How to Choose the Best Paint Brushes & Rollers For Your Project

In our last blog post, we discussed how to prep your walls for the best paint job. Now that your walls are ready to be transformed, you need to use the right paint brushes and applicators for a consistent, long-lasting finish. There are hundreds of different paint brushes and tools available today – how do you know which ones to choose? If you’re investing time and money into prepping and priming your walls, it only makes sense to purchase the right painting tools and do the job right. Before using any old brush, follow these tips on how to select the right painting tools.

The paint department at Merrett Home Hardware can help you find brushes, rollers, and applicators that will apply a thicker, more uniform, longer-lasting coat of paint.


man with paintbrush painting wooden house exteriorIn general, there are two categories of paint brushes:

  1. Brushes made of natural-hair bristles
  2. Bushes made using synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester.

When applying latex-based paint, it’s best to use brushes that have synthetic bristles. They hold their shape better and maintain proper stiffness. Even though quality polyester brushes are usually more expensive, they are well worth the initial cost. If you clean and store them properly, they will continue to apply paint smoothly for many years.

Match the size and shape of your brushes to your job.

This makes a big difference when it comes to speeding up your job while maintaining a perfect finish. For large exterior surfaces, use a wide flat brush with a thickness of 3/4″ to 1″. To cut in at the corners of exterior and interior walls, use a thin brush with tapered edges. For woodwork and moulding, use brushes between 1″ and 2 1/2″ wide. And for window frames and trim, use angled sash brushes.

How to Choose the Best Painting Tools Pay attention to the bristles to find a high-quality brush.

The bristles should have split ends, spring back into shape when flexed, and measure at least half as long as the width of the brush. If you tug on the bristles and more than one or two bristles can be pulled out, the brush is poorly constructed.

How to select the best paint rollers.

It’s no secret that rollers are faster and easier to use than paintbrushes, although they can be difficult to work with in small or narrow spaces. For your painting project, you’ll likely need to buy several different sizes and types of rollers. You can test the quality of a roller cover by squeezing it. A higher quality roller cover will quickly return to its original shape. It’s important to choose the right thickness of the roller’s fiber nap (referred to as pile depth) for your project’s surface. The pile depth of a roller can range from very smooth for painting plaster and metal doors to very rough for concrete block and bricks. Use semi-smooth to semi-rough rollers for painting drywall and rough wood. The material of the roller cover makes a difference, too. Synthetic covers are best for latex paints, while natural covers should be used for oil-based paints. Blended covers made from a mixture of polyester and wool can be used for all paints.

A well-made brush that’s properly cared for will last for years.

When you’re finished painting, work out any remaining paint on your brush by painting sheets of newspaper until it’s fairly dry. Clean the brush with water for latex paint and paint thinner for oil-based paint. Then wash the brush with soap and water and slap the brush against your hand to bring the bristles back into alignment. Lastly, wrap the brush in paper towel or a newspaper and secure it with tape or a rubber band.

Now that you know how to prepare your walls for a beautiful finish and select the right painting tools, you’re project is bound to be a success! Merrett Home Hardware is your source for quality painting products and expert advice. We carry a massive selection of brushes, rollers, paints, and primers to help transform your home.


Visit us at 1460 Lansdowne Street West to get your project started!

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