Best brush for DIY painters
For DIY painters looking for best brush, it can be a confusing time. Bottom line, no single brush is best in all paint – there are hundreds of brushes on the market, all with some merit, so it can be a bewildering time searching for brushes that are good quality and suited to your task at hand.
So to keep it really simple, these brushes are suitable for keen DIY decorators.
These are not the sort of brushes you will find at B&Q, though. Rest assured, even the “worst” one is good for high end trade quality use, and will give home decorators a really good shot at achieving a finish to be proud of.
Best DIY brushes for water based paint
2.5″ Wooster Silver Tip is top class for water based paint for ceilings, walls & woodwork
It will cut lovely emulsion lines AND is top of the trade quality tree for acrylic paint finishes on woodwork. There is no learning curve, so pick it up, use it, enjoy.
None to concern a DIY painter. (Trade will say it is great, except it does not have the capacity of a Picasso when painting ceilings and walls!)
Picasso is unreservedly the best trade quality brush for water based wall and ceiling paint
Painting straight lines fast in emulsion, there is no brush to touch this for its combined paint capacity and accuracy. For emulsioning coving you can paint very fast and achieve a lovely finish too. With care and attention, it will also create a lovely finish on acrylic woodwork paint.
For DIY (and trade) I would say that there is a learning curve to get the most out of a Picasso. You have to really load it up with way more paint than you think is right, and you can press way harder than you think is possible and still keep a straight line. (For serious trade users, these are minor cons by the way!)
2″ or 2.5″ Wooster FTP for Annie Sloan chalk paint and emulsion
The FTP is outstanding for chalk paint and heavy-bodied water-based paint. It paints very long straight lines in standard emulsion too.
For chalk paint there are no cons with this brush. The handles are a bit chunky for small hands.
Best DIY brushes for oil based paint
1.5″ or 2″ Wooster Alpha
If you apply paint to flat areas with a dense black foam roller and lay off lightly with the Alpha, you won’t be disappointed.
Whilst the finish is very smooth, on large areas, the trade would say that it is a little bit too soft to boss oil paint around ie hard work compared to other oil paint brushes.
2″ or 2.5″ Wooster FTP
Outstanding for conventional brushing with oil paint (ie without a roller)
In oil, I wouldn’t recommend it – it is good but not a top performer and you can do better with any of the above.
Popular trade brushes for oil paint that DIY might consider
Wooster and Proform are not mainstream products. I think they do trump the better known trade perennials, but the following two perennials are in general use or known by most tradesmen; they are available off the shelf at main decorator merchants, and would leave an excellent result in oil paint.
Purdy Monarch Elite – the “original” synthetic brush for oil paint, I think it is good, I used them for the longest time. The finish is on a par with Wooster brushes, but I find the Alpha is a much better balanced brush to hold.
Hamilton Perfection – if you have an older worn-in HP, yes, it will be as nice a brush as you can get for oil paint, but to wear a new one in to that perfect state is a waste of time for DIY (and not something I sign up to these days either!).
There are hundreds of paint brushes around, there is no such thing as one brilliant brush for all scenarios, although the Wooster Silver Tip and Wooster FTP are close.
If you want to get into the arcane nitty gritty of brushes, we do that on Traditional Painter, see best paint brush but for DIY especially, the limited choice above will serve you really really well.
Trade would rate the brushes differently, but I am looking at this from the DIY’er angle.
Paint brush care
Make sure you have a pot of Krudkutter Original close by too for cleaning water based paint out of brushes. And a litre of Owatrol for thinning / conditioning your oil paint and Floetrol the same for water based paint.
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