How To Select The Right Paint Brush For The Job

Which brush is right? Why do I need a "fancy" brush with Front Porch Mercantile

Hi Friends,

We’re back and today we’re sharing the answers to frequently asked questions (after which paint should I use) and that is about brushes!

Our friend Lisa, owner of The Painted Pineapple in Moncton and paint and brush expert, has put together this great list of frequently asked questions about brushes and her answers for you.

Which brush is right? Why do I need a "fancy" brush with Front Porch Mercantile

First up…the big question…

Why do I need a “fancy” brush?

Brushes are tools. They are designed to help the user achieve a better, more appealing result while at the same time making the task at hand, easier and more efficient.

There are all kinds of brushes on the market for different applications. Artist brushes for example come in dozens of shapes, sizes, and bristle types to choose according to the medium she uses or the style of her artwork. Deck brushes, trim brushes, and even make-up brushes are all designed and manufactured with their intended use at the forefront. Better quality brushes will last for years and should not shed their bristles.

Lots of brushes and accesories avaiilable at Front Porch Mercantile

Why so many choices? Sizes and shapes, handles, and bristles!!

To use a makeup reference, you wouldn’t put your eyeshadow on with a blush brush for instance! Even these brushes are created for the specific contours of our faces, eyelids, and lips.

The brushes we carry in our shops as furniture painters are no different. They are designed for furniture painting so that we can achieve the best results in the most efficient and pleasurable way for the many shapes, sizes, and contours of furniture. For instance, a large flat surface might be best serviced using a flat brush or roller, whereas the spindles on a chair or the lovely turned legs on a table would love to be painted with a round brush.

There are also different bristles available to help you achieve the look you are trying to create. Wanting a very rustic, textured surface? Use a natural bristle.

Looking for a flawless finish? Seek out the softest synthetic pigment you can find.

Working inside a cabinet or a very tight opening? Try a bent handle brush called a “radiator brush”.

Cling On brushes from Front Porch Mercantile


How do I hold my brush? How do I apply the paint?

Brushes are best held from the ferrule. Grab that fella by the neck and you will have more control over it. It will also be easier on your hand. By holding it like a pencil from the handle, you will quickly stress your hand.

Damp bristles work best, so pop your brush in some water and wring out the access so it isn’t wet…just damp. By laying your paint in long, consistent pressure stokes, you will achieve a more uniform surface. The trick is to have enough paint on your brush to “push around”. If you are working with too little paint, your brush will “drag” and feel dry. Avoid starting off with a fully loaded brush on the “edge” of your piece. Imagine a rectangle – start from the center and work your way outward, skimming your brush off the edges. Working quickly and confidently, finish off that rectangle by lightly going over your work again with your brush from top to bottom, side to side. When in doubt, start painting on the backside of your piece or the inside of a door until you get your paint groove on!

Stencil rental at Front Porch Mercantile

How long will my brush last?

A lifetime if you care for it properly! Let’s face it, none of us love to wash brushes, but proper care will ensure your bristles are soft and keep their shape. Work with a jar of room temperature water next to you and pop that brush into the water if you need a break or are waiting for your coat to dry. Make sure the water level remains below the ferrule or strings so as not to damage the glues that bind the bristles together. It will be safe to leave your brushes like this overnight and will also help pull the colour from deep in the centre of your brush. Wash with cool (not hot) water and use a brush soap to keep your bristles soft. It is preferable to hang your brush to dry so the water escapes by the brush tip, or lay it flat, do not stand with bristles up as the water will seep into the ferrule and the handle causing your brush to disintegrate over time.

Choosing the right brush from Front Porch Mercantile

Doesn’t this all make sense now? Lisa is brilliant and amazing at helping you pick out the right brush.

Lisa carries several different styles and brushes in our Moncton location, 179 Bonaccord Street Moncton, if she doesn’t have what you need, or if the brush you already have is fine, she will honestly tell you, I pink swear.

Do you have a favorite paintbrush? We’d love to know.

You can buy our favorite Cling On Brushes in our online shop.



Which brush is right? Choose the right brush for your next furniture painting job with Front Porch Mercantile





Wendy, John + Front Porch Lifestyle

Wendy, John + Front Porch Lifestyle