You can buy premium paint, in your perfect color and prepare the surface perfectly – and still end up disappointed with your paint finish because you used the wrong brushes or rollers to apply the paint. So when it comes to paint brushes and rollers, buy the best you can, clean them well when you’re finished and you’ll be able to use them for years.
Here’s some more advice to help you pick out quality paint brushes and rollers that are right for the job:
What size to get?
- There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all brush. It’s handy to have a few different sizes in your tool kit.
- For example, a wide 4-inch brush is great for projects like decking or siding. A thin 2 ½ inch brush gives you more control when cutting in or painting details.
Flat or Angled?
- Flat brushes are good for painting and staining broad, flat surfaces.
- An angled shape helps you get crisp lines on edges and with detailed surfaces like trim and molding.
Premium or Bargain?
- The more expensive the brush, the more bristles it has and the better they’ll stay in place. Trust me, you don’t want brush hairs “shedding” into your paint finish.
- With high quality brushes, the edge or tip of the bristles is shaped very precisely to give a more uniform finish – which means less effort for you.
- A quality brush lasts longer. Take care to clean your brush after each job and you’ll be able to re-use it for years.
Natural or Synthetic?
- Natural bristle brushes are commonly made from hog hair, which is labeled “China bristle.” Use them for oil paint and solvent-thinned finishes only. If you use them with latex, or water-based paints, the paint won’t pick up or release well from the brush because it absorbs into the bristles. That means it can take you longer to finish your job, and results in more visible brush strokes and an uneven finish.
- Synthetic bristles are the choice for latex paint and water-based finishes. The fibers are made of nylon, polyester or a blend to give you the best results for the paints and stains listed on the label.
You rarely see cardboard core rollers anymore, but skip it if you do. A sturdy, plastic core helps you get through your project without using multiple roller covers and you can clean and reuse the roller cover for your next project.
Woven or Knit?
- Woven fibers are nearly lint free. You may end up making more trips between the paint tray and the wall. But if you’ve ever had a roller shed into a paint job – you’ll appreciate the reults from a woven roller..
- Knit fibers tend to hold a lot of paint so they help you get more paint on the wall quicker.
Thick or Thin Nap
The nap refers to the thickness of the fibers on the roller. What you choose depends on the surface you are painting. Generally, the more textured the surface you’re painting, the thicker the nap you need. For example, a ⅜” nap is a standard for satin and eggshell paints or semi-smooth surfaces like drywall.