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Combining a good quality paint with a premium roller sleeve/paint brush can negate the need for multiple applications saving time and money in the long run. Investment at the start will give better quality results, as the key to a good decorating project is often the preparation and planning.
Prior to painting, work the bristles with your fingers or against a wall to remove dust and any loose bristle. Invest in a better quality paint brush and the amount of loose filament will be minimal. To guarantee no bristle loss, pick a brush from the Harris No-Loss Evolution range.
The easiest way to paint a room is to work from the top down. Start with the ceilings then paint the walls and then finally the woodwork. Your project will look more professional if you complete each section in one go, a half finished wall or ceiling will leave a drying mark, which will remain visible even when painted over.

Quality levels in both types of filaments can vary hugely and therefore levels of finish can differ depending on what type of brushes you purchase.

Synthetic filaments do not absorb much water and can be processed to create a very finely-tipped paint brush. This makes them particularly suitable for use with water-based paints such as emulsion or modern water-based undercoats or gloss paint. These paints dry quickly making it difficult to avoid brush marks in the finish when using a natural bristle brush.

Natural bristle brushes perform well with oil-based products.

A number of modern paint brushes will incorporate a mix so that you get good coverage with all types of paint. As a general rule, use natural bristle for oil-based paints and synthetic brushes for water-based paints.

Short pile rollers perform best on flat surfaces such as plastered walls where they will provide a smooth, even finish. Medium piles should be used with slightly uneven or textured surfaces. Long pile rollers are suitable for use with heavily textured or exterior surfaces. Sheepskin rollers have an extra long pile and will provide superb finishes on extra rough surfaces.
First things first, you really need to think about the task in hand. Interior or exterior? Ceiling or wall? Only once these key decisions have been made should you even consider which tools to use. Fortunately, help is at hand. Visit our choosing the right tool page and we'll guide you every step of the way.
When it comes to cleaning your brushes and rollers, prevention is the cure. Rather than leaving it till the last minute when the paint’s already dried, act early and you'll greatly lengthen the lifespan of your brushes and rollers. Check out our cleaning advice page for everything you need to know about keeping your equipment in tip-top condition.
To ensure you don't waste paint, it's sensible to work out how much paint you'll need before you start your project. There are various methods available for working this out, but the Harris iPhone App is a quick and simple way of calculating it at the touch of a button. From your iPhone or Smart phone visit the Apple App Store or iTunes, search 'Decor advisor' and download it for FREE. As well as the handy paint calculator, the app provides lots of hints, tips and advice on your DIY project.
There's no definitive answer to this question as all ceilings and walls will dry out at different speeds depending on how warm the house is. With a normally central heated house we would advise waiting 4 weeks, however if it is a fully plastered wall, i.e. two or three coats of plaster, you should probably wait 2 months before attempting to repaint it. If you're in any doubt, ask your plasterer who will be more able to accurately advise based on the temperature of your house and how much plaster has been used.

Here's a rough guide, but most of our packaging does have advice on typical job or task for the size of the brush.

4" - 6"

These are wide brushes for painting over large, flat surfaces like walls and ceilings.

2" - 3"

These size brushes are a good size for painting all types of flat surfaces, such as a small section of a wall and woodwork like doors and

skirting boards. These size brushes can also be used for more accurate work such as door edges and wall and ceiling edges.

1" - 1.5"

These are smaller headed brushes which are good for 'cutting in', which is painting close to the edges of walls and ceilings and around light switches - also mouldings and doorframes.


A narrow headed brush with angled bristles for painting near to edges and into corners. Ideal for painting window frames.

The number of coats required depends on the make of paint you buy and what you are painting over. Follow the manufacturers' instructions on the tin. Some darker colours and patterns will need up to three coats of emulsion to cover. Always leave the paint to dry thoroughly beween coats.

Need more help?

If you can’t find the answer you were looking for, please visit our contact page and get in touch.