Choosing the Right Brush
Brushes are highly efficient for painting all areas and for all types of paint. A poor brush, however, will result in a poor finish. While much has been written about paintbrush ergonomics in recent year with the invention of slip resistant rubber handles, the real story is still the business end of the brush. Once you understand the finer points of natural bristle, flagged filaments and tapered tips, your painting and finishing will go a lot smoother.
Bristle is the most popular natural filament made from hog hair. It is not recommended that you use these brushes in water-based paints because it absorbs into the bristles and leaves them limp. Bristle is also not good to use on rough surfaces, which can break the "flags" and ware down the brush. Flags are what help hold paint in the brush so it's distributed evenly through the stroke. Bristle works well with oil-based, alkyd paints, stains, varnishes, urethanes, and shellac
Nylon filaments are very durable, they absorb the paint and often leak paint even after they have been cleaned. Because of its durability, this would be a great filament to use on rough surfaces. Use with fast-drying paints like acrylics since they are so easy to clean up after.
Polyester filaments are popular with do-it-yourselfers because of their low price. They absorb no moisture so it retains its stiffness better than any other brush-type. It also resists heat and is therefore good to use in any climate and with all types of coatings, but it is not as easy to clean-up as nylon.
Nylon/polyester blend is the most popular synthetic paint brush since it combines the best qualities for better performance. The polyester bristles are used in the shorter lengths for its stiffness when using water-based paints and its resistance to heat; the nylon is used in the longer lengths for precise tipping and durability during use.
Quality brushes are made of tapered filaments
1. Clean brush immediately after use, before paint has a chance to harden. Use proper solvent for oil-base paint; for latex-base paints, clean with warm, soap or detergent water solution. If brush does not clean thoroughly, clean in paint thinner and rewash in warm detergent solution.
2. Comb wet bristles with metal comb.
3. If brush is to be stored for long periods, return to pouch supplied with brush or wrap in foil or heavy paper, with bristles smooth and flat.
4. Always store fiat or suspended from a nail or hook so that bristles are straight and the brush is not resting on bristles.
5. Do not allow any brush to stand on end in either paint or water.
6. Do not soak a brush in water; it will damage either the filament or the epoxy setting and cause the ferrule to rust.