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Choose the right paint brush for your job

The three main things to consider when choosing a brush are as follows: the type of bristle, the job and the paint being used. As a general rule, use natural or mixed bristle brushes for oil-based paints and synthetic brushes for water-based paints.

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Synthetic bristles

These are hard-wearing and last a lot longer than natural bristles. They don’t tend to produce tramlines in paintwork as they don’t absorb water and swell like natural bristles.

Natural & mixed bristles

They don’t work well with water-based paints but they do grab and hold solvent paint well and their split ends help to produce a fine finish.

Brush size

The larger the area you’re painting, the larger the brush should be. A 1" or 2" brush will give you flexibility when painting doors and skirting boards. For cutting in, we recommend a 2" or 3" brush or a smaller, angled brush. A 5" brush is good for floors, walls and ceilings.

or a smaller, angled brush. A 5" brush is good for floors, walls and ceilings.

Mixed Bristle Mixed bristle

High quality and long lasting.
Designed for solvent based undercoat, gloss and eggshell paint.

Synthetic Synthetic

High quality with soft bristles for a quick and smoother finish
with all emulsion paint.

Wickes All Purpose All purpose

Suitable for everyday painting and with all paint formulations.

Gel comfort Gel comfort

Gel inserts for superior comfort.
Sleek finish and control with all paint formulations.

Premier Premier

Exceptional paint pick-up, smooth finish, comfort grip.
Suitable for gloss, emulsion and stains.

No loss evolution No loss evolution

100% no bristle loss guarantee.
Suitable for all paint formulations.

Easy clean Easy clean

Smooth and easy to paint with, easy to clean.
Suitable for all paint formulations.


Rollers are great for painting large areas, especially ceilings. The type of roller you choose depends on the wall surface. The rougher the surface of a wall, the longer the hair on the sleeve should be.

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Short pile & smooth foam rollers

These perform well on flat surfaces (such as newly plastered walls)

Medium pile rollers

Good for slightly uneven or textured surfaces.

Long pile rollers

Best for heavily textured surfaces.

Sheepskin rollers

These have an extra long pile and are well-suited for very rough surfaces.

Synthetic fibre roller

Great for oil-based paints.



Always wash new rollers and brushes before use to remove any manufacturing residue or dust.

Do the jobs in the right order


For walls and ceilings, you’ll need emulsion. Emulsion is a water-based paint and can be applied directly onto previously painted walls, lining paper or textured wallpaper. It usually needs at least two coats and if you’re painting over darker colours or new plaster, maybe more. Emulsion comes in these finishes:

  • Remove as much as you can from the room before putting all remaining furniture in the centre to enable you to move around more freely
  • Cover the furniture and the floor with dust sheets. It’s best to use ones that won’t allow the paint to soak through them

You’re now ready to prepare the walls and woodwork.

  • All walls should be smooth, dry and clean. If you’re painting onto already painted walls, fill any holes with suitable filler and sand it smooth when dry. Now, you can wash the walls with sugar soap solution to remove any grease and dirt
  • If you’re removing wallpaper before painting, fill any holes once the paper has been fully removed, sand and then wash down with sugar soap
  • If you’re painting onto newly plastered walls, you will need to apply a specialist emulsion for new plaster or two mist coats of watered down white or light-coloured emulsion (40% water to 60% paint) to seal the wall
  • Wait for the walls to dry before sanding your woodwork and clear up any dust caused by the sanding. The top of skirting boards and window sills are key areas where dust will collect

You’re now ready to paint.


It’s best to paint top to bottom to avoid any paint dripping from the ceiling onto the walls or drips from the walls landing on the skirting or woodwork. We recommend painting in the following order:

  1. Ceiling
  2. Walls
  3. Skirting boards
  4. Windows & doors

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and allow the paint to dry before applying the next coat. If you can, leave doors and windows open to aid ventilation.



Use Pink To White Emulsion to ensure you get the best coverage. It’s almost impossible to paint white on white without missing a patch but this paint goes on pink and dries white so you can easily see any areas you might have missed.

Have any questions about painting? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page