Choosing the Right Brush
brushes come in a variety of sizes and styles. Smaller brushes are used for
smaller areas and detail work, whereas large brushes are designed for larger
projects. Square or flat brushes are available with natural or synthetic
bristles. These are generally used for painting around the house because they
can cover a large area in less time. Angular or chiseled brushes are
available with natural or synthetic bristles. They are designed to use on jobs
where cutting-into corners and painting trim, molding, and windows would be required.
The filament is the most important part of the brush because it comes in
contact with the paint.
Bristle is the most popular natural
filament. Bristle brushes are not recommended for use in water-based paints
because water absorbs into the bristles and leaves them limp. Bristle is also
not good to use on rough surfaces, which can break the "flags" and
wear down the brush. Flags are what help hold paint in the brush so it's
distributed evenly through the stroke. Bristle works well with oil-based, alkyd
paints, stains, varnishes, urethanes, and shellac.
Nylon is a very durable filament and
less expensive than natural bristle. Nylon bristles are hollow so they absorb
paint and can leak paint even after they have been cleaned. Because of this
durability, nylon brushes are great to use on rough surfaces. Use with
fast-drying paints like acrylics since they are so easy to clean up after.
Polyester filaments are popular with do-it-yourselfers
because of their low price. Polyester brushes do not absorb moisture so they
retain their stiffness better than other brushes. They also resist heat so they
are good to use in any climate and with all types of coatings. Polyester is
stiffer so it has less flex and leaves more brush marks in the coating. Also,
it cannot be precisely tipped and is not as easy to clean as nylon.
Nylon/polyester blend is the most popular synthetic
paint brush since it combines the best qualities for better performance.
Polyester bristles are used in shorter lengths for stiffness when using
water-based paints as well as for resistance to heat. The nylon is used in the
longer lengths for precise tipping and durability during use.