So you’re ready to paint your home? Hopefully, if you’re outdoors, you’ll have some Florida sunshine. And whether you’re painting the interior or exterior, you’ll need the right tools. Of course, you’ll be using rollers, but the good old fashioned brush will still be an important part of your tool kit because that is one thing they have not created an app for yet! 😉
If you’re thinking cheap, simple, or both, you’re probably wondering if it matters what kind of brush you get. Can’t you just get the cheapest one and use it for everything? Well, you can – if you’re not too worried about quality work. Here are a couple of thoughts on the right gear to use, but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to drop me an e-mail with your question. [email protected]
If quality work is your aim, however, and whether you’re painting the interior or exterior, you’ll need more than one to do the job. And don’t think cheap. It is well worth the money to buy a good brush over the cheap ones by far!
Good ones last if you keep them clean. They apply the paint more smoothly and evenly, and you won’t find bristles in the paint after you’ve applied it.
Before you choose any brush, you need to know your paint. The main ingredient in is called the “solvent” or “base.” Different bases are used for different purposes. Many people are familiar with acrylic, latex and vinyl paints, all of which are water based. But other bases are common, including oil and alcohol.
Bristles are designed for a particular solvent, and won’t work as well with other solvents. Natural bristles are best with oil-based paints. Synthetic bristles, which don’t absorb water, are better for water-based paints (acrylic, latex or vinyl).
Check the bristles to get an idea of the quality. Split ends are bad for your hair, but good for painting. These split or “flagged” ends help hold and spread the paint, and the more of them there are, the fewer marks you will leave. Quality bristles are also “tipped” – each individual bristle has a slanted or angled end. And quality ones are “chiseled,” meaning the entire package of bristles has a slanted or chiseled appearance on both sides.
Of course, as with almost everything, size matters. The size you choose should be roughly proportional to the size of the area you’re going to paint. Large ones, say 2.5” – 3”, should be used for open areas where lots of coverage is necessary. For smaller areas, from exterior to interior trim, don’t exceed the size of the surface being painted.
Once you’ve popped the cash on a good one, about $10 – $15, it’s probably a good idea to take care of it properly. First, clean it with the appropriate solvent – for example, water with detergent if you used acrylic paint. If you’re going to store it for a long time, let it dry, and then store it in the cover that came with it. And always store them hanging or lying flat, so the bristles aren’t resting on anything.
So there’s definitely more to paint brushes than meets the eye. If you’re not sure about how to do the job, visit our Venice, Florida Painting Blog for many more tips. Happy painting!