There are two general types of paint brushes - natural hair bristles and synthetic bristles such as nylon or polyester.
When applying any type of latex base coatings, use synthetic bristles. Synthetic brushes will hold their shape and proper stiffness. Top Quality polyester brushes may be more expensive, but are well worth the cost. Properly cleaned and stored, they can be successfully re-used over and over again.
To clean your synthetic brushes after using latex paint, wash with soap and warm water, rinse well and allow to dry thoroughly before storing.
For alkyd or oil based paints you can use either natural bristles or synthetic bristle brushes. Good quality natural bristle brushes will give you the best results when painting with enamels or any oil or alkyd top coat.
After use with oil based paints, you will have to use paint thinners or Turpentine to clean your brush. There are also commercial paint brush cleaners available.
When selecting any paint brush, try this simple test before purchasing. Pull on the bristles, if more than 2 or 3 bristles can be pulled out of the brush, it is probably not made from good construction. Remember a good brush will make your job easier.
No matter what type of painting you are doing you will want to match the size and shape of the brush to the job.
For large exterior surfaces, use a 4” wide flat brush with a 3⁄4” to 1” thickness.
For Interior walls and ceilings, use a brush between 3” and 4” wide.
To cut in at corners on either interior or exterior walls, use a 2” wide brush with tapered edges.
Exterior and interior wood work and mouldings are most easily painted using brushes between 1” and 2.5” wide.
1” and 2.5” wide angle sash brushes will make painting interior and exterior window frames much easier.
For Painting large surfaces quickly and easily, you can’t beat a roller - but don’t buy just any roller. It is important to match the roller to the job at hand.
Rollers are generally purchased as part of a set - the other part being a sloping metal or plastic tray to hold the paint. The roller cover, which is replaceable, may be of any variety of materials, suited for different purposes.
Lambs wool covers are fine for use with oil based paints, but they should not be used with latex water based paints. Water causes the wool to mat, and tufts can pull off the roller, making it less than useless. paint off paint brushes can be used with any type of paint, and give a smooth finish to walls and ceilings. Synthetic fibres - nylon, rayon, polyester, dacron, orlon - are also used for roller covers, and will work with all types of paint. Where a stipple finish is desired, slit foam rollers will do the job.
Roller cover nap length range from 1⁄16 inch to 1 1⁄2 inches, and this too must be considered when matching the roller to the job. Generally speaking, the smoother the surface to be covered, the shorter the nap required. Short nap covers are best for applying paint to plaster, wallboard and smooth ceilings. For rougher surfaces such a textured paneling, a medium nap is preferred. Long nap covers are used for cinder block, stucco, brick and similar surfaces. Foam slit rollers are what I recommend for textured ceilings.
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