General Info

Bristle brushes are made of thicker, stronger and sometimes rougher hair. They originally came from animals such as wild hogs, but now synthetic bristle brushes are very common. Bristles are great because they can hold a lot of paint. I use bristles to do the bulk of my painting, especially when covering large areas.

These are a few of my favorite bristle brush brands: Corona, Wooster and Purdy. They are all readily available at paint stores, most hardware stores and easy to find online as well.

What do you need?

The first step is always going to be defining the parameters of your project and for painting there are two major choices to make upfront: Do you need oil- or latex-based paint? This mostly depends on what you are painting, but here are a few general pointers:

  • Oil-based paint is more durable, but it takes longer to dry, and cleanup requires turpentine or paint thinner (mineral spirits). Oil-based paints are made with either alkyd (synthetic) or linseed (natural) oils. Alkyd paint is more common because it is less expensive and tougher. Oil-based paint is good for trim work because trim takes more abuse over time than do walls.
  • Latex-based paint is easier to work with and dries more quickly, but it isn’t quite as durable as oil-based paint. Latex is good for general painting projects such as walls and ceilings.

And once you determine whether you’re going oil or latex, you need to select the correct finish for your application – most of the time, the can of paint will specify what type of application it is designed for.

Brush Quality

  • Expect to pay more for high-quality brushes. They have more filaments, which create a smoother, more uniform surface. Plus, they last a lot longer.
  • Good all-purpose brushes are flagged. The bristles vary in length, graduating to a peak in the middle, which provides a smooth, even, more precise layer of paint.
  • Choose a brush that feels good in your hand. Considering the amount of time you’ll be using it, go for absolute comfort.
  • Pick the right brush for the job as most have a specific purpose. Angled brushes are great for getting into corners and flat brushes are nice for flat surfaces.
  • Finally, a little care goes a long way. Wash paintbrushes immediately after each use and don’t rinse the soap out completely – it’ll store a lot nicer.

For further reading about Paint Oasis recommendations check out our other blog post on paints: click here.