When it comes to DIY and decorating around the home, the first and most straightforward thing that comes to mind (unless you live in a rental property, or have very lenient landlords) is a splash of paint. You could, theoretically, spend hours picking out the perfect colour schemes, specific paints, statement walls, choose between different finishes…which is a statement totally not based in real-life experience. Anyway, moving on…
No matter how long you have or haven’t spent choosing paint, it’s slightly redundant if you don’t have the tools to paint with, unless you plan on finger painting entire projects. Might be a bit length and messy. Get yourself a good paintbrush instead! Brushes are very much not made equally – there can be a huge variety in terms of size, bristle type and quality, handle. Who’d have thought the simple paintbrush could be so complex?
In order to make a little bit of sense of the vast array of different paintbrushes, from natural to artificial bristles, plastic to wood handles and all the various sizes and ideal applications, we’ve put together a list of the best paintbrushes available to buy today. It’ll give you a lowdown of what you need and which products are going to meet those needs.
|Harris Essentials Walls and Ceilings Paintbrush Pack||5||Pro||££|
|Bizzwizz Professional Paintbrushes||5||Medium||£|
|Precision Defined Heavy Duty Professional Brush Set||6||Pro||£££|
|Coral 2″ Paintbrush||1||Medium||££|
|Dulux Perfect Finish Triple Brush Set||3||Pro||£££|
Harris are often regarded as ‘the’ name in home painting supplies, and this 5-piece paintbrush pack seeks to cover most bases of painting tasks with a range of sizes for different applications. All 5 are designed with a handle geared towards comfort, making it easy to grip and therefore ideal for longer painting and decorating sessions.
The bristles are easy to clean simply using warm water, and are held firmly in the handle with minimal bristle loss. This is ideal, as lost bristles not only lessen the efficacy of the brush itself, but there’s also the risk that those lost bristles get stuck in wet paint and ruin your finish. Essentials can often refer to the low quality budget end of a range, however in this case there’s no compromise on quality even with a low price.
- Range of brushes
- Good quality bristles
- Good value
- Plastic handles
This 5-piece set of brushes from Bizzwizz represents a good choice for a range of brushes designed to cover most household jobs. The bristles are made from a synthetic filament which is durable, but also ensures a high quality application and eventual finish. They typically work best with water-based paints. Being firm, synthetic bristles there is next to no loss of bristles, guaranteeing that smooth finish with no bits of brush to pick out of your new paintwork.
The plastic handles are shaped comfortably to help offer your hands some respite for longer paints, and are therefore also quite lightweight. The brush head itself also helps to keep the bristles held in place, meaning you retain a good level of control over your brush strokes to further cement the high quality finish. They’re also pretty good value for money.
- Range of brush sizes
- Firm synthetic bristles
- Strong brush head
- Thin plastic handles
This paintbrush set from Precision Defined is a high quality range of brushes capable of tackling just about anything across the broad spectrum of household painting jobs. One area where it stands out is including a sixth angled brush (compared to common sets of 5) which is designed for edging and cutting in, making your life that much easier.
The bristles are also of a very high quality, using SRT (Solid Round Tapered, which are thinner at the end of the brush for a smoother finish) PET (polyethylene terephthalate, a high-quality synthetic filament) for a smooth finish. These bristles are durable and won’t come out and get stuck in your paint. Another great feature is the handles, made from solid birch wood. Not only do these look smart and professional, but they are also sturdy and relatively lightweight. They’re also shaped comfortably to be kinder to your hands while painting.
- Wooden handles
- High quality bristles
- Versatile brush range
- Relatively expensive
Paintbrush size can be a very particular thing for a lot of jobs, but this 2″ brush by Coral sits firmly in the middle of standard sizes, making it an adequate choice for a fair range of tasks. Something of a jack of all trades, the 2 inch wide brush head works in lots of different applications. The synthetic bristles are good quality too, with a high density of bristles that can pick up a lot of paint and give a soft, smooth finish. The bristles are also tough enough to handle smooth to rough surfaces such as wood panelling.
The handle is designed simply but carefully to help give you a more comfortable painting experience – its lightweight plastic construction also helps make it easier to move around and retain some control over the painting process. Even the bold yellow of the handle has a purpose; namely, on the understanding that most people’s workspaces are more cluttered than they’d care to admit, a yellow handle stands out and makes it easier to find.
- Excellent value
- Good bristle quality
- Comfortable to use
- May not last
Dulux are looking to uphold the renowned quality of their paints with a matching set of brushes. The aim of this ‘Perfect Finish’ set is quite clear, with a trio of brushes aiming to cover the spread of household tasks. One brush in particular is a unique triangular shape, making it an ideal choice for jobs where more precision is required, such as cutting in, corners or architrave. The synthetic bristles will also offer a smooth, clean finish.
The handles of these brushes are made from plastic, but also designed with a comfort grip top layer. This means that they’re not as flimsy as thinner plastic handled brushes, and are shaped ergonomically to be comfortable to both grip and hold, even for extended periods. Another neat feature is the tab at the ends of the handles to help with opening stubborn tins of paints. For a high quality set of brushes they’re also surprisingly solid value for money.
- Precision triangular head
- Comfortable handles
- Decent value
- Tin opening tab
- Bristles need care
Which Paintbrush To Go For?
Painting is one of the simplest ways to renovate and breathe new life into a myriad of things, but it’s naturally important to have the right brush for the job! The best paint in the world still needs a brush, unless you fancy Jackson Pollock style paint splats. That’s what our buying guide is here for, to give you the best insight into what represents the best paintbrush for your job.
Best Paintbrush – for overall quality, the Precision Defined Heavy Duty Professional Brush Set stands out. With 6 brushes in the kit, you’re covered for just about any job – the angled edging brush is also ideal for jobs needing a spot more precision. The bristles are of great quality; hard-wearing and able to produce a smooth finish with minimal bristle loss, and wooden handles add a level of durability, comfort and class.
Best Value – if you’re buying a paintbrush on a budget, look no further than the Coral 2″ Paintbrush. For less than a cup of coffee you can get a solidly made, good quality brush that paints well enough for simple applications. It might not be the most long lasting, but for such a small investment you can simply buy another one.
How to clean paintbrushes
Most paintbrushes can be cleaned very simply; just pass them under running water, preferably warm water, while the paint’s still wet. Massage through the bristles to dislodge any stubborn flecks. Any dried paint can be dislodged by soaking the brush in paint thinners for a little while, then rinse as per normal.
How to clean gloss paintbrushes
Gloss paint, typically oil-based, is a little trickier to remove than just using warm water. Oil-based paints need a short soak in white spirit to soften and remove it. Make sure to use something like a glass jar, as white spirit would have an adverse reaction with plastic containers.
How to store paintbrushes
Storing paintbrushes to keep them usable is a matter of keeping them clean and dry, stored in a cool dry place. Once the bristles have been cleaned and dried with a clean cloth. Most brushes also have a hole in the handle to hang them up by; it’ll also make sure that any remaining moisture will drip-dry out.
How to soften paintbrushes
Softening brushes is an important step; bristles have a tendency to be a little on the stiff side when brand new. Simply soaking in hot water will often do enough to soften bristles, so just make sure that they’re dried before you begin painting.