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The Best Paint Brushes - The Ultimate Guide

When decorating, having the best tools for the job is essential if you want to achieve the best possible finish. That is why it is crucial to know exactly what paint brushes are best for you. In this guide we are going to cover what to look for in a brush, the best brushes for different scenarios & the best brands to buy!

The best paint brushes

It may seem like a simple thing, but finding the best paint brush is an equally difficult task as it is important. You may not realise but the paint brush you use can have a significant impact on the quality of a decorating project you are undertaking. Our recommendation when you go to buy any paint brush is get the best you can afford. The difference in quality between cheap brushes & good quality brushes is huge, & in the scheme of a decorating project, the price will be negligible.

There are two main types of paint brushes:

Natural Bristle

As the name would suggest, natural bristle paint brushes are made from natural sources such as animal hair. They are designed for use with oil-based paints and due to their split ends that can achieve a non streak finish.

Synthetic Bristle

A synthetic bristle paint brush is made of nylon, polyester or a mix of both and is perfect for use with water-based paints rather than solvent-based paints. It's hard-wearing bristles maintain their shape for an excellent smooth finish. Traditionally not for oil or solvent based paints, new synthetic brushes are just as effective as natural bristle brushes, which have gone out of favour in recent years.

The Best Paint Brushes For Different Jobs

As you can tell already, paint brushes are all designed with different jobs in mind. Some have been designed to be larger & durable for exterior use, while some offer precision for cutting in. The best paint brush for you completely depends on what you plan on using it for!

We are going to breakdown some of the various circumstances you will need a particular type of paint brush, and give our recommendations for the best paint brush for the job at hand.

Best Paint Brush For Cutting In

Cutting in is a one of the most crucial parts of any decorating project! It is the process of cutting in along ceilings, walls and other areas that require a perfectly straight line of paint. It is one of the easiest parts of decorating to get wrong, which is why having the right paint brush is paramount to success. There are a number of specialist cutting in brushes from leading brands that help achieve the most precision possible, usually with angled bristled.

There are three great options; Hamilton Expression Angled Brush & 2" Hamilton Performance Cutting in Brush, both by leading manufacturer in high quality decorating tools Hamilton. For water-based paints. which are likely to be what you are using if you are painting interior walls & ceilings, the Hamilton Performance Cutting In Brush is ideal. One comes with a short handle to be able to reach those tricky corners, while the other offers greater flexibility and a smaller size for added precision.

The Hamilton Expression Angled Brush on the other hand can be used with any type of paint and has a long handle, allowing it to reach further with each stroke.

Best Paint Brush For Detailing

Precision is crucial for any detailing such as mouldings & trim. That is why sash brushes are an essential part of any DIY'ers tool kit! A sash brush is a round bristled paint brush that provides excellent coverage while 'hugging' profiled surfaces. They can also be used for cutting in if they are more comfortable for you then an angled brush.

The best sash brush in our opinion is the Hamilton Prestige Pure Synthetic Sash Brushes. These come in a pack of three for just £8.99, which is fantastic value for money from a high quality brush manufacturer like Hamilton. They are available in three sizes; 15mm, 18mm and 21mm & are highly rated by professional decorators nationwide!

Best Paint Brush For Masonry

Exterior walls require a durable, larger brush head than interior surfaces. Swivel head brushes are often used on masonry in order to make it easier to reach at the top & bottom of walls, which is why we would recommend the Hamilton Prestige Swivel Head Wall & Masonry Brush. With great paint pick up & an easy to grip handle, it is perfect for making the painting of exterior surfaces as easy as possible. You can't go wrong!

Hamilton masonry brush

Best Paint Brush Sets

There are a number of paint brush sets that offer a range of paint brushes in various sizes to give you added flexibility & value for money.

If you are regularly decorating, a fantastic option is the Hamilton Perfection 4 Piece Synthetic Brush Set. This is a high-end brush set with quality varnished wooden handles & finely tipped bristles. They are slightly more expensive than other brushes but if you take care of them, they will last you years!

Alternatively, Hamilton, Prodec & Kana offer various brush sizes in sets for under £15. If you require a number of paint brushes for your project, these sets are life savers!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Paint Brushes For Gloss?

Traditionally professional decorators would use a natural bristle brush for gloss paints, however as we have mentioned good quality synthetic brushes are just as effective and much cheaper today. Any high quality synthetic brush such as the ones in the Hamilton Perfection 4 Piece Synthetic Brush Set are perfect for any gloss painting you may have.

Do You Have Any Tips On How To Clean Paint Brushes?

The cleaning of your paint brushes depends on if you used an oil-based paint or a water-based paint. If you used a water-based paint, simply soak your brush or roller in warm water for a couple of hours, then with a dry cloth dry them off!

If you are using solvent or oil-based paint then you will need to use white spirit. First, get an old jar and fill slightly with white spirit. Then move you paint brush around in the jar until the spirit stops changing colour. Empty this spirit into another jar and repeat the process. Eventually your brush should be clean and the spirit completely clear. Dry the brush off with a cloth & put the lid of the container. After 24 hours all of the paint should have sunk to the bottom and you should be able to pour the remaining spirit back into the bottle and re-use!

DIY tip
Source: Charlie DIYte

We hope this has answered any questions you may have had regarding the best paint brushes! At Painters World we have a wide range of brushes, rollers & paints available, so no matter the job, we've got the right decorating tools for you! Shop our huge range of products today and get FREE next working day delivery on all orders over £50.

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