Brush Care

General advice on selecting a Paint Brush.

Paint brushes are a secondary sale. The primary sale is paint.

Having purchased the paint, consumers then have to decide how they wish to apply the paint. The answer to this can be found in three common ways. Paint can be applied using Paint Pad, Paint Brush or Paint Roller. This advice covers the considerations necessary when selecting a paint brush.

1. The type of paint.

There are many types of paint and each one has specific qualities and challenges. Paint types include Gloss, Emulsion, Varnish, Stains, Preservatives, Masonry and Industrial Paints. It is important to select a brush which is suitable for both the type of paint, and the substrate to which the paint is being applied to. So, when purchasing a paint brush be sure that it is suitable for the paint purchased. The brush usage will normally be stated on the brush. If in doubt ask for assistance. There are specialist paint brushes for the categories of woodcare and industrial.

2. Quality of finish.

I am always amazed that a consumer will be willing to pay many pounds for a quality paint and yet want to purchase the cheapest paint brush. The quality of the finish you achieve from the paint is directly related to how the paint is applied which is directly related to the quality of the paint brush you use. The result is usually linked to the type and quality of bristle in the brush you purchase.

There are many types of bristle, each with a different price point and quality. We would recommend you choose a mid-range priced brush which for a 2inch brush is unlikely to be less than £3.99. This brush will probably have a bristle blend of natural and synthetic bristle which is a good choice. Natural bristle will hold paint in the brush, while synthetic bristle adds strength to spread the paint. You could also purchase a brush which has purely natural bristle or purely synthetic bristle. Both these bristles have qualities. However a combination of the two is in my opinion the best option.

3. Care of your brush.

If we assume you have paid a reasonable amount for your brush then you may wish to clean it after use and keep it to use on another occasion. It is always best to clean your brush immediately after you are finished painting. Most paints today are water-based which means you can clean the brush with water. After washing ensure you dry the brush well and store in a container with the head of the brush pointing upward and the handle down. This ensures that you will not damage the bristles.

If you are leaving your brush overnight to be used again the next day, you can wrap the brush in a plastic bag to keep it airtight. Then the next day you may remove the covering and continue to use the brush.

If the paint you are using is oil-based and you wish to clean it then you will need to use white spirit. You may wish to think carefully about this because white spirit is expensive and may cost more than a new brush.


If you follow this simple guide you should end up with a good finish on your wall, and a paint brush which will serve your needs on future occasions. Happy painting!