My most discouraging painting episode was when I painted the room and to my utter disbelief
found I had more paint bristles from the brush sticking in my trim paint throughout the room, than
remaining on my brush. I’d wished someone would have passed a little knowledge about the
finer points of painting down to me.
When painting a room, high quality paint is a must, but few people realize what brushes you use
also make a vast difference. For starters, there are two types of brushes, brushes with synthetic
bristles, and those with natural bristles. Since natural bristles absorb water, never use this type of
brush with latex paint, it will inevitably zap the water from the paint and leave you with a thicker
paint a soggy loose brush. You can use these brushes if you are painting with alkyd or oil paint.
When you are shopping, keep an eye out for brushes that have split or ends.
These brushes tend to leave a better finish. They should have a slight tapers so the center bristles are
slightly longer than the ones on the end to help enable paint to be applied smoothly, and be about
half as long as they are wide. Avoid bristles that are really soft and fan out easily. They aren’t
sturdy enough to apply the right amount of pressure.
Buy several different types of brushes. Smaller brushes, around 2″ are helpful in corners and
tight spots, enabling you more control. The 1″ brushes are ideal for trim, windows and door
panels. A larger brush, around 3 works best for general interior painting. Painting outdoors, it’s
a good idea to grab an even larger brush with stiffer bristles.
When you are painting, don’t dip the entire brush in the paint covering all the bristles. Try to only
dip about halfway to the top. Depending on what area you are covering, you may have to paint in
an up and down swoop or lengthwise. For rollers, experts suggest using a “W” shaped, but with
brushes, vertical strokes are best. Make sure you overlap strokes so that the new paint lays over
the old. If you allow paint to dry between strokes, your coat won’t look clean, and you’ll be left
Make sure you never let paint dry on your brush. It’s nearly impossible to remove once a dried
paint is coating the bristles.
Few things do more to brighter a room, so have fun and be creative.