Ahhh, that new paint appeal. There’s just something about the ambiance a fresh coat of paint creates. No matter how large or small the project, painting can bring out the home decorator in all of us.

Selecting, Caring and Storing Your Paint BrushesBut there is more to the look and feel than choosing a color. If you are taking on a do it yourself project, you’ll also be required to invest in many different painting supplies and materials. Some you can skimp on – you may be able to go with a lower quality of a drop cloth for instance. But choose the wrong brush and you could be seeing the problems from your choices for years.

Selecting the Right Paint Brush

Heading into the local big box store and buying the cheapest brush or the one on sale will not ensure quality. In many cases you are getting some of the worst brushes on the market, or the brushes they simply can’t get rid of. Investing in a top quality brush at the start will ensure a quality brush that holds its shape and format for years to come.

  1. Your paintbrushes need to be able to handle the job. If you are painting flat walls, you need to ensure the brush is flat-bottomed and has a width of around 3 to 6 inches in total. For trim brushes, you need to make sure you have a flat-bottomed brush that has a width of around 1 to 2 inches. Sash-trim brushes entail a different dynamic, have a cut on an angle, and have a width than totals less than 2 inches.
  2. Choose bristles that will be able to do the job correctly. Brushes can be made from synthetics or from natural animal hair. Animal hair should only be used with oil-based paints to ensure longevity. Quality synthetic brushes include nylon and polyester bristles and can be used for all paint types. Quality brush bristles will be multiple lengths on a brush and be tapered near the end.
  3. Check for a ferrule non-corrosive metal wrapped around the brush to secure the bristles and the brush together.

Using the Paintbrushes

When using a paintbrush for the first time, part of caring for it is understanding how to properly break the paintbrush in. Many people are unaware of the care necessary, but by following these tips, you can be reassured that your paintbrush will last for years to come.

  1. Take the brush and gently slap it against the back of your hand several times. This will loosen up the bristles and make it more susceptible for you to get the most from your paintbrushes.
  2. Take the brush and gently slap it against the edge of a wall or table to further loosen the bristles. Looser bristles make it easier to paint walls than stiff bristles.
  3. Spin out the bristles by spinning the paintbrush on the back of your hand several times.
  4. Paint on newspaper and make an “X” multiple times to help break in the bristles.
  5. Soak natural animal hair bristled brushes overnight in linseed oil prior to using it.

Cleaning and Storing Paintbrushes

While using paintbrushes, it is vital to remember to clean and store them properly.

  1. Clean the brush by scraping excess paint off it on the side of the paint can.
  2. Paint an “X” motion multiple times on a newspaper to remove other paint excess.
  3. Use water to remove any remainder of latex paint, and paint thinner for any remainder of oil-based paint.
  4. Wash the bristles off with soap and water after all paint has been successfully removed from it.
  5. Paint an “X” motion on a towel to remove excess water. Reshape bristles by slapping it on the back of your hand.
  6. Wrap the paintbrush in newspaper or a paper towel and secure with a rubber band.
  7. Keep in a secure location until ready for further use.