1Selecting a Brush for a Household Project
Select a flat-bristled brush for large surface painting. Brushes that are used to paint larger surfaces, such as walls, shelves, dressers, and cabinets, come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. They range in width from one to five inches (2.5-13 cm). As a general rule, four inch (10 cm) flat-bristled brushes are best for large flat surfaces.
Use an angular or sash brush for corners and intricate details. The bristles are cut on an angle and make it easier to access hard to reach places. For more intricate details, you should choose a width that is slightly smaller than the edge you are painting.
3Use synthetic bristles. Synthetic bristles are usually made from nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two. They are versatile and can be used with latex paints as well as oil-based paints.
- Read the information provided on the package to determine exactly which types of paints can be used with the brush.
Try natural bristles with oil-based paints. Natural bristles are typically made from animal hair, such as pig, sable, weasel, or other small rodent. These brushes can only be used with oil-based paints. This is because the natural bristles will absorb the water used in latex paints, and the bristles will go limp.
5Purchase a variety of brushes. Depending on your project, you may need to use multiple different brushes. For instance, if you are painting a wall in your home, you may need a 4 inch (10 cm) flat brush as well as a smaller angled brush for the corners and window ledges.
- To save money, you can purchase a set of brushes. These will often be of lower quality, but is a great way for beginners to learn the feel of different brushes before investing a lot of money.
2Selecting an Artistic Paint Brush
1Choose a round or bright brush for detail work. Round and bright brushes have bristles that are rounded and come to a point at the tip. They come in a variety of different sizes and are used for creating lines, fine details, and edging. These brushes are excellent for control and accuracy.
- Bright brushes have shorter bristles and allow your create more detail with your brush strokes.
Select a line, angle, and flat brushes for edging. These brushes come in a variety of sizes and shapes and allow you to create lines and are perfect for edging. Flat brushes hold more paint and can also be used for long sweeping strokes and filling in large areas. Alternatively, liner brushes are much smaller and can be used for writing text.
3Purchase filbert and fan brushes for blending. Filbert brushes are similar to a flat brush; however, the bristles are slightly rounded at the tip. They are best used for blending and should be a staple in your brush collection.
- Fan Brushes are flat with bristles that fan out. They are ideal for painting grasses, tree limbs, bushes, and delicate blending.
3Choosing a Quality Paint Brush
1Pull the bristles gently. The bristles of a brush can indicate the overall quality of the brush. Before purchasing a brush, pull on the bristles. If a few bristles fall out, this is likely an indication that the brush is poorly made.
- The bristles should be well-attached to the ferrule (metal piece that connects the bristles to the handle).
- Also, when pushed on, the bristles should easily spring back into shape.
Select a brush with flagged bristles. Brushes with flagged bristles will look like split ends at the tip of the brush. These are preferred because they grip the paint better. Flagged bristles will also leave fewer brush marks on the surface.
3Pick a brush with a comfortable handle. Paint brush handles can be made from either wood or plastic and they typically have some sort of curve so they fit in your hand. Choose a brush that is comfortable to hold. You could be spending a long time painting, and comfort is very important.
- For artistic brushes, the length of the handle determines how you will paint the strokes. Shorter handles are for close-up detailed work, while longer handles will facilitate distance and slashing motions.
4Caring for Your Paint Brushes
1Clean and rinse brushes immediately after use. How you clean your brush will depend on the type of paint used. Read and follow the cleaning instructions provided on the paint. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the brush and clean it immediately after each use. The sooner you clean the bristles the less likely paint will stick onto the brush.
- Push the bristles down on a flat surface while cleaning. This will cause the bristles to splay and will allow you to rinse out all of the paint from the center of the brush.
2Dry the brush. Use a clean towel to soak up some of the excess water. Then rest the brush on the edge of a sink or work station and let the bristles hang over the edge. This will allow air to circulate around the bristles and will help the brush dry faster.
- You do not want to get the ferrule wet because this can cause the bristles to loosen and fall out over time.
3Store brushes in a deep container. Place the handles of your brushes into a deep container with the bristles facing upwards. You can also put the plastic or cardboard coverings that came with the brush over the bristles to help hold the shape of the bristles.
- Alternatively, you can hang large brushes upside down. Usually large paint brushes will have a hole in the handle. Hang the brush from a nail.
Why do the bristles in my expensive brushes keep falling out?
Whenever you clean your brushes, make sure you don't leave them to dry with the bristles facing up. This weakens the bristles and causes them to fall out.
For thin outlining, which brush should be used?
Get rounded brushes with good tips. Go for a size 3 or 5, and a 7 at first. Avoid any big fluffy ones, or any where the bristles fan out- those aren't for line work.
Ask a Question
- Look for sales at your local supply store. Paint brushes can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase a variety of different brushes for your project.
- You can also purchase cheap foam brushes. These are best used for testing paint, and small one-use projects. You will not be able to get the same quality of strokes with a foam brush as with a natural or synthetic brush.
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