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In this video, learn which brush is the most universal and how to spot quality bristles that are right for the job.

TIP 1: The most universal brush to purchase is a 2½-inch sash brush. Its angled bristles make a sharp point for straight lines when cutting in, and it's the right width for most trim jobs.

TIP 2: Use a brush made of soft nylon or a combination of nylon and polyester with latex paint; natural-bristle paintbrushes used with latex paint will soak up the water in the paint and go limp.

TIP 3: Buy a quality brush whose bristles are

1. densely packed all the way through the ferrule,

2. solid, so that they spring back when bent at the base,

3. of varying lengths so that they come to a slim tip, and

4. flagged at the tips—similar to split ends—so that they hold more paint and spread it evenly.

See the rest of the Beyond the Basics: Painting series:

  1. How to Pick a Paint
  2. How to Choose a Primer
  3. How to Pick a Paintbrush
  4. How to Choose a Roller
  5. How to Prep A Room for Paint
  6. How to Prep Walls for Paint
  7. How to Use a Paint Brush
  8. How to Roll Paint Onto a Wall
  9. How to Clean a Paint Brush
  10. How to Clean a Paint Roller