The best paintbrush you can buy for DIY projects

  • Painting a room is a simple home upgrade that doesn't have to be a chore. With the right tools in hand, DIY interior painting can not only be easy, but even enjoyable.
  • The Presa Premium 5-Piece Paint Brush Set is our top pick for the best paintbrush set because these brushes are low priced, well made, and the single set comes with five brush widths that should be all you need for most DIY painting projects.

I've painted at least twenty rooms in my day, if you count a few rooms I've painted twice. And I've touched up the paint in more rooms than that more times than I can count. I enjoy painting projects so long as I have some free time to spare. Over the years, I've come to learn that DIY interior painting isn't really a huge challenge as long as you take the time to do things right.

That means plenty of care spent on the prep, from covering floors and furniture to dutifully taping edges and seams. It means cleaning and mending surfaces as needed, so the surface to be painted is in its best shape prior to the painting. And it means spending the money on good paint and, of course, on good brushes with which you'll apply said paint.

A good paintbrush has durable but soft bristles that can hold lots of paint and release it easily with gentle pressure. Good brushes rarely if ever shed bristles and always feel well-balanced in your hand. They clean well, retain their original shape, and if properly used, will last for years.

That said, not all good paintbrushes are made the same. Some jobs require a brush made with natural hairs, such as a project using oil-based paints or lacquers. Others require a synthetic brush, such as when you are working with a latex-based paint. And when you're cutting the edge along the ceiling, detailing a window grate or door panel, or completing minute touch-ups after a piece of furniture scuffs a wall or a child's "art" requires removal, that large four-inch brush you love for wide-open walls might need to stand down while a two-inch brush steps up to the plate.

In short, the best paintbrush for one project might not be ideal for another. The good news is excellent paintbrushes can be yours for fair prices, so go ahead and stock up with plenty of painterly hardware.

Here are the best paintbrushes:

  • Best overall: Presa Premium 5-Piece Paint Brush Set
  • Best for cutting: Wooster Shortcut 2-inch Angle Sash Brush
  • Best for edging: Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger
  • Best natural hair: Purdy White Bristle Sprig 3-inch Flat Sash Brush
  • Best synthetic fiber: Magnolia Home KILZ 2.5-inch Nylon/Polyester Brush

Updated 8/10/2020. We updated prices and links.

The best overall

With the varied sizes and fine quality of the brushes in the Presa Premium 5-Piece Paint Brush Set, you'll be ready for just about any DIY home painting project.

Any of the five brushes included in the Presa Premium 5-Piece Paint Brush Set would merit its own place on this list, and not the least because, at the price of the whole, the individual brushes are incredibly affordable.

They feature bristles made with a synthetic solid round tapered (usually abbreviated as SRT) filament that allows for good stiffness even when laden with paint. The bristles have an excellent bend recovery, abrasion resistance, and they're easy to clean, too. The bristles work well with most types of paint and with stains and lacquers as well.

As the Presa Premium 5-Piece Paint Brush Set comes with brushes measuring as wide as three inches and as narrow as one inch, you can use brushes from this set for everything from painting wide-open walls to cutting ceiling lines to finishing corners or trim work. The 1.5-inch brush even has an angled design for easier, crisper cutting and detail work, and all the brushes feature holes bored into the handles, making them easy to dry and store.

Pros: Great variety of brush size, good cost for good quality, resilient bristles

Cons: Not ideal for oil-based paints

The best for cutting

With the Wooster Shortcut 2-inch Angle Sash Brush, creating those crisp, even lines where wall reaches ceiling or where two shades of paint meet has never been easier.

Let's be honest, painting a big, flat, open wall is pretty easy. In fact, unless you're careless, it's hard to do it wrong.

Ah, but getting a perfect edge along the line where ceiling meets wall, or where two walls or panels with different paint colors meet? That, friends, ain't easy. In fact, even with painter's tape, creating a sharp edge can be a challenge as any misplaced tape leads to a long imperfection.

For painting along the ceiling line, in corners, around windows and doors, and in any other spots requiring deft precision, the Wooster Shortcut 2-inch Angle Sash Brush is a great choice. Its sturdy angled bristles create a smooth, straight line and release plenty of paint with minimal pressure, but what really sets this brush apart is its handle design.

You rest the short, pliant elastomeric grip in the crook of your hand between the base of your thumb and forefinger, grasping the brush near the bristles themselves for maximum control. The brush feels like an extension of your hand and thus responds to slight motion variations, applying the paint right where you want it and, more to the point, perhaps, not where you don't.

