This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
A brush that has only a low price to recommend it will prove a poor investment. If properly cared for, brushes last a long time, and it pays to have good ones. The first sign of a good brush is uniform quality from outside to center. Inferior brushes have inferior bristles in the middle, and some poor brushes are actually hollow. For ordinary oil painting, the bristles on a large new brush should be five or six inches long, uniformly flexible, and as stiff as can be found; they will be flexible enough anyway, but all should be alike.
Paint brushes are round, flat, or oval. A favorite brush for ordinary outside work is what is called a pound brush, a large, round brush with stiff bristles six inches long. Such a brush should be bridled when it is new - a "bridle" being a piece of cord wound around the bristles to shorten their effective length; as the bristles become worn off, the bridle may be removed. A 2 1/2-inch long oval brush (2 1/2 inches wide) is a highly satisfactory tool to use in general painting, and is the brush recommended by the paint committee of the American