How To Pick the Right Paint Brush for Every Project - Home & Texture
Decorate Paint Brushes

Everything You Need To Know About Choosing the Right Paint Brush

A brush is a brush, right? If only it were that simple.

June 14, 2024 at 7:56 AM PST
Decorate Paint Brushes

Everything You Need To Know About Choosing the Right Paint Brush

A brush is a brush, right? If only it were that simple.

June 14, 2024 at 7:56 AM PST

A home painting project is calling your name. Maybe you’ve been binge-watching home makeover shows and have finally mustered up the courage to tackle the dresser you’ve been wanting to add DIY designs to for ages. Or, you’re in need of a change and your kitchen cabinets are in need of a fresh coat or two of color. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: you need to paint, and you need to do it right. You’ll need tools — brushes to be specific. You might be thinking, “A brush is a brush, right?” If only it were that simple. Different brushes serve different purposes. Here are a few you need to know.

The Standard Roller

The standard roller brush is your go-to for most interior wall projects. With a sturdy frame and a replaceable roller cover, it’s designed to hold a significant amount of paint and apply it evenly across large areas.

Why it’s great: It speeds up the painting process and provides a smooth, consistent finish.

Pro tip: Choose a roller cover with the appropriate nap — the thickness of the roller cover — for your surface. A shorter nap — 1/4 to 3/8 inch — is ideal for smooth surfaces, while a longer nap — 1/2 to 1 inch — works best for textured surfaces like popcorn ceilings or stucco.

Photo credit: blackCAT

The Angled Brush

The angled brush, also known as the sash brush is your go-to for those hard-to-reach corners and edges. With its slanted bristles, it can cut in around trim, ceilings, and baseboards like a pro. Imagine trying to navigate the intricacies of a stencil design without it — chaos, pure chaos.

Why it’s great: The angled brush is versatile and perfect for precision work. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of paintbrushes.

Pro tip: Look for an angled brush with synthetic bristles if you’re working with latex paint. Synthetic bristles hold their shape better and won’t absorb water.

The Flat Brush

Think of this one as the marathon runner of paintbrushes. With its wide, flat surface, it’s designed to cover large areas quickly and efficiently. Ideal for painting doors, cabinets, and furniture, the flat brush can make a tedious task feel like a walk in the park—or at least a brisk jog.

Why it’s great: It saves time and provides a smooth finish on large, flat surfaces.

Pro tip: A flat brush with natural bristles works best with oil-based paints. Natural bristles are softer and provide a smoother finish.

The Round Brush

If the flat brush is a marathon runner, the round brush is a nimble gymnast. Perfect for detail work, such as painting small furniture, adding decorative touches, or tackling intricate designs, the round brush is all about control and precision.

Why it’s great: It allows you to get into nooks and crannies and create fine lines and details.

Pro tip: Choose a round brush with a tapered tip for the best control. This will help you achieve those clean, crisp lines that make your projects look professionally done.

The Bold Wall Brush

When you’ve got a big wall to paint, you need a brush that means business. Enter the wall brush. With its thick, rectangular head, this brush is designed to hold a lot of paint and cover a lot of ground. It’s your best friend when you’re tackling large wall spaces and don’t want to spend an eternity doing it.

Why it’s great: It holds more paint, reducing the number of trips back to the paint can and speeding up the process.

Pro tip: Use a wall brush with synthetic bristles for latex paints and natural bristles for oil-based paints. This ensures the best application and finish.

Foam brush |
Photo Credit: RDNE

The Flexible Foam Brush

Foam brushes are the quirky, fun-loving cousins in the paintbrush family. Lightweight and inexpensive, they’re great for quick touch-ups, crafts, and small projects. While they might not replace your traditional brushes for a big job, they’re perfect for those little projects where precision and smooth application are key.

Why it’s great: It’s cheap, disposable, and perfect for small projects and crafts.

Pro tip: Use foam brushes for applying varnish or polyurethane. They offer a super smooth finish without brush strokes.

The Stippling Brush

Want to add a bit of texture to your walls or furniture? The stippling brush is your go-to. With its short, stiff bristles, it’s designed to create a stippled effect, giving your surfaces a unique, textured look. Reach for it if you’re trying to achieve a rustic, antique finish or simply want to add some visual interest, the stippling brush has got you covered.

Why it’s great: It adds texture and visual interest to your projects.

Pro tip: Practice on a piece of cardboard or scrap wood before you start on your actual project. This will help you get a feel for the brush and the effect it creates.


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