Today we're doing SCIENCE.
Not long ago, I was standing in the hardware store staring at the bewildering array of paintbrushes and wondering whether the expensive ones are worth the extra five bucks. So in the interest of handymankind, I did an experiment: I bought brushes from the two most popular brands and compared them.
The Purdy cost about $15 and the Wooster cost about $10. Here they are in almost-new condition:
Now when it comes to paintbrushes, I am a cruel master. It comes with the territory. As a handyman, one of my top priorities is keeping your home clean during the job, and the last thing I want to do is rinse my brushes in your sink. So paintbrushes get tossed into paint cans or brush keepers or plastic bags, then taken home and rinsed out later. This is basically the worst thing you can do to a brush, but that's the handyman life.
Here's the same brushes after a month of misuse. So far, so good. The brush keepers (those plastic boxes on the right) have kept the paint from drying on the brush, so I've been able to get most of the paint out after each use.
At first glance, the Purdy (the expensive brush with the dark bristles) looks like it's performing poorly. As you can see, it's not holding its shape as well compared to the Wooster:
However, at this point I really prefer the Purdy, because it's great in action. That curly little tip holds a nice bead of paint, and it's much easier to cut in and make neat lines with it.
The Wooster is stiffer. It can be harder to control it, and I can't get into to corners with it as well as I can with the Purdy. The Purdy just feels better to paint with.
So I was all set to recommend the Purdy, until this happened:
One of my "brush keepers" popped open when I wasn't looking, the brush dried out, and I discovered just how unreliable these fancy plastic gadgets can be. (I should have stuck with my trusty Ziploc bags.) As I've said, the handyman life is hard on brushes, and this was a timely reminder that dead brushes are a real problem for me.
So which brush is better?
The Wooster is the most cost-effective. Use it as your "beater" brush.
The Purdy paints better. Use it if you really need to cut in a straight line and/or you have the time to clean your brush.
Or you could just hire me to paint your house. I'm good at it!