Helpful Paint Brush Hints for Homeowners Helpful Paint Brush Hints for Homeowners

Determine the type of paint or coating to be used.

This is the important first step in any painting project. With so many types of paints and coatings (stains, varnishes, shellacs, etc.) available, it's sometimes hard to know which one fits your project best. A qualified sales person at your favorite paint store can help.

Choose the right brush or brushes to fit the job.

Again, ask for advice if you are not sure which brushes best fit the project. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Select a quality brush - All brushes are not the same! You're much more likely to be happy with your finished project if you've used top-performing painting tools that make the job easier and provide good results.
  • Match the brushes to the paint - Nylon and nylon/polyester blend brushes are excellent for latex and water-based products because they hold their shape and resiliency. They are easy to clean and their filament will not soften and become limp. Oil-base paints, enamels, varnishes, most stains and lacquers should be applied with a natural bristle brush.
  • Use a variety of brush sizes - The larger the project, the more likely more than one size of brush will be needed. Using the right size brush will give you far better results as well as save you time and effort. Generally, brush widths range from 1 inch to 4 inches. One inch brushes are made for trim, shutters and most touchup. Four inch brushes are designed for painting larger surface areas such as interior walls, paneling, exterior siding, etc.

Ask about "special use" brushes.

A project with sharp angles or other unusual surfaces may require an angular brush, which is specifically designed for such purposes. Long handles on trim and sash brushes make for easy reaching into hard to get places and good "cutting in." Tell your salesperson about any such applications your project may have and get his or her advice.


  • Almost 80 percent of today's paint carries the label of "one coat." The paint may be able to deliver the one coat coverage, but if you put it on with an inferior applicator you'll never achieve that result. Quality applicators are a must!
  • The difference in price between an inferior brush and a good quality one is not that much. And with a better brush you'll get a vastly superior finished job, with less effort, in a significantly shorter time. Isn't it worth it?
Courtesy of Purdy Worldwide

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