Paint brushes & rollers buying guide

When choosing a paint brush or roller, consider the type of job you want to do and the paint you'll be using. There's also bristle type to think about if you're using a paint brush, or the material your roller is made of. Foam-based rollers, for example, make it easier to paint certain surfaces.

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Synthetic bristle

This is used for achieving a fine finish with water-based paints rather than solvent-based ones. It's a very hard-wearing bristle, and it doesn't absorb large amounts of water - meaning it won't swell up and cause tramlines to appear in the paint (which also reduces the drying time).

Natural Bristle

This is used for solvent-based paint, allowing paint to be brushed on easily with few brush marks. It can be used on skirting boards, doors and wall surfaces. Natural bristle has a structure that allows it to take and hold paint within the brush - the split ends helping to produce a fine finish.

Combined synthetic and natural bristle

This mixed blend of synthetic and natural bristles gives you a good finish with all types of paint.

Brushes come in a variety of sizes:


Brush width Ideal for
25mm Cutting around glass or window frames
50mm Skirting boards, architraves, door frames and panel doors
75mm Large flush panel doors
100mm-150mm Walls and ceilings

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Angle sash brush

Ideal for cutting in corners and hard-to-reach areas, giving you that perfect line finish.

Masonry brush

Perfect for block work or rough-cast dashing.

No-loss brush

Each bristle is wrapped around the block, so no strands come loose and get stuck in the paint.

Radiator brush

Great for those hard-to-reach places as it's angled and has a long handle.

Round brush

The decorator's choice, this superbly crafted brush has a unique head with high quality bristles to give a consistent finish. Ideal for painting sash windows or cutting in or round curved objects with any type of paint, its long handle means easier control during use.

Shed and fence brush

A chunky brush which holds lots of paint, making it great for covering large fencing areas.

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Buy your rollers according to the type of paint you'll be using and the surface you'll be covering. Rollers are an ideal way of getting a large surface job done quickly and easily, and come in short, medium or long pile:

  • Short pile - for fine and flat surfaces
  • Medium pile - for smooth surfaces (but can be used on most walls)
  • Long pile - for very textured surfaces, or even surfaces outside the home

Other types of roller

Foam roller

For when you're using gloss finish paint or varnish.

Radiator roller

For those hard-to-reach places or small areas of a wall (you don't have to use it exclusively for radiators). Also handy for areas where there's fixed furniture.