Quality Paint
Brushes and Rollers

Using quality paint brushes and rollers for applying paint is a good idea. Professional grade paint tools will save you time and yield the best results.

The advantages of investing in a couple professional grade paint brushes greatly outweigh the additional cost to purchase them. A quality paint brush gives you the ability to apply paint smoothly and accurately. It is almost impossible to cut-in a straight line with a cheap brush. Professional paint brushes hold more paint than cheap brushes allowing you to work faster. They also are less likely to shed their bristles. The basic tools for cutting in and rolling paint are listed as follows:

  • paint brushes
  • paint rollers
  • paint roller accessories

Quality Paint Brushes

Paint brushes are the most fundamental tools for painting. Quality paint brushes are only as good as their individual components. A working end constructed with quality synthetic or natural bristles helps deliver a smooth finish. A well designed brush handle provides a comfortable grip. A quality ferrule firmly secures the working end of the brush to the handle, eliminating the shedding of bristles.

Paint Brush Bristles
There are two classifications of paint brush bristles that are important to recognize. All brushes are produced with synthetic bristles (filaments) or natural bristles. Synthetic filaments are typically made from nylon, polyester, and other man made materials. Natural bristle brushes are made with animal hair such as natural hog hair and ox hair.

When applying water base paints, such as latex and acrylic paints, you should only use brushes with synthetic filaments. Never use natural bristle brushes with water base coatings! The natural fibers will absorb water making them sticky and causing them to lose their shape. Brushes made with natural bristles are primarily used with oil base paints.

Paint Brush Size and Shape
Paint brushes can also be classified according to size and shape. The optimum brush size depends on the size of the area to be painted. Most brushes have a width between one inch and six inches. Very few painting applications require a brush width larger than four inches. The working end of most paint brushes usually has an angular shape or a straight (flat) shape. Angle brushes allow you to have more control than that of straight brushes.

Selecting the correct paint brush for your painting project is important. An approach that could save you some money is to find a versatile paint brush that you can use for several different paint applications. Doing this, can reduce the number of paint brushes you need to purchase. A popular paint brush used with water base paint that is well suited for many different applications is a 2-1/2 or 3 inch angular nylon/polyester blend.

Cleaning Paint Brushes
Quality paint brushes are designed to be used over and over again. With a thorough cleaning and proper storage, they will be just like new the next time you need them.


Paint Rollers

Paint rollers provide an efficient way to apply paint to large flat surfaces  such as walls and ceilings. A paint roller consists of a roller cover and roller frame. Roller covers are available in a variety of fabrics and nap lengths. A roller cover should be selected based upon the fabric and nap length that best suits the job at hand.

Roller Covers
Roller covers are constructed of natural and synthetic fibers. Both categories of fabric have advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic materials such as polyester are resistant to matting, but they do not absorb paint as easily as the natural fibers. On the other hand, natural fibers do pick up and release paint quicker than polyester but they are susceptible to matting. Blends of polyester and wool can offer the best qualities of both materials.

Roller covers also come in a variety of nap or pile lengths. The nap lengths typically range from 3/16 to 1-1/2 inches. For rough surfaces it is best to use a roller cover with a long nap. Conversely, for smooth surfaces short nap roller covers perform much better. Foam roller covers are also available for very smooth surfaces.

Mini rollers are small diameter paint rollers useful for applying paint to small areas. They are commonly used for wall touch-ups and tight areas where a standard roller cannot fit. Mini rollers can also serve as a tool to apply paint to flat trim and doors.

Roller Frames
A roller frame consists of a plastic or wood handle with a threaded end to accommodate extension poles and a plastic cage or a metal wire cage that slides into a roller cover. Seven and nine inch roller frames are  popular sizes for most painting applications.

Setting Up a Paint Roller
The proper use of a paint roller requires some accompanying tools. They  include items such as extension poles, paint roller trays, roller tray liners, paint buckets, and paint bucket screens. For additional information, go to setting up a paint roller.


Final Thoughts

To remain within a budget, it is best to only purchase the necessary brushes and rollers to carry out your painting project. One or two quality paint brushes are usually sufficient for most paint jobs. Remember to select a bristle type that corresponds to the type of paint you are going to use.

When selecting a roller cover, choose a roller nap length that is compatible with the wall texture. Also look for a quality roller cover that will not shed its fibers.

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Professional Painting, Inc. is a full service painting company serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988.