Painting Tips by a Professional

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Best Paint Brushes: Cut Better Lines and Go Faster!

Paint brushes
There is only one name for professional painters when it comes to paint brushes: Purdy. It's LATEX. See why it is important to use the best painting brushes.
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For a paint job, I recommend that you use the best paint brushes from Purdy. I have to report that the majority of self-taught, cutting-corner painters will buy 5 dollar brushes, use them once and then throw them away.  I find this to be sort of crazy.  I buy a 25 dollar brush (more than you need as a homeowner) and I use it day in and day out for months…And my 3-month old brushes cut a better line than any new 5-dollar brush! 

What brands are making the best paint brushes?

There is only one name for professional painters when it comes to paint brushes–I rarely am this blunt but please buy the good paint brushes from this brand: Purdy (here their website). They are high-quality brushes. That is true for exterior and interior painting.  This link is the one for you if you are a do-it-yourself-er. It’s 2-inches wide. I use a 3.5 inch or ever 4 if I can get them and I won’t hire a painter who uses less than 2. But most of all it’s LATEX-ONLY.

Best Paint Brushes Quick Answer

Why Purdy’s Nylox is one of the Best Paint Brushes for Painting Walls

Nylox, the Purdy line of synthetic bristle I recommend, is high-quality latex only, so don’t use with oil-based paints.  I no longer buy combination oil/latex brushes: there is little call for oil brushes anymore and even if I used an oil brush, I would not clean it as cleaning oil-based paint out of a brush is an exercise in futility. It is hard, smelly, toxic work, and still, the brush is not right after only one use.

painting a bedroom with corners using a brush
painting a bedroom with corners using a quality paint brush

But here is the main reason why this is one of the best paint brushes: the high-quality bristle. The Nylox bristles hold a great amount of paint without dripping and the texture is designed to find the corner of a room or corner next to a window frame very easily: like magic really. It is a quality brush.

  • You almost don’t even need a steady hand.
  • This means you can go VERY FAST and still have great results.
  • Those other painters?  Self-taught.  Cheap.  Slow. Drunk.  Poor.

Read also my post about my professional painter tools.

That’s it, but here is a tid-bit of background:

Recently, Sherwin Williams (one of the two ‘good’ paint brands left, the other being Benjamin Moore) purchased Purdy Brushes. Sherwin Williams is in an expansion phase with investors and so on, and good luck to them.  They do offer VOC-free paints, but Ben Moore is ahead of them in that race.  Anyway, I find Purdy to still be the same good old quality it always was.  Let’s just hope that S.W. does not do to them what big companies often do: cut quality to make more money. We hope they keep making those excellent paint brushes.

One Last Tip

Quality Paint brushesLast bit: when a Purdy brush becomes just too old for painting walls, I still don’t retire them. I cut the handle off and keep in my pouch as a dust brush.  It comes in handy to paint in tight spots too! Did I mention that I love my Purdys?

 

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7 thoughts on “Best Paint Brushes: Cut Better Lines and Go Faster!”

  1. Hi there-
    Great site, information and links!

    Your ‘throw away brushes’ for the oil primer, what do you use?

    What roller cover to use with Advance trim/ doorstep? (The link shows 1 1/4” but you mention short)

    Lastly, tips for painting stair spindles and posts? (Has oil based paint currently)

    Thanks very much,
    Laura

    • Advance, roller could be about 3.8 or so.. You don’t want to lay it on too thick: it can run and drip, but not nearly as bad as the old oils.
      Roller link.
      Spindles etc: roller in one hand, brush in other. Apply with roller and ‘tip’ with brush. Very fast as not much dipping for more paint.
      Do some testing for sure.
      Brushes are here!
      Good luck

  2. What brush would you recommend to use with Kilz Original and Benjamin Moore Advanced for painting over stained wood trim (since they aren’t latex). I read your article about painting over stain but a sprayer isn’t an option for this project.

    • Hi. The Advance is a water-based paint…it just has alkyds which used to only be available in oil-based paints.
      So for that, we use the standard Purdy ‘latex only’ brush. Link below.
      Now you probably also want a brush that you can do the primer, then use the same brush in the Adv.
      So, you could get a brush that can do both…the XL, but really, we never clean oil brushes or rollers. We might take an old brush, cut the handle short and leave in a gallon can of primer… it’s a real mess, but that brush saves many other brushes. It’s a hero!
      So if you want one brush, use XL Elite.
      If you want separate brushes, use the Nylox for the latex Adv.
      If you want throw-aways for the oil, I use these.
      Be aware that the bristles tend to fall out of these bulk brushes, even the good qualtiy ones linked here, but since you will definitely need to sand before your Advance, a few bristles you don’t pick out of the dry primer is sort of ok… it’s a choice. I rough up my budget brushes to make them shed any loose bristles before the first use.

      Finally, if you need the blocking power of Kilz O., yes go for it. But there is a Kilz with less blocking power that is latex… just so you know. If your trim is varnished, stains may not bleed thru. If you have a big job, it’s worth getting a small can of the General Purpose to test. So much easier to apply: use a roller then ‘tip’out with your brush. So fast.
      B

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