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Paintbrushes: selecting the right brush for each interior house painting task

This article includes tips that will help you to select the right paintbrush for the material you will be applying and the surfaces you will be painting. Tips are also provided that will help to improve your ability to apply paint with a paintbrush. The last tip in this article will help you to keep your paintbrushes in optimum shape and condition when the work is done.

Picking the right paintbrush for the material being applied

House painting paintbrushes are rated for use in either latex (water-based) paints and primers, oil-based paints and primers or in both latex and oil-based paints and primers. There are also different sizes and types of paintbrushes. Ask your paint dealer to recommend the best paintbrushes for the types of materials that you will be applying.

Paintbrush selection table

Type of task/surface: Recommended paintbrush:

Bay window ceiling or sill 2” or 2 1/2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Bookcase or shelving 2” or 2 1/2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Casement window 3/4” or 1” Fitch, 1 1/2” or 2” angle-cut
Casement window grid 3/4” Fitch
Ceiling beam 2” or 2 1/2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Chair rail or baseboard 1 1/2” or 2” angle-cut
Crown molding 1 1/2” or 2” angle-cut
Cutting-in 2” or 2 1/2” angle or flat-cut
6-Panel door 2” or 2 1/2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Door trim 2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Double-hung window 3/4” or 1” Fitch, 1” or 1 1/2” angle-cut
French door Mullions: 3/4” or 1” Fitch, 1 1/2” angle-cut other sections: 2” angle-cut
Mantle 2” or 2 1/2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Wainscoting 2” or 2 1/2” angle-cut or flat-cut
Window lights on door Mullions: 3/4” Fitch or 1 1/2” angle-cut
other sections: 1 1/2” or 2” angle-cut
Window trim 2” angle-cut or flat-cut


Detailed information about interior house painting surface preparation can be found in the book:

The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting.

All content copyright Steve Broujos LLC