Best Paint Brushes – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

When it comes to an expert level paint job, it should be pretty obvious that having the best paint brush for you will improve your work exponentially. No matter how well you fancy yourself as a pretty darn good painter, you’re not Picasso without the proper tools to get the job done right.

These brushes are not for artistic painting. The brushes we review are tools for utility. They produce high-quality results, save you time, and get the job done right. 

The right paintbrush to use for your project depends on the surface texture, area, exposure, and type of paint. There is a multitude of different brush types, so which are the best? Read here, for a complete guide on how to choose the best paint brushes for your project at hand.

Purdy 140853100 XL Brush 3 Pack

Our favorite brushes overall are the Purdy 140853100 XL Brush. It comes with a 1 inch Dale trim brush, a 1.5-inch Glide brush, and a flat, 2-inch Sprig handled brush. These are the best paint brushes we reviewed because it includes all the necessary types of brushes needed to accomplish your project. The products quality and reliability are unmatched.

Purdy is among the best paint brush brands in the industry, and their products maintain a superior quality. Every Purdy brush is designed with a copper ferrule to ensure the filaments integrity, job after job. The filament hairs are shaped and designed to hold the maximum amount of paint per stroke and deliver a streak-free, uniform result.

Things We Like:

  • The best choice for quality and durability.
  • Extremely versatile and efficient.
  • A high volume of paint lift per stroke.

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Brushes may be thinner than needed.
  • Fewer brushes than other packs.

Pressa Premium Paint Brushes Set, 5 Piece

The Pressa Premium Paint Brushes Set is our runner-up choice for the best paint brushes. These brushes are designed for professional painters and contractors. This brush set comes with five unique brush designs. And, feature premium quality craftsmanship. These are not your dollar store brushes, but, they won’t break the bank, either.

These Brushes hold up to 30 percent more paint per stroke than the competition. The brushes feature solid round taper (SRT) filaments which produce clean paint strokes, even on rough surfaces. Pressa makes paint brushes that, in the hands of an expert, are perfect for precision work. Pressa Premium Paint Brushes are designed to be easy to clean, enabling the filaments to last through many jobs.

Things We Like:

  • Premium paintbrushes designed for professionals.
  • Use for painting walls, doors, furniture, fences, vases, and more.
  • SRT Filaments – for smooth, clean lines.
  • For interior and exterior painting.

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Longs bristles may cause a mess.
  • May require reapplication frequently.

Unity 12-Piece Paint Brush Set -Long Pro Style Wooden Handles – Pure Bristle And Synthetic Filament Blend – Interior Exterior – DIY Value Pack

The Unity 12-Piece Paint Brush Set is the way to go for the budget buyer. This value pack comes with twelve brushes in all. Each brush features a beavertail Sprig handle. The filaments are made with a combination of pure bristle and synthetic, to maintain rigidity while painting.

These brushes are designed in Philadelphia, PA, by Unity-Frankford. The company has a reputation for producing professional quality paint brushes, for an affordable price. This is the perfect pack of brushes for projects with two or more painters. Or, use the Unity 12-Piece Paint Brush Set for projects that involve multiple colors. These brushes are great for use with any latex water-based paint.

Things We Like:

  • Long Wooden Handles
  • Synthetic Filament Blend
  • Great for Interior and Exterior
  • Great for latex water-based paint

Things We Don’t Like:

  • You get what you pay for – less durable and more prone to bristle weakening

Wooster Brush P3974-4 Factory Sale Polyester Paintbrush, 4-Inch

The Wooster Brush P3974-4 Factory Sale Polyester Paintbrush, is one of the best paint brush for painting large surface area’s. It gives you 4 inches of coverage on every stroke, for maximum area coverage. The brush features a synthetic mixture of polyester and nylon bristle filaments.

Use this brush with water based paints for the best result, but, it works with oil-based paints as well.

Wooster manufactures paint brushes in Wooster, Ohio, and has been since 1851. This is a great brush for professional outdoor painters as it is designed to retain its rigidity in hot temperatures. The ferrules brass-plated steel hold tight to the solid black plastic Sprig style handle.

Things We Like:

  • Best used for large surface areas
  • Synthetic Nylon and Polyester Filaments
  • Maintains Bristle Strength in Hot Weather

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Not the best for precision projects
  • Extremely mediocre 

Wooster Brush Q3118-1 Golden Glo Paintbrush, 1-Inch

The Wooster Brush Q3118-1 Golden Glo Paintbrush is one of the best paintbrush for painting small surfaces, furniture, and wood frames. The brush features a flat bristle design for smooth area coverage. The filaments are designed with soft flagged tips, to produce an even stoke with maximum paint hold. Woosters Golden Glo series is perfect for use with acrylic, latex, and oil-based paints. 

