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Old 10-23-2013, 07:21 AM   #1
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Brushes - Which style to use...

ok. I (now) know getting the best quality brush is of the utmost importance. I will now only buy Purdy or Wooster Pro brushes at my local Benjamin Moore dealer.

My question is - when would I use each style of brush? I see that some brushes are angled and some are not. In what situations would each brush be used? Seems like some angled brushes are called "sash brushes". Any difference?

Also, some have short handles. Any benefit to using a short handle brush versus a standard brush or are they just made to fit into tight spaces where a longer handle brush won't fit.

Finally, I'll be painting a bunch of trim in my large family room this weekend (Window and door casings, baseboard molding, window sills etc) What's the best style of brush for this type of project?



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Old 10-23-2013, 07:42 AM   #2
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A sash brush just makes it easier to cut in the trim without getting any on the wall or the glass on a window. It's mainly used when painting trim and the window sashes.
Most pros would be using a 2-1/2" wide sash brush.
A short handle will fit in a tighter spot and to a few people it's easier to handle. I do not like them because when your getting below 1/2 in the can of paint your always getting paint on your hand.
A tip, do not wipe the brush off on the side of the can! You dip the sash brush into the paint about 3/4" and just tap the metal Farrell on the side of the can. As your moving the brush toward the trim slightly twist the brush to prevent drips.


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Old 10-23-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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In terms of angle and brush length, it's mostly personal preference. Unless you know otherwise, stick with an angled brush of standard length.

Most people buy brushes that are too small. A 2 1/2" such as the Wooster Alpha shown at the top of this page can paint almost everything in your home.

I would not get the "thin" version, because it won't hold enough paint. When cutting in you turn your brush sideways, so you want a thick brush to make a wider line. The same is true when painting most trim - by turning your brush sideways, the 2 1/2" brush will fit almost anywhere. In the rare places it doesn't fit, you can get a little 1" brush or an artist's brush. The 2 1/2" width is there to hold a lot of paint - this is why you won't see a pro painting trim with a 1" brush. But if you have a larger surface to paint (such as a door or wide trim), you can hold the brush the normal way to get the full 2 1/2" width.

Sometimes I use a brush as large as 3" for cutting in. The one at the top of this page, in fact.

By the way, I sometimes do wipe my brush against the lip of the can. When cutting in walls at the top of the ceiling, for example, gravity is pulling paint down. There's no reason to have a lot of paint at the bottom of your brush (remember it's turned sideways). So I dip the paint, scrape the bottom of the brush, and go. This way you get no drips off the bottom of the brush.

You will learn how much paint to scrape off. As a general rule, leave as much paint on there as you can get away with, without it dripping at any time.

Last edited by jeffnc; 10-25-2013 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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2 1/2" angle is the best all around brush and is good in most situations, however if you have little experience a 2" angle may give you more control.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:03 AM   #5
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I use a 21/2 angled brush for probably 90% of what I do.
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:49 AM   #6
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does anybody know if they make a brush for painting over smooth vinyl? I have to paint over some terratone trim on some andersen windows and after putting primer on I sometimes think brush might be too stiff.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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A 100% nylon brush will be softer. I like them for trim work where I'm trying to put on a thick coat. A softer brush will leave more paint on the surface as opposed to a stiff brush that tends to pull the paint down thinner.

Soft brushes do have drawbacks. They loose there shape quicker, and need to be washed more often.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:51 AM   #8
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I think the best thing they ever came out with was the "hotdog" roller. Can't say enough.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:20 AM   #9
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Also, a stiffer brush works better on rough surfaces, softer for a smoother finish. It's good to have a selection for the type of work it needs to do.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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To answer your question its really up to you as to what you find comfortable and productive. I use an angled 2 1/2 for cutting in and for windows. Sometimes a 2 for trim. a 3" is versatile interior and exterior.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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Most of my brushes are 2 1/2" (soft- stiff) and all angled. The few 3" brushes I do have I like just fine but the only problem is a 3" will not fit into a quart can.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:50 PM   #12
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I bought the 2 1/2 Wooster Alpha sash brush. Best thing i ever did. Love it.


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