Here are some handing hints on how to use paint brushes for a professional finish.

Loading the paint brush

There is a proper way to load paint onto the brush. You can either use paint straight from the tin or ‘decant’ some paint into a painting pail. If you are using a brush (rather than a roller), there are two ways to carry paint with you as you paint:-
• Paint Can Handle: You can use a Canclaw. This hooks onto the tin to provide a useful handle for carrying the paint tin around.
• Paint Pail: If you want to decant the paint into a paint pail, there are a few useful products available from most paint suppliers. Some even come with disposable liners – very handy.

To properly load a paint brush

• To stop the brush from being overloaded with paint and prevent dripping, only dip the brush into the paint up to 1/3 of the length of the bristles.
• Then tap both sides of the brush against the side of the paint tin or pail. This has the affect of loading the paint on the interior of the brush. Do not scrape the paint off by dragging the brush across the edge of the tin or pail. That merely removes the paint making the brush less efficient.

Cutting-in

For large flat wall areas it’s best to use a roller and tray. A paint brush is used for "cutting in".
This is where you paint the corners at walls and ceilings and around baseboards and door/window trim etc. A paint brush is normally used to cut-in because it gives most control.
• Cut in the wall at the ceiling corners from left to right if you are right-handed. If left-handed, do the opposite. This way you’ll be able to see how well the paint is flowing.
• Pressing the brush against the wall with just enough pressure to flex the bristles, use the narrow edge of the paint brush when cutting in.
• If the cut-in corner has two different colours – like a wall/ceiling, then the lighter colour paint should extend into the darker colour area slightly. The darker colour paint would then be cut -in and painted on top of the lighter color.

Painting larger flat areas with a brush

This normally best done using a roller and tray, however if you need to paint a larger area using a brush then a different technique in applying and distributing the paint is required.
• Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle then paint the area using diagonal strokes. Again use just enough pressure against the wall to flex the bristles. The paint will likely go on a little heavy here.
• Next use horizontal strokes to distribute the paint on the large area.

Smoothing out

Once the paint has been applied the next step is to smooth it out. This part is all about finesse, so take your time.
• Draw the brush lightly across in long smooth strokes to make the painted surface even. The objective here is to eliminate brush strokes going in different directions. Always work the brush into the wet paint.
• At the end of each brush-stroke, lift the paint brush from the surface. This lifting action helps to feather the paint and obtain a smoother finish.

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