How to Pick the Perfect Brush

DIY Paint how to pick the perfect brush paint pixie brushes

When I first started to paint furniture I used what I had.  My favorite brush quickly became a Purdy 2.5" angled brush. I had a ton of Purdy brushes and they worked.  As I continued painting I heard about different brushes and all the advantages, but they were expensive and the brush I was using seemed to do the job.

When I started to sell DIY Paint I learned about Paint Pixie brushes.  The owner was a DIY Paint retailer and an amazing artist.  She created Paint Pixie brushes because, as a painter, she could never find the perfect brush. I just had to try them.  I purchased my first brush and was in love.  In fact, I decided immediately to carry them in my booth at Plaza Antiques & Collectibles Mall and in my online store. Paint Pixie brushes are all handmade in Italy and are amazing quality brushes.  That means you don't have a million brush hairs falling out when you paint and they are made to last.  The shape of the brushes also is designed to easily get into harder to reach areas like grooves and details. The brushes also hold more paint which means fewer brush strokes. All of this translates to quicker and easier painting for you. Who doesn’t want this?

I loved all my Paint Pixie brushes and was so excited to hear the DIY Paint asked Paint Pixie to create a line of all synthetic brushes to sell.  I also decided to sell these brushes in my shop, too.

Whether you choose natural or synthetic brushes it is up to you.  Synthetic brushes do wash out better.  Since DIY Paint is so heavily pigment getting all the pigment out of natural bristles is impossible.  You can clean them, but usually, bristles will get dyed by the pigment in the paint.  It doesn’t affect future paint jobs and no color will bleed off, but you should know about it before you purchase. The decision is yours.

With so many brushes sometimes it is difficult for new painters to decide what brushes to buy and where to start. Since I get so many questions about brushes, I thought I should give you a few tips to picking the perfect brush. When the brushes are used correctly it makes painting so much easier.

DIY Paint has four synthetic brushes - the Relaxed Fit Waxer, the Well-Rounded, the Insider, and the Blending Brush.

The Relaxed Fit Waxer

The easiest brush to figure out is the Relaxed Fit Waxer. It is used for applying wax, but the key is the word “relaxed”. I have used other wax brushes (with other brands of wax) and it was brutal. The brushes were crazy stiff. I was told by a brush retailer once that you knew you have become a good painter when your wax brush began to soften up. That meant that every application needed super muscles to try to work the wax (which was also extremely hard and not smooth and creamy like DIY wax). Although I loved the end results of waxing I dreaded the whole process. The DIY Paint Relaxed Fit Waxer is relaxed. That means the bristles are smooth and flexible and easily glide over your piece. Paired with DIY wax the whole process is so easy.

The Relaxed Fit Waxer is not only for waxing. Some painters use it for stenciling, too.

Picture from Debi's Design Diary - DIY Paint

The Well-Rounded

The Well-Rounded is the sister brush to the Paint Pixie #12. It is the standard brush for all painting jobs. It holds a ton of paint which can allow you to have long brush strokes. The shape of the brush also allows it to easily fill in all the nooks and crannies. Swipe it along the top and all the groves in the molding get filled in easily. The shape also reduces brush strokes. The well-rounded is also an excellent choice for applying topcoats like DIY Paint Big Top (my favorite top coat) for all the same reasons as applying paint.

Picture from Debi's Design Diary - DIY Paint

The Insider

If you are working on painting small items or details the Insider is the perfect brush. Like all the DIY Paintbrushes it holds a lot of paint for its size, which makes painting faster. No constant re-dipping needed. It also has the rounded head which is perfect for details. Many painters even use this brush as an artist's brush, too.

Picture from Debi's Design Diary - DIY Paint

The Blending Brush

I have saved the best for last. Blending colors can be very difficult, especially for new painters, but this brush is pure magic. Just pick your colors, spray a little water in a fine mister and let your Blending Brush blend the colors together perfectly. I use this brush as the final step with all of my blended pieces and it allows me to quickly get a professional look. The sister to this brush is the Dusty from Paint Pixie.

Picture from Debi's Design Diary - DIY Paint

The Sampler - The Blending Brush now has a smaller size that will fit in to 8 oz jars.  All the great features of the blending brush in a smaller size.

If you are just starting out with creating your professional brush collection here a list of the brushes I would recommend in the order I would buy them:

  1. Well-Rounded - most versatile paintbrush. It can also apply a topcoat.
  2. Relaxed Fit Waxer - used for waxing furniture; creates an amazing finish that topcoat can not duplicate. You should not be afraid of waxing and this brush (paired with DIY wax) makes it so easy.
  3. The Blending Brush - if you really want to blend or create an ombré look you might want to buy this first. The best way to master blending.
  4. The Insider - great to have for all the small pieces.    

UPDATE - New brush just added that is great for all painting jobs.  Check out the new Smooth Talker.  This is quickly becoming my favorite all-purpose brush.

Happy Painting!

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