Choosing the Best Paint Brush for Home Painting

by : Aaron Walker

As you shop for new paintbrushes for your painting project, you may notice that they aren't all made with the same material. Some are more expensive than others, so you're just going to go with the cheapest brush and not worry about what it is made with, right? Actually, different materials can really affect how well your job turns out.

Natural Brush Fibers

If your painting project involves oil based paint, you'll usually want to look for paintbrushes made with natural fibers. Most natural brushes are made with long hog or ox hair. The reason these brushes work so well with oil based paints is that they do not become limp or misshapen when they are dipped in the paint. The same cannot be said of water based paint. Natural fibers tend to absorb moisture and water based paint has plenty of moisture to be absorbed, which causes the brush to be much less effective.

Because natural fibers are so soft, these brushes create a beautiful finish when they are used with oil based paints. With proper care and cleaning, they can be reused for many different projects.

Synthetic Brush Fibers

Nylon brush fibers are one of the strongest and toughest available. A nylon brush will last a lifetime. However, its performance may not make you very happy. This brush tends to create a finish that isn't as nice as other materials. It is best used on textured walls, since the final look won't be as smooth anyway.

Polyester brushes work a lot more like natural fibers than some of the other synthetic fibers. They pick up more paint and create a smoother coat. However, they aren't as sturdy as some other fibers, which is why brushes often are a combination of polyester and another synthetic fiber instead of pure polyester. These brushes are pretty easy to clean, so if the bristles hold up, you can use them over and over again.

There is one type of synthetic fiber that works as well as natural fibers for oil based paints. Chinex bristles are able to handle the weight of the paint just fine and do a great job. In addition, they can handle water based paints, because the synthetic fibers don't absorb water like natural fibers do. If you are planning to switch back and forth between paint types, you'll want to look for brushes made with these synthetic brush fibers.