How to Choose The Right Paint Brush

Often ‘brushed aside,’ the process of choosing a painting brush is one of (if not) the most daunting experiences DIY painters go through today. To get that picture-perfect outcome, you’ll need a brush that not only holds the right amount of paint but also distributes it efficiently and evenly every time. Ultimately, you end up spending significantly less time on getting the job done.

But with the incredibly vast array of brushes making rounds out there, it can be difficult for anyone to handpick a suitable one. Even worse, newer versions keep popping up each day, each one a little different from the other.

If you’re caught in this conundrum, you can quit fretting because that is what we are here for. In this guide, we shall show you exactly how the pros choose the right painting brushes for their projects.

three types of paint brush

Things to consider when choosing a paintbrush

Before we delve into it, there are a few characteristics that painters usually consider when selecting paintbrushes: they include:

  •         The brush’s bristles type
  •         The size of the brush
  •         The brush’s quality
  •         The shape of the bristles
  •         The style of brush

The brush’s bristles type

There are two major types of bristles used in painting brushes: fabricated or natural bristles. Usually, the right bristle type for you will depend on the type of paint you are using.

  •         Natural bristles – Are made using animal hairs or fur. They are best for oily paints, and oil base finishes like shellac and polyurethane varnishes. Their natural fuzzy tips hold more paint and generally result in smooth finishes.
  •         Fabricated – Also known as polyester brushes, fabricated brushes are good at applying water-based paints like latex paints. They retain their stiffness and shape and will therefore easily handle a range of projects for longer.

The quality of the brush

The quality of the brush is mainly influenced by the construction quality of the brush itself. You want to go for dense bristles that retain their consistency all through the ferrule.

A good way to test the brush quality is by bending it back a little near its base. A good brush should spring back almost instantly.

Of course, as you check the brush’s construction, make sure that its bristles suit your project and paint. This should guarantee a smooth, clean finish.

The shape of the brush

The shape, in this case, mainly refers to the shape the brush bristles take. For some, the bristles will be cut at an angle, while others will have square ends. If you are painting a wide, flat surface, square-tipped brushes will do just fine.

On the other hand, if you are aiming for a cut in painting or trim, you’d be better suited with an angled tip brush. Angled tips give you more control over the line of paint, resulting in better accuracy.

The size of the brush

The size of the brush usually includes the bristle area width and bristle thickness. It can influence how well the brush handles a particular job. As you may expect, thicker brushes hold more paint and will therefore cover a wider surface area before needing a reload. On the other hand, thinner brushes are light and, therefore, offer better control.

It’s, therefore, safe to say that:

  •         A big width brush (about 3-4 inches) – Is more suitable for large spaces like doors, panels, fences, and flat surfaces
  •         1 to 2-inch brushes – Are ideal for painting smaller surfaces like windows or woodwork jobs


If you are stuck in between, you can settle for a 2 ½ inch brush, which is the standard size for most DIYers.

The style of the brush

There are different brushes styles of brushes made specifically to paint certain surfaces and styles. These include; Flat, Angle, and Thin angle sash, Trim, and Wall painting brushes. Their names should guide on where what and how to paint with them.

  •         Thin angle sash – Has a thin profile and slanted bristles. Good for trimming in edges and corners.
  •         Angle sash- Has slanted bristles but holds more paint than thin angle sash. Good for painting trim or ceiling painting.
  •         Flat sash- Bristles are square across—best for painting flat areas.
  •         Trim- Also a flat brush. Good for exterior siding or painting large surfaces.
  •         Wall – is thick and flat in nature. It holds a lot of paint and is perfect for painting walls and large surfaces.

Take away

As you’ve seen, there is a lot that goes into choosing a good paintbrush. The right brush for you can vary depending on the project in question, the paint you are using, and even the surface you intend to paint. Hopefully, now you are in a position to get something worthwhile.

Of course, if it is all too much to handle, you’d be better off consulting a professional in the field or simply hiring a painting service and letting them deal with the headache. Lucky for you, Painter Bros has got your back. If you have any more inquiries or seek more information about paint, don’t hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our representatives.