All about the brush - FAQ about the HAYDN Brush Ranges

  • 5 min read

Haydn is more than just paint brushes, but this is where our roots are firmly set. Selecting a paint brush for a job is one of the most important things when planning a project. A high quality paint brush will not only make the application process a lot more enjoyable, it will also turn out to be a lot more economical in the long run with HAYDN quality brushes lasting for years to come.

To help you choose the right brush for every job we have put together a Q&A with our most frequent questions.



Always buy the best brushes you can afford. A good quality brush will offer more comfort while working long hours and give you a better overall paint result. 

  • Choose a brush made by a brand recognised for quality.
    At HAYDN we have close to 50 years of experience in making the best brushes for NZs painting industry and know what to look for in a brush.
        • Look for straight bristles that are firmly held in place.
        • Choose a brush handle you feel comfortable holding in your hand for extended periods of time.
        • Often high quality brushes are hand-made.
          At HAYDN we used to make all our brushes on Ferry Road in Christchurch and today we still work hand in hand with all our suppliers to develop the best possible hand made paint brushes for New Zealand.
          • The best quality handles are made from timber. This absorbs moisture and keeps your hands dry while working while also keeping the handle light and durable.
          • Better-quality brush manufacturers have bristles with flagged or split ends which allows the brush to hold more paint and spread it evenly. Tipped ends are also a sign of superior quality as these brushes allow for greater control and more precise paint strokes.



            Brushes come in all kinds of sizes and forms. Picking the right size will help you achieve a neater finish and picking this size largely depends on the surface you are planning to paint.

            Brush Ranges are generally divided into four main categories – SMALL, LARGE, ANGLED and FLAT while the Brush size is measured in MM. Common sizes are between 25mm and 100mm.

            Sizes between 25- 63mm in width are considered small brushes and are suitable for detailed work in small spaces. The hold less paint than wider brushes which results in shorter strokes and better control.

            Large brushes range from 75-100mm and can be used for all larger areas where rollers aren’t ideal such as rounded surfaces, fences, curves and weatherboards.

            Angular brushes are great for cutting-in and painting tight corners as well as doing trim work.

            Flat brushes are generally used in gentle brush strokes to redistribute paint in between areas to complete a space with a uniform coat e.g. connecting angular brush areas to parts done using a larger brush. Flat brushes range from 88-100mm and will help you achieve that smooth all over finish.


            (Find more details in our Quick selection guide)



            One of the biggest evolutionary changes to paint brushes has been the filament types. Traditionally paint brushes were made with either white or black hog bristle. Natural filaments have always been desired for superior paint pick up and retention, offering naturally flagged and tapered tips allowing for a smooth finish along with durability. Over time with extensive research and development there has been a demand and need for change due to increased costs of natural materials which has seen a drive towards the use of synthetic filaments. In many cases, when produced correctly, we have seen this development in synthetic filaments evolve to become as good as, if not better than, its natural hog bristle counterpart. Technology has advanced and continues to do so in order to produce man-made filaments which now mimic and often outperform natural filaments. The two main types of filament available on the market today are a blended filament and synthetic filaments.

            Use nylon/polyester bristle for with oil-based, acrylic and water-based paints. These bristles are often also refered to as synthetic brushes. Synthetic brushes are long lasting and very durable. They can hold more paint than natural bristle brushes and are great for use with oil-based, acrylic and water-based paints. Synthetic ranges also offer you a choice between soft and stiff bristles. Stiff bristles are ideal for cutting-in and painting very straight lines. Softer bristles are great for larger paint jobs as they generally show fewer brush marks. This makes them perfect for glossy paints and clear finishes.

            Natural bristle is ideal for oil-based paints but not great for water-based paints as the bristle can absorb water away from the paint and become limp. Stiffer natural bristles are better for thicker paint coats. Natural bristle brushes can be more expensive than synthetic or blended brushes and are commonly from hog, badger or oxen bristle. 

            Blended bristlebrushes use a combination of natural and synthetic bristle and are produced by many industry leading manufacturers. The blended materials are really good for producing an ultra-fine finish.



            Handles come in a few different shapes and what you choose depends on the job you plan to undertake as well as your personal preference. Once you’ve chosen your Haydn paint brush  and handle shape it is important to know how to grip it properly.

            Our trim or cutter brushes have pencil handles (or sometimes called rat-tail) and as such should be held in the same style as a pencil, with the thumb and the first two fingers of the hand. Using this grip you will achieve excellent control that is so essential when carrying out intricate or detailed painting.

            The most common style of handle found on Haydn paint brushes is the beaver tail. Beaver tail brushes can be wider and heavier, so they require a stronger grip. Hold the handle as you would a tennis racket, letting the handle span the width of your palm. You are best to use this style of grip when painting large, flat unbroken surfaces.

            Short handles are great for small or narrow areas and tight paint spots where a longer brush would get in the way.



            • Pre-use: Rinse brush in recommended cleaner then rinse out excess prior to painting.
            • Clean your paint brushes immediately after use.
              • OR store your brush in a BrushBaggy during breaks to keep paint from drying out. 
            • Don't let a brush stand on it's painting tip.
            • Do not soak brushes as this can damage or curl the bristles 
            • Depending on the paint used different cleaning techniques will need to be followed.
              • For water-based paints: Dip paint brush into a container of warm soapy water and work through the bristle using your hands. Rinse regularly with clean water and repeat until fully cleaned.  Remove excess water by spinning the brush and leave the brush to fully dry before placing it back in storage.
              • For oil-based paints or finishes: Choose the correct cleaning solvent (often turpentine will do the job) and pour it into a clean container. Dip the brush into the solvent and work through the bristle. Repeat this several times until the brush appears clean of all paint residue. Remove excess and leave to dry.
            • Comb filament with a Haydn® Brush Comb to clean through the centre of the brush thoroughly so no paint can harden in the brush and set the bristles.


              • Once brushes are clean and dry, store them away. Aim to store them in a hanging position. Never store them standing up on the bristles.
              • Good quality brushes are often sold with a paint brush keeper. Storing them in these after drying will help to maintain the bristle shape and extend their lifespan.

                 THE HAYDN RANGE


                QUICK SELECTION GUIDE 



                Available from all leading paint and hardware stores.
                Can’t find it? Ask Haydn at to
                direct you to your closest stockist.