Things We Like:

  • Maximum Paint Pickup and Hold
  • Works with Acrylic, Latex, and Oil-based
  • Gold Nylon and Sable Polyester Synthetic Filaments
  • Good for small areas

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Hard bristles may be difficult to work with
  • A bit pricier than other models of it’s kind

Features that Matter

Save Yourself the Trouble – Don’t Go Cheap

A paint brush is just like any tool. Cheap tools make your job more difficult. High-quality tools make easy work and are long-lasting.

Cheap paint brushes take twice the effort to produce a halfway decent result. And, the last one or to projects before falling apart. Cheap brushes wear out quickly, even if you are a master painter. Even if you clean your cheap brushes after every use, their poor craftsmanship will give way to deterioration.

Stay away from dollar store paint brushes and seemingly affordable multi-packs. They are not built to last or produce clean work. Cheap paint brushes will take twice the time, and last half as long as a good brush.

You don’t have to break the bank to get good tools. You just have to know which brands are reputable. The brushes we review are chosen for their affordability, and, brand reputation of high-quality craftsmanship.


A lot goes into the making of a paint brush and, obviously, not all are created with equal levels of quality. But, proper care of your brushes will ensure the most life longevity. A good brush will produce high-quality results, time and time again, if diligently cleaned and maintained between uses.

A high-quality paint brush is made with quality craftsmanship. Your screwdriver doesn’t wear out after just a few projects, so, neither should your paintbrush.

A good paint brush holds more paint on its filaments which reduces your need to continuously return to the bucket. This means your project gets accomplished faster. Cheap paint brushes leave streaks and visible lines. The more high quality the hairs on your brush, the more evenly dispersed the paint in every stroke.

Oil-Based vs. Latex (Water-Based)

The type of paint you are using determines the type of paintbrush hair you need. Latex paint is water-based. Water-based paint does get picked up by animal hair, such as ox-hair. For latex paint, use a paint brush with nylon, or mixed with polyester.

Oil-based paint does not pick up well with nylon brushes. So, for oil-based, use a natural filament, like ox-hair. Natural hair fiber brushes cannot retain their rigidity when in contact with water. So, synthetic hair fibers combine nylon and polyester to enable the filament to retain its shape.

Round Corner vs. Square Corner Brushes

The filament shape of brushes for trim work feature, either, round corners or square corners. A trim brush with square corners filament is called a Dale brush. Ones with round corners are called Glide brushes.

The brushes with square corner filaments hold more paint, while round corner bristles are preferred for intricate detail and trim work.

Size of Brush

Most paint brushes are designed from one inch to four inches wide. Small brushes, of one to two inches, are used for window trim, door frames, and other small areas of application. Three and four-inch brushes are used for glossy paints, doors, cabinets, walls, and large flat areas.

Bristle Type

Each paint brush features a bristle end type. A chisel trim brush features slanted bristles, for corners, edges, and straight lines. Square trim brushes are cut square on the ends, making them hold more paint and apply easier to large, flat areas. Angled brush bristles are designed for cutting into corners of windows, ceilings, and other precision trim work. 

Some bristles give you a cleaner, smoother look. Others offer more of a distressed look. It’s all dependent on what you want to do.

Handle Type

Each brush is designed with a certain style of handle. There are four main types of paint brush handles:

Cub Handles – are short and compact. These are featured on brushes used for tight corners and hard-to-reach spaces.

Dale Handles – are long and uniformly beveled. The handle is smooth with rounded edges.

Glide Handles – have beveled edges and a flute shape. These provide a longer handle for more grip.

Sprig / Swan Handles – are featured on large, flat brushes. They are shaped like a beavertail and easy to grip. Sprig handles are slightly smaller than Swan handles. 

Each handle is specifically designed to make a certain job easier. Be sure to keep in mind what kind of angles and surfaces you will need to tackle so that you can get the brush with the right handle for you.

Wrap Up

Don’t waste any more time using the wrong brush for the job. You’ll be safe going with any of the paint brushes in this list and watch as your projects get done with more efficient and productive. You’ll have a fantastic stroke a beautiful outcome, whether it be for painting furniture, painting your walls, the outside of your house, or any combination of painting projects you may have.

Be sure to keep in mind what project you want to do and what brushes you are going to need. The brush or brushes you choose should be able to tackle the entirety of the paint job at hand.

When it comes to our favorite brushes for utility, the Purdy XL Brush 3-pack is our go to choice for all of your painting needs.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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