:28:59+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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