A $12 Purdy Paint Brush Made My Paint Job Look Professional

Getting an ultrasmooth finish on painted surfaces can be tricky, but I found a popular paint brush that really helped.
Glenda Taylor Avatar
The Purdy 2-inch XL Glide paint brush inside its torn-open packaging.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

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Trim painting and cutting in along ceilings and in corners can be challenging for the DIY painter because visible brush marks can make the whole project look amateurish. I recently tested several leading paint brushes and was especially impressed with the 2-inch Purdy XL Glide brush. I used the brushes to apply paint to different types of trim boards and moldings.

I’ve come to expect great results from Purdy—the company has a stellar reputation for making high-quality painting products—and the 2-inch XL Glide is no exception. Ahead, find out why I would recommend this paint brush and how it earned top honors in our lineup of the best paint brushes for trim.

The 2-inch Purdy Paint Brush: At a Glance

The Purdy 2-inch XL Glide Paint Brush in a red plastic cup.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Rating: 4.5/5


  • Brush style: Angular
  • Brush size: 2 inches
  • Handle type: Hardwood Fluted
  • Bristle type: Nylon/polyester
  • Paint compatibility: Latex, oil
  • Stiffness: Medium stiff


  • Compatible with all types of latex and oil-based paints, primers, and stains
  • Angled bristles make it easy to cut in along edges to create clean transition lines
  • Fluted hardwood handle is comfortable to grasp and has a hole for hanging
  • Brush bristles feather out smoothly to help create a flawless painted finish


  • A 2-inch brush is best suited for trim, not for painting large or wide surfaces

Get the Purdy paint brush at:

The Purdy 2-inch XL Glide Paint Brush in use for painting a piece of wood trim white.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

What is the Purdy XL Glide brush?

Designed with versatility in mind, the Purdy XL Glide brush series is compatible with all types of latex- and oil-based paints, primers, and stains. I tried out the 2-inch angled XL Glide brush with medium-stiff bristles made from nylon/polyester. I used the brush to paint trim—one of the most challenging parts of a paint project to get right because even the faintest sign of brushstrokes will draw the eye and result in a less-than-professional finish.

The brush comes with a fluted alderwood handle that is smooth to the touch and has a hole at the top for hanging on a nail or peg. The XL Glide also features a copper ferrule (the metal band that covers the spot where the bristles attach to the handle). However, remember that even the best paint brush won’t compensate for using low-quality paint. Always use the best quality paint you can afford.

The angled bristles of the Purdy 2-inch XL Glide Paint Brush.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Bristle Quality and Finish

Cheap paint brushes often have bristles with blunt ends that can leave bristle marks in the paint as you brush it on. The Purdy XL Glide features bristles that feather out toward the tips to create a flawless finish.

Armed with the XL Glide, you can create a supersmooth painted finish, but you’ll still need to choose the right interior paint or exterior paint, depending on your project. For my tests, I chose a high-quality trim paint from Sherwin-Williams and used the XL Glide to paint a selection of different types and sizes of trim boards.

A good cut-in technique is also vital for achieving a quality finish. Take your time, and try not to get too much paint on the brush. With practice, a steady hand, and the XL Glide, you’ll soon be creating straight, crisp cut-in lines.

Also, because the high-quality bristles retain their shape even after cleaning, this brush can be reused several times.

The angled bristles of the Purdy 2-inch XL Glide Paint Brush.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Is the Purdy XL Glide brush right for your project?

If you want to create a professional-looking finish on painted trim or to cut in along ceilings or corners, you won’t go wrong with a Purdy XL Glide paint brush, whether it’s the 2-inch version I tested or another XL Glide size.

The tapered and feathered bristles make achieving a supersmooth finish easy, but you’ll still want to select a high-quality paint, such as one from Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore, to ensure the paint self-smooths as well.

Currently, the 2-inch Purdy brush sells just under $13 on Amazon and a few dollars higher from Sherwin-Williams. It may be worth visiting a paint store like Sherwin-Williams in person, where you can talk to a paint professional who can help you choose the right paint for your project.

Of course, the Purdy brush isn’t the tool you’ll want for painting large surfaces. You’ll get better results using a high-quality paint roller when it comes to painting walls. The 2-inch Purdy brush is better suited for painting trim and other narrow areas.

Where to Buy the Purdy XL Glide Paint Brush

Get the Purdy paint brush at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests and reviews a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.


Glenda Taylor Avatar

Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries.