The Perfect Paintbrush

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Like all tools, a paintbrush is designed for a specific purpose. It is a simple tool that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and bristle types. Choosing the perfect paintbrush can make your work easier and faster. Here are the main types of paintbrushes to help you select the right one for your task at hand.

Natural Bristle Paintbrush

A natural bristle paintbrush is made of animal hair from a hog, sable or badger. It is better to use a bristle brush for oil-based painting such as top coats, varnishes, shellac, decorative chalk, enamel, clay-based, stain and polyurethane. The natural bristles split which allows them to hold and distribute paint evenly with less chance of streaking than with a synthetic paintbrush.

Natural Bristle Paintbrushes

Synthetic Paintbrush

Synthetic paintbrushes are typically made from nylon, polyester or a blend of both. These paintbrushes are better for water based latex, primers, wood finishes, gloss or acrylic paints. They are resistant to solvents and easier to clean. Being synthetic makes them more durable maintaining their shape longer.

Synthetic Paintbrush

Foam Brushes

The foam brush will make controlling where the paint goes easier eliminating a lot of the brush-stroke look. They are inexpensive and perfect for minor touch-ups.

Foam Paintbrushes

Paintbrush Shapes

  1. Angled – The angled paintbrush provides precise control in corners and on narrow surfaces. It offers great stability and is easy to maneuver. These paintbrushes are perfect for cutting around the perimeter of a room.
  2. Straight – A straight paintbrush will work best when painting a large, flat surface. They are perfect for general use and are the most popular paintbrush on the market today.
  3. Oval – An oval paintbrush will offer an even spread of paint but they are more expensive. These paintbrushes are more efficient as they can be loaded with a larger volume of paint providing optimal spread and an even release of paint.


Buy quality and learn how to clean your paintbrush properly as a good one can last for decades. You may need to try a few different paintbrushes to find the style you like. Shop paintbrushes at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Amazon to achieve smooth, complete and precise coverage for your next project.

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