How to Use Different Paint Brushes
Use of brushes
If you are using a new brush, first brush the bristles against the palm of your hand to remove any stray bristles or dust. Charge the brush by dipping the bristles into the paint for two-thirds of their length. Touch the bristles lightly against the side of the kettle to remove excess paint. After this initial dipping, it should not be necessary to dip the bristles more than a third of their length into the paint. There are a number of aids to prevent the brush accidentally falling into the tin, from a magnetic device which fits on the side of the tin and is obtainable commercially, to a piece of string stretched across the top of the tin on which to rest the brush.
Work over an area of about 300mm- at a time. Brush firmly, but lightly, over the area. Brush up and down, then diagonally and finally across the grain to produce an even spread.
To obtain a clean, smooth finish ‘lay off’ across the grain one brush width at a time. If painting the stile of a door, lay off with a downward stroke. Do not start to lay off in the centre of the area as brush marks will be left.
Work in a continuous sequence, and do not let one area become too dry before starting the next. If this happens the paint will not blend and a demarcation line will show. Painting in awkward areas such as corners is dealt with by jabbing the paint into the corner with the tip of the brush and then brushing the paint downwards.
It is important to work in a good light. Natural light is by far the best working light. Artificial light can cast shadows, particularly when using white gloss paint, since thin patches may be left which spoil the finished effect. If work has to be done under artificial- light, use the best light available.
With many modern paints, brush marks will disappear when the paint dries.
While it is a great temptation to use one thick coat of paint, it is not wise as the paint is likely to run or ‘curtain’ and look unsightly. Two thinner coats give a better finish. Two topcoats are essential for external use, to give adequate protection.
Gloss topcoat is stiffer than undercoat and needs to be applied firmly. Most types of gloss paint take three to six hours to dry but will not dry completely for up to 24 hours.
Gelled (thixotropic) paints are used straight from the tin. The paint is only stirred if it is to be applied with a roller or has been stored for some time and a layer of oil has formed on the surface. When using a roller, stir the paint until it is really fluid before pouring it into a paint tray. If painting in the conventional way, stir up paint that has separated, replace the lid and allow to re-gell.
Gell paints have a good covering or obliterating quality. One coat is equivalent to one thin undercoat and one top coat of the conventional paint. Gell paint is applied and laid off in the same way as gloss paint. Less movement is required than when brushing gloss paint but the brush needs to be charged more frequently.
Paint one area in one movement and lay off immediately. Brush from left to right. Then right to left in a slightly downwards movement. Without applying any more paint, brush up and down. This four-way movement gives an even spread of paint. Paint one area at a time, working towards edges and the wet edge. When painting stiles or panels, work towards the edge and lay off with a smaller brush.