Best Paint Brushes

In this article, I will provide a detailed explanation of which types of paint brushes work best for which painting tasks and provide a list of highly recommended paint brushes for you to use on your next project.

Investing in high-quality paint brushes is extremely important to any painting project. It is never worth saving a few dollars by buying cheap brushes. Cheap brushes make the job much more difficult. The job will take longer, the work will be frustrating and the finished product won’t come out as nice. They also won’t last as long as a quality brush, as long as you clean them properly, so they don’t really save you any money in the long run.

Using the proper paint brush for whatever job you are doing makes all the difference. Stiffer bristles are generally good for working with thicker paints, holding their shape and are better for “cutting in” or “edging”. Softer bristles can be better for laying the paint down smoothly, “feathering” out the paint and leaving finer finish with fewer brush marks. Angles brushes tend to be better for “cutting in” or doing detailed work like painting the panels on doors and painting window sash while straight brushes tend to be better for brushing out large areas. I generally use angled brushes for almost everything except for brushing out exterior siding. It is generally best to use the largest brush that you can practically use to get the job done. Larger brushes hold more paint and the less you have to dip the faster you can get the job done. Although, larger brushes do take a lot longer to clean properly. I use a 3″ angle brush 90% of the time and a 2.5″ angle brush the most after that. Smaller brushes like 2″ and 1″ and even artists brushes have their uses for very detailed work especially when the larger brushes won’t fit.

For most people who don’t have much experience painting, a high-quality medium to stiff 2.5″ angled brush is going to serve you well for most painting projects you are embarking on. Some good ones to look for are as follows: Purdy Clearcut 2.5″ Angled Paint Brush. While the quality of Purdy has dropped a bit in recent years they still make many decent brushes and the Clearcut series are some of my favorites. Corona Brushes Inc. also makes some very nice brushes. The Corona 2.5″ Excalibur Chinex PaintBrush is an excellent brush, it holds a lot of paint, is great to “cut in” with, lays down a fairly smooth finish and cleans up faster than most other brushes I have used before. While I have a preference for some of the Purdy and Corona brushes, Wooster Brush company makes some excellent brushes and many are more affordable. The Wooster Brush 2-1/2 Ultra/Pro Extra-Firm Lindbeck Angle Sash Paintbrush and the Wooster Brush 2-1/2 Alpha Angle Sash Paintbrush are both great brushes and usually cost less than their Purdy and Corona counterparts.

Best Painting Tools

With work in the painting industry spanning decades, jobs performed in the thousands, gallons of paint applied in the 100s of thousands, and jobs billed in the 10s of millions you can be assured that these recommendations are based on actual experience. While these recommendations are geared to professional tools used to achieve professional results, we will make every effort to suggest affordable alternatives when possible. However, it is our belief that by going through the tools and equipment used by professional painters and explaining where the professional places his priorities it will provide a deeper understanding of the process. With this understanding and a few recommendations, you will be ready to achieve professional results for yourself. Your final results will mainly be dictated by the effort, time, and money you wish to dedicate to the project and by your desired outcome.

Paint Brushes

Always buy a good quality paint brush. Some of the best paint brushes available are made by Purdy, Corona, and Wooster. Some of the brushes I recommend are the Purdy Clearcut 2.5″ Angled Paint Brush; The Corona 2.5″ Excalibur Chinex Paint Brush; The Wooster Brush 2-1/2 Ultra/Pro Extra-Firm Lindbeck Angle Sash Paintbrush and the Wooster Brush 2-1/2 Alpha Angle Sash Paintbrush.

More information on the Best Paint Brushes:

Putty Knives

The main hand tool that most painters always carry is a putty knife. Most painters, myself included, carry a stiff putty knife known as a “5-in-1” or “6-in-1”. Alternatively, many painters will carry a regular stiff or flexible putty knife, usually a 1.25″ putty knife or another fairly small size. None of these choices is bad. It is really personal preference or years of habit. 5-in-1 putty knives are great for scraping surfaces, opening cans and squeezing excess paint out of a roller but they are not ideal for patching – a flexible putty knife is much better suited for that.

My favorite “5-in-1” tools are the Hyde “6-in-1” tool, which I carried for many years, the Hyde “5-in-1” tool, and the Warner Rosewood series “5-in-1” tool that I have been carrying lately. I love the weight and the “hammer-end” on the Hyde “6-in-1” but the steel seems to be higher quality on the Warner.

Paint Scrapers

The best paint scraper without question is the Bahco 650 Premium Ergonomic Carbide Scraper. I think the 2″ is generally the best for most tasks. I have had several 2″ models for many years and they all see a lot of use, I owned the 2.5″ version and it was lost at some point and I never felt the need to replace it.


My favorite size rollers are 14″. I find 9″ rollers to be too small and slow for anything larger than a small bathroom. While I like 18″ rollers the 3/8s nap rollers tend miss spots because walls are never perfectly straight and the 1/2″ and larger can still miss spots and add more texture and can get a heavy after a while. The 14″ seems to hit just the right balance.

The best roller cover I have used is the Wooster 14 Inch Pro Doo Z FTP Roller Cover in the 3/8-Inch Nap. I also use the Wooster 9 Inch Pro Doo Z FTP Roller Cover in the 3/8s nap for small areas.

The best roller handles or roller frames are the Wooster Sherlock 14 Inch Roller Frame and the Wooster Sherlock 9 Inch Roller Frame.

The best extension pole is the Wooster Sherlock Extension Pole. The 2ft to 4ft model is good for rolling walls from standard ceiling heights up to about 9ft. For higher walls, the 4ft to 8ft version or larger come in handy. I own 4 2ft to 4ft poles, 2 4ft to 8ft poles, a 6ft to 12ft pole and an 8ft to 16ft pole. They are hands down the best extension poles that you can use. They are relatively lightweight yet extremely strong, the “Sherlock” locking mechanism locks into the Wooster Sherlock roller handles so that the roller does not keep unscrewing itself, and they come with an adapter for the locking mechanism with threads so that you can use the pole with things like wall sanding pads that require a threaded connector.