Note that while you'll appreciate the brush for its cutting and detail abilities, it has limited efficacy for painting larger areas.

Pros: Easy to control, soft and ergonomic handle, great paint release

Cons: Not ideal for larger spaces

The best for edging

With a Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger, painting those long swaths near the molding or baseboards has never been easier or faster. 

For painting big open walls as quickly and effectively as possible, you need a paint roller and a Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger.

This handy little hand tool uses a removable panel sporting thousands of short, soft, but resilient bristles that slips onto a plastic base with a pair of wheels set near its top.

You load the brush panel with paint, then rest the wheels along the molding, baseboard, doorframe or window frame, or the floor or ceiling adjacent to the wall you're painting. Then simply slide the Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger along to create a wide, smooth line of paint.

Having used one of these tools dozens of times, I can say with firsthand knowledge that yeah, it really is that easy — apply paint, roll along, get results, basically.

The Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger is best used immediately prior to a paint roller. You can use it to apply a thick swath of paint that can then be blended and smoothed into the roller's passes, eliminating the need for you to roll close to ceilings, floors, or trim, and often meaning you can complete a painting project without using tape.

With this edger, you can often paint walls just below ceiling lines even without using a ladder. It has a threaded recess that can accept a long pole, giving you excellent vertical reach.

A word to the wise, though: Take the time to thoroughly clean the Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger periodically during your painting project, because any paint that gets on the wheels or the edge of the plastic will wind up all over the ceiling, floor, molding, and so on.

Pros: Creates long consistent lines, works with extension pole, holds lots of paint

Cons: Leaves lots of marks if not cleaned regularly

The best natural hair

For applying oil-based paints, stains, and lacquers, it's hard to beat the soft, lush natural bristles of the Purdy White Bristle Sprig 3-inch Flat Sash Brush.

When it comes to your hair, split ends are something to be loathed and removed. When it comes to a paintbrush made with natural hairs, split ends are, however, welcome and encouraged. Why? Because every split bristle means even more surface area to hold paint and an even finer, smoother, and more even application. That's why natural hair brushes are ideal for oil-based paints, that must be applied evenly for a good finish, as well as for stains, varnishes, shellacs, and lacquers that are thinner than paint to begin with.

The Purdy White Bristle Sprig 3-inch Flat Sash Brush features hundreds of White China bristles made from fine all-natural hog hair. They are secured in a rounded stainless steel ferrule and attached to a smooth beavertail-shaped handle that allows for plenty of control even as you apply a broad three-inch swatch of paint, varnish, stain, or other finishes.

This brush is great for general painting projects but excels in the hands of a woodworker or for specialty projects like marine painting or antique restorations.

Pros: Reliable smooth application, ideal for stains and lacquers, durable construction

Cons: Rather expensive

The best synthetic fiber

The Magnolia Home KILZ 2.5-inch Nylon/Polyester Brush was purpose-built for use with acrylic, latex, and water-based paints.

The Magnolia Home 2.5-inch Brush is something of a Renaissance brush that can be used with all types of paint — including oil paints — and with lacquers and varnish and such, though it may leave some visible texture in thinner stains. But this brush is at its best when used with paints made with an acrylic, latex, or water base.

Its sturdy nylon and polyester blend filament bristles load up will even with thicker materials like a viscous latex paint and then lay it on thick and smooth. The bristles hold their shape even under pressure, and they retain their form after countless uses and washings, provided you wash the brush thoroughly and let it fully dry out.

At 2.5-inches thick, the Magnolia Home Brush is just broad enough for use on walls and ceilings and large pieces of furniture, but due to its precise handling, this brush is at its core ideally suited for painting edges, corners, and in tighter spaces like between a doorframe and wall or on cabinetry or trim. Its smooth, long handle allows you to grip the brush in a variety of ways, while its eight-ounce heft is well-balanced and comfortable during extended use.

Pros: Ideal for acrylic and latex paints, long comfortable handle, durable bristle design

Cons: Not ideal for oil-based paints or stains

Check out other great guides for painting supplies

The best paint rollers

With a good paint roller, you can coat a good-sized wall in a matter of minutes. Or you can paint a whole room, ceiling, and all in just a couple of hours — setup and cleanup included.

The best interior paint

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to spruce up a room. We've rounded up the best interior paint brands so you can rest assured that your walls will look great for a long time.

Regardless of what you choose, however, we're confident that our favorite interior paint brands will get you started, and give your home a new lease on life.

The best ladders

From painting the nursery to changing a light bulb or hanging holiday lights, everyday life often calls for a ladder. We've included many different types of ladders to suit different needs.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article