What Paint Brushes Should I Buy?

If you are a newbie to painting, it might be helpful to know which brushes to purchase to get yourself started. Paint brushes are available in nearly every shape and bristle imaginable, so today we will briefly discuss the basic brushes you may find useful when painting your home for the first time. Today, we will be discussing brushes, but you will likely involve paint guards, extension poles, and paint rollers into your eventual toolkit.

Which Brushes Should I Buy to Get Started Painting My House?

To get started, you’ll want a basic set of quality flat brushes. Most of these sets will include (1) 4” brush, (1) 3” brush, (1) 2” angled brush, and (1) 1” brush. The idea is that you have both large and small brushes to make detail or large work easier. You’ll be using primarily latex paints, so don’t worry about buying expensive natural hair brushes yet. Those tools have their purpose, but a beginner should stick with the basic set.

Should I Buy Disposable Brushes?

Disposable paint brushes are a godsend when the materials being applied are particularly messy or hard to clean. When the project is functional and not aesthetic, like applying a waterproofer, disposable brushes take much of the work out of the project. They are also very useful when working with abrasive compounds, like bitumen that can easily ruin an expensive paint brush.

When Should I Avoid Disposable Paint Brushes?

Paint projects vary as widely as painters, so there’s really no good or bad time to use disposable brushes. Each project can have elements that are made easier when no clean-up is required, like when applying colorant to concrete. Most projects involving paint however, will require good technique, which is often dependent on the brush being used.

For example, if your project is painting ivy and spring flowers along a border, you may find the sparse bristles and coarse texture make the job very difficult. Sophisticated paints, like designer textures, often require specific brushwork and thinning to create an effect. Disposable paint brushes tend to shed bristles more frequently, so using them for elaborate brushwork is typically avoided.

How Do I Take Care Of My Paint Brushes?

The care of your paint brushes will be included with the kit you purchase. You will probably be using brushes designed for latex paint and other finishes, which are water based. This makes water and soap clean up breakfast and easy. 

Enamel paints (oil based) are not usually recommended for a beginner, but if you try them, be sure and purchase mineral spirits or paint thinner when you purchase your paint. If you forget and allow the enamel paint to dry on your brushes, they will likely be ruined. Simply shake off the excess paint and dip it a few times in the paint thinner and set it aside to dry.