At any store that sells varnish and its brushes, you will see a huge range of brush prices. There will be the disposable chip brushes that will cost around a dollar, all the way up to the fancy animal hair brushes that can cost over $30 a brush! Is the money worth it? Should you really spend all that much money on a brush?
The choice is up to you about spending that kind of money on a brush, but the truth is, you can make do just fine with a disposable chip brush for under a dollar.
The big advantage that the expensive brushes tout is that they will not drop bristles in your finish. Chip brushes are famous for shedding like a dog on a hot day! If you use a cheap brush, your finished product will be riddled with bristles that are trapped in the paint or varnish.
This may sound like a perfect reason to pay for the fancy brush, it will prevent this catastrophe! The truth is, a cheap brush will only drop the loose bristles. If you can get these bristles out before you start, it will work just the same as an expensive brush; providing you with a bristle free end result! To get the bristles out, all you need to do is tug on the fibers and knock the brush around a bit. I typically brush my pant leg or hand hard, bending the bristles over fiercely as the brush passes by. This will dislodge any loose fibers and pull them out. Then I quickly and harshly brush my palm, knocking off any bristles that are at the brink of coming out. Lastly, I grab all the bristles by the end of the brush and give them a slight tug. This will pull out any stragglers that might have still been deciding if they were going to fall out or not.
After this ritual, which only takes about 10 seconds to complete, I can paint on my coatings without any fear of a stray bristle in my finished coat.
The best part about using really cheap brushes is I don't feel bad about throwing them out when I'm done. I don't have to worry about residue from one project contaminating my next, or the fear that the brush will get damaged if I don't clean it instantly. Instead, I can focus on what I'm doing and chuck the brush when I'm done!