The Different Types of Paint Brushes

There are dozens of different DIY items on sale in stores but none of them is as versatile as the good old paintbrush. It's been around for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years and is still a firm favourite of decorators and designers all over the world.

Where Did The Paint Brush Come From?

Nobody really knows who first invented the paint brush. Ever since the dawn of mankind people have been etching or painting on surfaces in caves all over the world. At some stage, somewhere in our evolutionary history, an early man (or woman perhaps?) gathered together some hairs or plant strands and painted with powdered stone and water on a wall and the paint brush was born.

Although we don't know exactly who "invented" the paintbrush we do ,however, know that the ancient Chinese have been creating brush paintings for literally thousands of years; their alphabet being painted in an intricate manner for example. Europeans have been painting for quite a long time, too.

Different Types Of Paint Brushes

So what are the different types of paint brushes? You might be wondering why you need to find out about the different types of paint brushes? After all, a paint brush is a paint brush, right? Actually, there are lots of different options when it comes to choosing a paint brush; everything from the type of bristles to the different handles that you can choose from.

The first thing to consider is the part of the paint brush that actually applies the paint. Paint brush bristles can be natural, synthetic or a combination of both types of fibers. Natural fibers work best with oil based paint, while synthetic bristles perform well with latex paint. Another option is the sponge brush, which doesn’t have any bristles at all.

The shape of the brush head is also important. Some brush heads are simply rectangular and flat. Others are tapered or round. They range from skinny to wide, with most brushes falling into the two and a half to six inch range. Some of these styles, such as the six inch rectangular brush, are better for applying a lot of paint to a wall fast, while others, such as the three inch sash brush, are great for cutting in around windows and doorways. Trim brushes are ideal for, as their name suggests, painting trim.

Last but not least you'll need to consider what type of handle you'll want on your paint brushes. Many DIY grade brushes are made with a basic plastic handle. They work fine for small tasks, but a few hours of holding that hard plastic is not very comfortable and will lead to hand and wrist strain. Professionals usually opt for wooden handled brushes. They are extremely durable and can be a bit more comfortable than a seamed plastic handle just because of the natural feel of the wood. Comfort grip handles and wide handles are options that people with joint pain may want to try to save themselves winding up in agony at the end of any DIY project.

Choose your painbrushes carefully - you'll thank yourself in the long run.  Also check out our article on cleaning paintbrushes.