Below are the three basic steps to proper brush handling
- Load the paintbrush
- Apply and spread the paint
- Smooth and even out the paint
Yes, there’s actually a right way to load paint onto a paintbrush
Load the brush by dipping it into the paint around a third to halfway up the length of the bristles. This prevents the brush from being overloaded with paint and stops dripping.
Tap both sides of the paint brush gently against the side of the paint can or bucket. This loads the paint to the interior of the brush.
Don’t wipe the paint off the brush by dragging over the lip of the paint can or paint bucket. This only removes the paint and compacts the bristles, which makes the paint brush ineffective.
Think 45 degrees and diagonal strokes
If you’re painting a larger area by paint brush rather than a roller, hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and apply the paint using just enough pressure against the wall to flex the brush bristles slightly. Spread the paint in diagonal strips, about a brush length apart, until the brush runs out of paint. Then brush horizontally until the surface is evenly covered.
Layoff with finesse
Finish off with long and very light vertical strokes to make the painted surface smooth. This is called ‘laying off’. At the end of each brush-stroke, lift the paint brush from the surface to feather the paint. Take your time laying off, as the objective here is to eliminate brush strokes going in different directions.
Reload the paint brush and repeat the process methodically.
If you are using a paint brush and roller, the first step is to paint the edges of the area you are going to paint. This is called ‘cutting in’. The aim is to paint a strip about 50mm wide around any flat areas that you intend to use the roller.
To cut in, use the narrow edge of the paint brush and paint with long, slow strokes, using just enough pressure to flex the brush bristles. Try and not do too much of your cutting in at once because you need to roll the open or wet areas before the brushed out paint dries. This will minimise ‘picture framing’ or ridges around the edges.