Choosing the right paintbrush can make all the difference in your next project. Hardware store shelves are lined with a multitude of options; so how do you know which brush to pick? The most important factor in determining which paintbrush is best for your project depends on the type of coating you’re using.
Natural bristle is the best choice for oil-based paints, varnishes, shellac, alkyd enamels, stains, and polyurethanes. The highest quality bristles come from mainland China. Experienced, traditional painters will say there’s nothing like the finish that a China bristle paintbrush can provide for oil-based coatings. If you’re painting a smooth surface, use a white China bristle for a smooth finish or, if you need to achieve an even finer finish, a China bristle blended with ox hair is recommended. When painting a textured surface, a black China bristle will work best because it’s slightly stiffer and is excellent for high-productivity applications. If you need to paint a rough surface, natural bristle brushes are not recommended. Rough surfaces will break the tips off of natural bristle and will ruin the brush. A synthetic, firm brush is best for this application even when using oil-based coatings because it’s very durable and will resist wear on the rough surface.
Synthetic brushes are recommended for latex and acrylic paints and water-based wood finishes. Synthetic brushes are available in a variety of filaments including Chinex®, nylon, nylon/polyester blend, and polyester. Chinex® FTP® brushes are designed for today’s paints and offer excellent paint pickup and production with a smooth, professional finish and easy cleanup. Chinex FTP brushes will maintain their stiffness for control even when exposed to heat and humidity. Nylon brushes are very durable but may soften in hot weather or after prolonged use in latex paint. Polyester brushes will maintain their shape and control when exposed to heat but have lower paint pickup and production meaning you will spend more time loading your brush than the wall. Also, today’s paints contain more acrylic resins and fast-drying solids which stick to polyester making them difficult to clean and limit the life of the brush. A nylon/polyester blend brush combines all the positive qualities of nylon (precise tipping, excellent paint pickup, and smooth finish) and polyester (added stiffness and control) and is, by far, the most popular professional paintbrush choice due to their versatility.
The Wooster Brush Company offers quality brushes for every variety of coating available, but different brushes excel in specific applications. To help you select the perfect brush for your next project, visit our Paint Brush Advisor. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact our Customer Service Department.