How We Test Paint Brushes

Real-field benchmarks. Real-field results.

All testing is performed freehand; no masking tape is ever used, harmed or wasted in any way. Paint brushes are benchmarked against our current best brush results. While there is nothing scientific about the testing process – it is based off what we are capable of doing with a paint brush to produce the nicest finish the most efficient way possible.

Main areas tested are hold capacity, release, responsiveness, length of run, form, function, sharpness of cut, degree of sharpness, bend recovery, build weakness and search for any other unknown characteristics or limitations of the brush. Primarily testing is done over new materials to best determine trace evidence — if any.

The brush types tested are 2 ½” (65mm) angular sash and a 3” (75mm) flat, unless otherwise specifically requested. Each brush type is tested at a minimum rate of 1,000 linear feet – the equivalent of 142 casings 7’.

Two types of tests are performed for each brush type; cutting-in and painting.


Our cutting tests for 3” flats or straight cuts are performed against door and window casings, cutting ceiling lines, cutting into wall corners, cutting walls to crownmold and baseboard. Our cutting tests for 2 ½” angular brushes are performed cutting walls against door and window casings and walls to baseboard.


Our painting tests for the 2 ½” angular brush are performed on 6 panel doors made from wood, Masonite and fiberglass. In addition, Andersen double-hung windows are painted. Trim pieces include, baseboard, casing, crown molding, fluted trim and PVC brick mold casing. Tests are also performed to determine how well the brush can paint shoemolding as it sits between hardwood floors and cabinets where no paint can get on either surrounding surface. You would likely be forced into taping an area like this with most brushes on the market. A precision brush with good form will perform this task with ease.

The following acrylic paints are used to test brush performance relative to our previous best benchmarks:

¤ subject to change

¤ The 2.5” brush is a tie between the Wooster Alpha 4231 and the Wooster Silver Tip 5221 both capable of cutting-in accurately at the rate of 1-foot per second or better
¤ Best 3” flat brush is a tie between the Wooster Alpha S 4235 and the Wooster Alpha W 4234 cutting in ceiling lines at the rate of 20-feet in under 60 seconds.

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One Response
  • Rod Brannon Reply

    The Silver tip doesn’t come close to what HD used to have. Performance Plus 6 pack was the best by far. None stay good for long, but I’d hang onto the PP at least twice as long as other brushes. I’ve got about forty years painting experience, and I’d put my brush work against anyone for finish and speed.

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