Best Paint Brushes

Best Paint Brushes

The best paint brushes for use in interior and exterior home painting.

Craftsman Style

Besides paint, the painter needs brushes. The best brushes for plain work are what are called pound brushes (most of them weigh less than half a pound, but that is the name of them), which are round brushes nearly two inches in diameter and with bristles six inches long, when new. Next in value to these is an oval brush, two and a half inches wide. A great deal of house-painting is done with four- and five-inch flat brushes; the objection to these is that it is too hard work to use them properly; the paint should be well rubbed on, and you cannot do this with a very wide brush.

When using a new pound brush (or any brush with very long bristles) it is necessary to put a bridle on the brush. This consists in tying the bristles with an encircling band, and some do it by winding, the brush with cord; but the easiest way, and I think the best, is to wrap a piece of cloth around the brush, a piece say eight inches wide, and firmly first to the binding. Then with another piece of cord tie it around the bristles, say four inches from the end of the bristles, and two inches from the binding; then turn back the cloth, like a sleeve half turned inside out, and draw it tight, and tie it again around the binding. Trim it off, and the bridle is done. As the bristles wear short the bridle may be moved up, and finally removed. But don't buy a new brush with a bridle on it; take it off and see if the bristles are elastic and strong; soft, flabby bristles do not make a good brush. The best brush money can buy is a good investment.

For varnishing use an oval or flat varnish brush. These do not have so long bristles; for most work a brush two and one-half inches wide is large enough, though for flowing varnish on to a flat surface a four-inch flat brush is useful.

Of course, for painting sash a small brush is necessary; brushes made for this purpose are called "sash tools"; round brushes of various sizes, none very large. Some of these have a convex end, others are chiseled; a chisel end is one that has been clipped off from each of two sides so as to give an edge along the middle of the end of the brush. Oval brushes are generally finished with a chisel end,' especially oval varnish brushes; round and flat brushes not often, but flat varnish brushes have sometimes chisel ends. Some of these oval and flat bristle brushes are very useful in painting, especially about moldings and the like; from one to two and a half inches in width.

In fact, a two-inch oval varnish brush is an exceedingly useful implement for a great variety of work. For flowing on varnish a soft, flat brush, made of camel's hair, is best; it is convenient to have one narrow, say one inch, one medium, two inches, one wide, four inches. Paint is not easily handled with these soft brushes. Besides these, painters use dusting brushes, of stiff bristles, loosely built, spreading like a broom; and for cleaning old paint they use ordinary scrubbing brushes, and sometimes steel wire brushes, which are scrubbing brushes with stiff steel wire instead of bristles; a good style is about three inches wide and six or eight inches long, with wires three inches long.

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