types of paint brushes

Types of Paint Bristles, Paint Brushes, Pads and Rollers

There are many ways to apply paint to furniture. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage against the other. Read our guide below to discover the difference between each type of paintbrush, paint bristle, paint roller, and paint pad.


Wall brush: Wall brushes are 5-6 inches wide with straight edges. Their handle is also wider than other types of paintbrushes, which means that you can do larger strokes with them. They can also hold a large amount of paint, which makes painting a large area easier. Because of this, these kinds of brushes are the best to use on large areas and overall coverage.

Flat varnish brush: A flat varnish brush can be used on any surface but is usually used when painting flat, even surfaces. The wide edge will give you broad strokes and the narrow edge will give you thin strokes. The narrow edge is recommended for corners and narrow areas.

Flat trim brush: Trim brushes are small brushes that are used for small surfaces. They are only 2-3 inches wide and have a thin handle that give more control when painting. These kinds of brushes are best to use on small, narrow areas.

Angular trim brushes. Angular brushes are similar to trim brushes but they have angled bristles that make it easier for them to reach small areas. These types of paintbrushes are best used on angled surfaces and surfaces that are narrow and hard to reach. They can also be used as an all-purpose brush.

Oval sash brush. Like flat brushes, oval brushes can be used on any surface, but are best used on flat surfaces. They are ideal touching up tight or narrow areas and are best used with paints that are oil-based.

Paint Bristles

Once you are familiar with the different types of paintbrushes, you must then work on determining the difference in the bristles used since this is also very important in the beautification of your furniture.

There are two types of bristles:

  • Natural
  • Synthetic

Synthetic brushes are plastic, such as polyester and nylon, and are used for the application of water-based polyurethane finishes and primers. These types of brushes can be used with any kind of paint, but they work the best with acrylic and latex. Their stiffness is good for the softness of thick paints.

Natural brushes, on the other hand, refer to those bristles that are made from animal hair, usually from Chinese hogs or oxen.

Nylon. Nylon bristles are best used for rough surfaces as they are stiffer and have better wear tendencies than other bristles.

Polyester. These kinds of bristles provide smooth finishes by holding and releasing more paint. Clean up is also easier and faster than other kinds of bristles.

Chinese hog bristles. Chinese bristles provide a smooth and professional finish and a paint job. They are high-end brushes, usually costing around $10-$20, that can be used for staining walls or painting with oil paints. They can be found in any hardware store.

There are two kinds of Chinese bristle brushes:

  • Black China bristle
  • White China bristle

Black China bristle brushes are stiffer and have thicker hair. They are best used with oil-based paints, primers, and enamels and can usually hold more paint than other brushes.

White China bristles, on the other hand, are finer. They are better for use with varnishes, stains, and polyurethane. Learn about the difference between varnish and polyurethane.

Knowing the different types of paintbrushes and bristles is very important because some kinds of brushes or bristles may not be suitable for certain kinds of furniture. Using the right kinds of brushes and bristles for painting will not only protect your furniture but will also make it look like it was done by a professional.

Paint Rollers

types of paintrollersAlthough paintbrushes are the most common for painting, they aren’t the only options. Paint rollers or roller brushes are especially helpful when painting large surfaces.

A roller brush is a device shaped like a cylinder that has a material like sponge for the paint. These kinds of painting tools are great for ‘even’ painting because they are evenly rolled onto the surface. For hard to reach areas, adjustable handles are available for purchase. When using paint rollers, make sure that the frame is clean and perfect for the roller itself. The best frames are usually expandable so that you can fit different sizes of rollers and handles. If you want easier clean up, it is best to buy quick-release frames.

Different Sizes Paint Rollers:

Standard: The standard roller, which is the preference of many, is 9 inches long.

Medium: The medium roller, which is best used for home exteriors, siding, and concrete, is 7 inches long.

Small: The small roller, which is used on small spaces, is 3-6 inches long.

Different Types Paint Rollers:

Manual rollers: These types of paint rollers are the most common. They are usually used on walls, ceilings, and other high surfaces because of their long handles. If the handles aren’t long enough, however, handle extensions can be connected to them. This is safer and much more efficient than having to use a ladder to paint high surfaces. However, this kind of roller has a tendency to produce paint drips even if not much paint has been applied.

Textured rollers: These rollers, which are best used on large surfaces, are designed for texture-painting that specific surface. The foam covers of these kinds of rollers have different patterns that will be reflected onto the surface that you are painting. This roller can give the effect of metal, wood, stone, etc. on different kinds of surfaces.

Specialty rollers: These rollers are used for special kinds of paints. Usually, the manufacturer would recommend this when you buy their product. Specialty rollers are absorbent and don’t cause splatters that much.

Mini hot dog rollers. These small, hot dog-shaped rollers are perfect for hard to reach areas like those behind heavy fixtures. They are the best option for cupboards, doors, and shelves, and can also be used for painting edging and trim. However, they can cause quite a lot of splatters when used with too much paint.

Paint rollers are great because of their versatility and ease. Almost any wall paint can be used on paint rollers and the wide size of standard rollers will assure you of quick and even application of paint.

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Paint Pad

Paint PadAnother good painting tool is the paint pad, which is used for quick application of paint. Since paint pads can hold and quickly spread a huge amount of paint, they are the best options for fast jobs. Pad trays are also offered for even quicker application. Some advantages of this over paint rollers is that they can be used to paint corners in a way where no spattering occurs. The trim tabs or guide wheels that are included in this tool make it possible to paint around molding or trim without ruining the other surface. These wheels also allow for straight and even paint strokes. Paint pads are the best tools to use when a surface needs to be painted with multiple colors.

Like paintbrushes, bristles, and paint rollers, there are also different types of paint pads. Some are specially made for painting corners, some for applying stains, some for rough surfaces, and some for edging. Trigger-controlled supply of paint is also available with pressure-fed pads.

There are a lot of different types of paint rollers and paint pads. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to know the differences between these so that you know which to use on your furniture to achieve a professional-looking effect.