Brush vs Roller vs Sponge and More: What Should You Use to Paint?

Your Birmingham Alabama Painters sometimes get into some pretty specific and technical stuff, but there are some things worth talking about when it comes to painting and home improvement that are pretty straightforward, simple and useful to just about everyone who owns a home. Like the quintessential question asked by all paint beginners: what tool do I use to paint this?

Paint Rollers

Brush? Roller? Sponge? This will seem old hat to our veteran painters and home-improvers, but hey, we all had to start somewhere, right! If you’re a painting novice, or you just want a clearer idea of what tool to use when, here’s the guide for you.

When we think painting, we all think brushes. They’re the original, they’re iconic, and they’re still very much in use today.

When to Use- Brushes are primarily for three types of painting:

• Small areas
• Edges and difficult surfaces – corners, cabinet grooves and other areas that a roller or sponge or pad would have a hard time reaching
• To achieve a specific effect – such as antique

Notes on Brushes- The primary distinction between brushes are what they’re made of. This is important, because some brush-types are not made for certain types of paint or projects. When it comes to paint, natural brushes are made for oil-based paints, but they’ll become limp when using other paints (such as water based). Synthetic brushes whether foam or bristles, on the other hand, are great for all types. You’ll also want to note whether you need a stiff or soft brush. Stiff brushes are better for thicker paints and more textured surfaces, while soft are excellent with thin paints and smooth surfaces.

Almost all large paint projects on flat surfaces will be best attacked with a roller. Rollers, like brushes, come in many shapes and sizes, but in general they make the painting process easier by:

• Picking up more paint
• Applying paint quicker
• Leaving fewer drips and seams between painted areas

When to Use Rollers- If you have a big area, you’ll probably want a roller. Even something the size of a cabinet door will go much quicker and look much smoother overall if you use a roller.

Notes on Rollers- Like brushes, rollers come in different sizes, materials and styles. Concerning size, you basically want to minimize the amount of strokes you need to use, so pick a roller that will cover the area most efficiently. The roller material, like brushes, depends on the type of paint. The rule is this: nylon or polyester rollers are for latex paints, natural rollers (mohair, lamb’s wool etc.) are for oils and blended rollers are for either.

The style of roller deals with a thing called “nap,” which is basically the texture of the roller. Naps come in various lengths, and the one you want is determined by how textured the surface is. Another rule of thumb for you: the more texture, the longer the nap. Smooth surfaces want an almost non-existent nap, or else the paint will come off the roller with a texture.

Sponges and Paint Pads

Paint Pads- Basically, these are flat pads with a surface that takes paint, which can then be applied to another surface. They work much the same way as rollers, in that they apply smoothly and in a large surface area, and the primary difference is that they can give sharper edge control. Pads can soak paint up and drip extensively so make sure not to apply too much to a paint pad.

Sponges- Sponges are specialty tools made to imbue the painted surface with a texture. They must be cared for and washed out well, or they will simply soak up paint, dry and become unusable, or even just fall apart from use.

And there you painters go: all the major types of paint applicators broken down by when they are best to use.

Original Source:
Image Source: The Painted House


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Birmingham, AL35216

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