How Do I Choose a
Choosing a paintbrush all depends on what you are using it
for. Always buy quality brushes. When you skimp, the brush
tends to fall apart, and you will end up having to pull
loose bristles out of your paint job, leaving you with a
less-than-perfect look. For water-based paints, you can
choose all-purpose brushes. For oil-based paint, choose
brushes made with animal hair, such as ox or hog. Most
brushes will be marked for their best application. Look at
the packages before you buy.
It’s best to keep a range of clean brushes on hand, including 2 ½-,
3-, and 4-inch flat brushes as well as tapered sash
brushes. Here is a detailed list of paintbrushes and their
Walls For walls
(cutting around the sections you will roll), choose a
3-inch to 5-inch paintbrush with straight edges. These can
be called wall brushes or professional paint brushes, and
are designed to carry lots of paint and distribute it
Wood For most
woodworking projects chooses a two-inch paintbrush with
straight edges. These are typically called trim brushes.
Corners and windows
when you need to get into tight places, such as corners
and windowsills, it is best to choose an angled or tapered
paintbrush. Also called sash brushes, these are from 1 to
2 inches wide.
How Do I Choose a
Invest money in a good, high-quality paint roller base.
You can use it for years to come, and even the best ones
are fairly inexpensive.
The standard roller is nine inches wide and has a sturdy
metal frame. Pick up the roller for a test drive in the
hard ware store, and buy the one that fits your hand most
comfortably makes sure that the bottom of the roller
handle is threaded so that you can attach an extension
pole for hard to-reach places.
Roller covers are disposable and come in various different
thicknesses, or ‘naps.” For most interior jobs, you need
only a 1/4- or 3/8-inch nap. If you have a rough surface
(such as stucco or brick), it is best to use a thicker nap
(or more). Choose a quality roller frame that won’t let
the cover slip off. Just like a paintbrush, make sure you
buy a cover made of quality nap. If you don’t, you will
end up having to pull tiny fibers out of your paint job.
Before using a roller cover, be sure to rinse it off (with
water if using water-based paint or with paint remover if
using oil-based) to remove any loose particles or lint.
Can you reuse paint rollers? Depending on the quality and
the surface, you may be able to use the rollers a few
times. But just take a look: you will be able to tell when
you can no longer use the roller because it won’t roll as
well and will begin leaving nap behind on the wall.
For water-based paint, an all-purpose roller cover will
work just fine. For oil-based paints, however, you will
want to use a more expensive roller cover, such as lamb’s
wool. If you are painting to a high-gloss finish, try to
find a mohair roller cover. It is more expensive but will
leave you with a smooth, professional finish.