Paintbrush Tutorial

If you're planning a paint job, you need all the information you can get so you can plan "P-Day" accordingly. One good place to start is to learn about paintbrushes. Look no further, we've gathered all the pertinent info right here.

The trim brush also goes by the term "sash brush." These are available in 1"-3" widths and are best for cutting in corners, painting trim, or for any small, detailed areas. They come with natural bristles, which are preferable for alkyd (oil-based) paints, or with synthetic filaments for latex paints. The bristle or filament ends are the "sash," and can be cut square (flat) or angular (for cutting-in corners and for painting detailed surface areas).

The paint brush, also called, "wall," or, "flattening" brush comes in 3"-5" widths and are used for covering large surfaces such as floors, ceilings, and chimneys. As with trim brushes, they come with natural bristles for alkyd paints, and synthetic filaments for latex paints.

Specialty Brushes

Professional painters also make use of varnish and enamel brushes which hold and deliver more paint than other brushes. Some of these specialty brushes come with satin-edged bristles for improved paint application. These brushes are great for both interior and exterior painting and like the other brushes, come in natural or synthetic bristles, your choice dependent upon the type of paint you'll be using (alkyd or latex).

The stain brush is wider than most and comes in 4"-6" widths. Most come with white hog bristles, also called, "China," or, "Chunking bristles." These are for use with oil-based wood toners, sealers, and stains. They also come with synthetic filaments.

Hockey Stick

The radiator brush is sometimes called a, "hockey stick," because of its similar shape. This brush is for areas that are difficult to reach. The sash on this brush is at a 45 degree angle to its very long handle.

Foam brushes have handles just like regular paintbrushes but have foam pads in place of bristles. Most painters think of these as disposable items because they are bargain items, but they have fair durability and can be both cleaned and reused. Foam brushes work well with clear finishes, but most can't be used in conjunction with shellac or lacquer, both of which contain chemicals that wreck the foam.

Brush Care

*Brushes should be stored in a hanging position.

*Never store a brush on its bristles. This will cause curling and render the brush useless for painting.

*Don't soak brushes in any substance (paint, commercial cleaners, or water), since this will cause them to lose their epoxy hold and their shape.

*Never leave wet paint on a brush when not in use.