What to Consider When Choosing a Paint Brush

To fit particular products and jobs, brushes are created from a variety of materials and are available in a wide range of forms and sizes. Here's how to decide what's appropriate for your job. 

Smart and Pro Paint Brush


There are two main types of brush bristles: natural, which are excellent for use with oil-based paints, and synthetic, which work best with water-based paints.

Natural Bristle

Animal hair, such as hog or badger hair, is used in natural brushes because the strands have tiny breaks that hold more substance for a smooth finish. When applying oil-based paints and top coats, varnishes, shellac, ornamental chalk paint (for an antique look), enamel, and polyurethane, go with a natural-bristle brush. Applying furniture wax with a round, natural bristle brush will also yield positive results.

Synthetic Bristle

Because natural bristles absorb water, they become limp and less effective when used with latex (water-based) paint, so a synthetic brush composed of high-quality polyester or a nylon and polyester blend is preferable. It is also advisable to use a synthetic brush for applying low- and no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, the majority of which are acrylic latex based. Brushes, whether natural or synthetic, can persist for years if they are cleaned and dried completely after each use: Eliminate excess paint, wash in soapy water, rinse with fresh water, and allow to air dry.


Sizes of paint brushes for painting houses normally range from 1 to 6 inches. In general, the narrower the brush, the tighter the space you're painting. For corners, trim, and window areas, a brush between 1 and 2 inches long is ideal. For doors, cabinets, and shelving, a 3-inch brush works well, while a 4- to 6-inch brush is made for big, flat surfaces like walls and ceilings.


There are three primary brush types, each created for a specific use and surface area:

Square Cut

For big, flat surfaces, both inside and outside, a 4- to 6-inch square-cut wall brush is appropriate. For painting walls, flat doors, and siding, use a sizable wall brush. You won't need rollers if you use a high-quality wall brush, and since brushes are more accurate, you might even end up saving money on paint.

Angle Sash

To paint window sashes, which fit inside the window frame and permit the panes to slide up and down, use the angle sash brush. However, because to its small handle and superb stability, this angled, short-handled brush is suitable for a range of detail work. Use it to paint panels, edges, corners, and grooves as well as to get around obstructions like a toilet.

Round Sash

The sizes of these smaller brushes range from 20 to 40 mm. The circular configuration of the bristles makes them the ideal paint brushes for decorative painting (such faux finishes) and furniture, such as chair and table legs.

Thank you for reading! If you're looking for more tips and advice about painting, please check out our other blog posts.

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