Using the right tool for the job can make or break your project. With so many options of paintbrush types out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Today, I will share a few essential things to keep in mind while choosing the best paintbrush for furniture painting projects, plus some of the ways I use my favorites!
Dixie Belle Paint Company offers a variety of brushes, from different sizes to materials. How do you determine the best brush for your job?
Set Your Budget
The first choice you make when looking to purchase brushes is usually budget based. As with most things, you get what you pay for with brushes. Why make the investment in good quality brushes? The biggest differences I notice are:
1. Quality of finishes
With inexpensive hardware store brands, the bristles can be of lower quality, leaving you with more brush strokes in your finish, a source of endless frustration.
2. The Lifespan of the brush
I find that lower quality bristles don’t clean as well. This shortens the lifespan of a brush and requires more frequent replacement. For a few projects, this may not be a problem, but avid painters want to have reliable tools.
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Natural vs. Synthetic Bristles
I prefer natural bristles for textured looks and waxing. The bristles tend to have more rigidity and be more coarse. For antique finishes with lots of brush strokes, old farmhouse looks, this may be ideal.
Waxing requires elbow grease, a firm hand, and a rigid brush, natural bristles are all that.
A chip brush is an inexpensive and practical option but usually considered disposable and will not give you a smooth finish. They are great for oil-based finishes, gumming up with stuff like Sea Spray texture additive, or generally beating up, then throwing away.
Synthetic bristles are made of materials like nylon and polyester. They can be easier to clean, have a smoother, softer feel, and provide a cleaner finish. Opt for these to lay on a flawless paint finish.
Selecting The Right Shape & Size
So you’ve set a budget, decided on bristles, what about brush shape? Oval vs. Flat? Angled vs. Straight? So many options. Let’s go through the options offered by Dixie Belle.
The Dixie Belle Mini and Oval Medium are my go-to brushes, the staples of my collection. I like an angled brush for a clean edge and angled corners. I like the Flat Small, Oval Small, and Round Brushes for detail work, these are good to have in the toolbox to make life easier.
Sometimes a full-sized brush can be harder in small areas or on small pieces.
Consider The Handle
A longer handle, like the French Tip Brush, will get you to the back corner of a bookshelf or nightstand like no other. It gets hard to reach places effortlessly.
A daily use brush like the Mini has a handle shape that seats in your grip without causing any cramping.
The longer handled brushes, like the Flat Medium, are versatile and can serve double duty, hard to reach, or a palm hold. I even handle them like a feather duster on occasion.
Speaking of handles! The Scarlett brush is the spicier friend of the synthetic brushes. A saucy redhead with a short flat handle, this brush lays paint on smooth and is also great for faux finishes that require whispy brush strokes at the flick of a wrist
The New Best Dang Brush & La Petite
This brush is a combination of natural and synthetic bristles. It’s full and large but not as course as 100% natural bristles. This brush will rock your world for applying wax and massaging in big mama’s butta, but it does double duty with beautiful paint techniques like This blended technique here
The smaller sister to best dang brush is “la petite”, it has a shorter handle that sits comfortably in your hand, and pointed bristles for getting into crevices. I love this brush for applying waxes, especially getting dark waxes into detailed areas
My best tips in choosing brushes are
1. Invest in quality brushes if you enjoy painting, the right tool for the job makes your life easier.
2. Consider what you will be painting. Does it have nooks, crannies, angles, and edges?
3. Consider your desired finish. Are you going for clean and smooth or textured and distressed?
4. Consider your finishing touches. Are you using a wax or clear coat?
5.What feels best in your hand and allows the most natural movement?
An important part of having the right tools is keeping them in their best shape! In this video, I show you everything you need to know to care for your favorite paintbrushes.
Have you tried any of these brushes? I would love to know which one is your go-to brush.