Choosing Paint Brushes for Home Interiors

Friday, November 08, 2019

Every homeowner has, at one point or another, wondered about what it takes to paint a home interior and do it properly. At Lakeside Painting, we often say that a great deal of the work is in the preparation. That is to say, color selection and interior design, the removing of old paint and cleaning the surface, and setting up drop clothes and masking off walls and other surfaces.

For the painting itself, proper application is paramount. While most home interiors will require a combination of rollers and brushes, today we are going to talk about what brushes to use when painting home interiors.

Job Type

The type of job determines the type of paint brush. As a rule, a quality brush always makes a higher quality job.

Before getting to work, evaluate the quality of work you're doing. If you're painting lawn furniture, like an Adirondack chair or a wheelbarrow, an expensive brush just won't be necessary. However, when painting window trim, you'll want a top quality brush for a professional finish. And the proper brush for window trim isn't going to work painting exterior siding , as it won't cover enough surface to get the job done quickly and effectively.

Brush Size

Paint brushes come in a variety of widths. Some are rather small, others quite large.

For windows and other trim, we use 1" to 2" brushes, which allows us to access hard to reach surfaces, whether they are tight angles, planes, and corners. For slightly larger surfaces like cabinetry, drawers, and doors, 3" brushes will do nicely. And for large, flat areas likes walls, any brush over 4" is what we use, as it provides our painters with the coverage they need to paint large areas quickly and efficiently.

Brush Style

Brush quality really comes down to the type of bristle and the amount of them. Brushes made with animal hairs are called Natural-bristle brushes, and they can be used for oil-based paints, varnishes, shellac, and other oil-based coatings. These type of brushes hold a lot of paint and create a smooth finish with great coverage.

​For latex paints, blended nylon/polyester brushes work well. They are durable, hold their shape well, and can be easilly cleaned and maintained. Strictly polyester brushes are also good for latex paints, and hold their shape and stiffness quite well over time.

Less expensive brushes, which tend to be either nylon, polyester, or a hybrid of the two, can be used when applying coatings like floor enamel and epoxies, and you really don't have to think about preserving them for future use. For applying varnishes, you'll want an oxtail brush, as the application is even and just all around fantastic. On the other hand, when applying heavy duty enamels and epoxies, we often throw the brushes away because it's more expensive to clean them.

Brush ends come in Chisel, Square, and Angled shapes. A Chisel Trim brush resembles the tip of a chisel, making it good for painting corners and edge. A Square brush is good for painting large flat areas. And an Angled brush works well for painting trim.

Image via Flickr.

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