Which brushes do I use for which job?

When selecting a brush it is important to consider the following areas: type of bristle; job to be completed & coating to be applied.
There are 2 types of bristle: synthetic and natural.

Synthetic bristles are very hard wearing, lasting up to 5 times as long as natural bristle brushes. As synthetic bristles do not absorb large amounts of water and swell up they do not cause tramlines to appear in the paint. Their structure produces a fine finish on all water-based paints.

Natural bristle has a structure that allows it to take and hold paint within the brush. In addition, the split ends of bristle brushes help to produce a fine finish with traditional solvent paints. However, they do not perform well with water-based paints.

Brushes come in many sizes. As a rule of thumb, the larger the area you are painting, the larger the brush that you should use. For walls a 2" or 3" brush is required for cutting in, whilst a 1" or 2" brush will give you more flexibility when painting doors, baseboards & architraves.

Synthetic Vs. Natural Bristles

Synthetic (nylon) brushes should not be left standing on their bristles in solvent (water or mineral spirits). The bristles will develop a permanent curl, making the brush useless. Brushes made from natural (hog) bristles should not be used in water-based paints. These bristles absorb water and swell, destroying the shape of the brush.