Best Applicators for Your Job

The following information will help you make the best brush and roller cover selections based on the surface to be painted and what painting material you will be using.

  • What type of surface are you painting?
  • What type of painting material will you be using?


What type of surface are you painting?

For interior projects, drywall is the primary type of surface for walls and ceilings in new construction or remodeling projects. Older homes may have plaster walls and ceilings. Doors, windows, trim and cabinets are typically comprised of wood or other composite materials. Basement or garage floors are made of concrete.

Most of these interior surfaces are smooth or relatively smooth. Most brushes and roller covers will work with these surfaces. Look at the package to look for words like Very Smooth, Smooth and Semi-Smooth.  However, if you are painting surfaces that feel extremely rough to the touch, select products with a Semi-Rough to Rough designation to be sure you have the right tool.

For exterior projects, siding and trim is often made of wood, fiber cement and aluminum. Decking and fencing is made of wood or composite material. Other exterior surface types include stucco, dryvit and pre-cast concrete.

Many of these painting surfaces feel rougher to the touch, so select Semi-Rough to Rough to be sure you have the right tool. Also, most exterior paint projects are performed in the warm weather months when heat and humidity will be high…so be sure to select a synthetic or synthetic blend brush to help stand up to the humidity.

What type of painting material will you be using?

There are two basic types of materials: oil-based and water-based. While it sounds simple, you can find both oil-based and water-based types of acrylic, enamel and lacquers. Therefore, it’s vital to read the information on the can of the paint or coating you purchase, to determine the base. If you are unsure, be sure to ask your local paint dealer about the specific brand and type of coating you purchased.

Knowing the type of paint or coating you will be using is critical because some brushes are ideal for water-based coatings while others provide optimal coverage for oil-based coatings.

Brush Choices

Natural bristle – Brushes made from animal hair are very soft and porous. For oil-base paints, most professionals choose a natural China bristle (hog hair) brush.

If you are painting a smooth surface with oil-base paint, natural white bristle is your best choice because it is soft and supple. When painting a textured surface, natural black bristle works better because it is stiffer and has superior abrasion wear. When you require an “ultra-fine” finish, a brush blended with ox hair is the best choice.

Synthetic filament – When your choice in coatings is water-base (frequently referred to as latex), it is absolutely essential that you select a synthetic filament brush.

Brushes that include a blend of polyester, such as our Palmer and Piedmont Series maintain their bend and recovery (or “flex”) better than brushes made of 100% nylon. This characteristic enables these brushes to perform consistently well in warm, humid weather conditions.

It is worth mentioning that Bestt Liebco® synthetic filament brushes also perform exceedingly well in oil-base paints. This is due to the various processing and finishing steps in our manufacturing operation that softens the synthetic material and eliminates “drag” when used with oil-base paints.

Roller Cover Choices

Most people believe that all rollers look and feel similar, but it’s important they keep the following in mind to achieve the professional painting results they are looking for:

Woven roller cover – Rollers that are made out of woven material are virtually shed-free because they are made out of continuous yarn. Every thread that makes up the face fabric is locked to the back of the fabric. These rollers are recommended for smooth surfaces such as doors, paneling and smooth walls.

Knitted roller cover – Rollers that are made out of knitted material are usually used for rough or semi-rough surfaces such as rough-cut siding, stucco or textured walls and ceilings.

Selecting the pile (or nap) – The more texture desired, the higher the pile should be. A 1/2″ and higher pile height is ideal for a stippled effect common to most homes. Pile heights on some Bestt Liebco roller covers are as high as 1-1/4″ for an extremely textured effect. In fact, we offer special roller covers designed specifically to create texture like the Tru-Pro™ Carpet Stipplers, Tru-Pro™ Frieze and Decotex™. Conversely, if you desire a smooth finish in your kitchen, bath or utility room, use low-pile 1/4″ to 3/8″ roller covers like the TruPro White Woven Like a Pro™ and Perfect Touch™.

Here’s a chart to help you choose the proper roller cover:

Nap Surfaces
1/4″ Smooth surfaces like untextured plaster, smooth wood, wallboard, drywall, metal.
3/8″ to 1/2″ Medium surfaces like sand finishes, lightly textured plaster or wood, paneling, acoustical tile.
3/4″ to 1-1/2″ Rough surfaces like brick, concrete, stucco, textured ceilings or walls, Spanish plaster, cement block, corrugated metal, rough wood.