The 8 Best Paint Brushes to Buy in 2018

Get the right to tool for the level of detail you need

Presa Premium Paintbrushes
Courtesy of Amazon.

Paint rollers and sprayers may give you quick and consistent results, but nothing can compare to a hand brushed finish. Paint brushes will always create a unique surface that stands out from anything else in your home. They also give you the most amount of control over the final product as you can easily change the angle, stroke length and intensity of the paint as you go. Coming in many different varieties, a paint brush is one tool you should always reach for when you want to have a finished...MORE wall or door that stands out above the rest.

All brushes do the same basic thing, but their differences can be extremely important. Size is one of the biggest differences. The bigger the brush, the more surface it can cover. Smaller brushes, however, are absolutely necessary when you have limited room/control or an intricately detailed surface to paint. The brush material is also important. Some materials are stiffer than others, which means you may find the feel of a certain brush to be more to your liking. Since most brushes aren’t too expensive, you should plan on having a good collection of different types to cover your most basic needs while painting.

Check out these top paint brushes to begin creating your own painting arsenal.

  • Best Overall: Wooster Brush Q3211-2

    A good, multipurpose brush isn’t too big or small so it can remain versatile. For most projects, a two inch width is perfect for covering medium to large surfaces like walls in a short amount of time. The Wooster Brush Q3211-2 provides this versatility with long, solid brush hairs and a comfortable, large handle. To give you the most efficiency while painting, the brush tips are specifically designed to increase the paint capacity you get each time you dip the brush into the can.

    The handle is...MORE designed to be small and flexible to fit into tight spaces. If you have smaller projects or panel work to cover, this flexibility, in addition to the narrow width, should give you an extra reach that other paint brushes lack.

  • Best Budget: Wooster Brush Q3118-1

    Budget brushes can be hit or miss depending on the brand and build quality. In order to really save some money while getting a tool that will last you a long time, the Wooster Brush Q3118-1
    is one of the best options out there at a low price. Despite the low-cost, it's made with a close eye on providing a durable brush that won't begin to break after a few strokes.

    The nylon polyester filaments are extra absorbent to take in as much paint as possible while reducing the amount of stray...MORE drips. The brush handle offers a firm but flexible feel in your hand with each stroke. The brush is also easy to clean, especially due to its solid plastic handle that will shed away any drying drips with just a little bit of water and force.

  • Best Kit: Presa Premium Set

    If you do a lot of paint projects but don't have a big supply of paint brushes, the best place to start is with a brush kit. These kits come with several different brushes that will be able to cover most common paint projects. The Presa Premium Set kit will cover your basic painting needs with five brushes of different lengths and styles. The kit comes with two large brushes for large surface painting and three smaller, narrower brushes for detailed work.

    Despite the differences, each brush...MORE has the same high level of build quality. The SRT filaments in the brush tips can hold more paint per dip than other competitors without increasing the size or weight of the brush. This material also increases the brush's durability for extra tough surfaces like abrasive woods.

  • Best Four-Inch: Purdy 144400340 XL

    Most people prefer a roller or sprayer over a paint brush because of the extra time it can take to properly cover a surface. A large four inch paint brush, however, can cut this time almost in half while still offering the unique finish smaller brushes provide. The Purdy 144400340 XL brush is wide without feeling overly heavy or large in your hand. The handle offers a solid foundation to grip onto while maneuvering the extra-large head.

    The tips are a blend of dyed nylon and polyester filaments....MORE The combination makes the brush head particularly stiff for both interior and exterior painting projects, especially in outdoor environments with hot and humid climates. If you want a tool to use with a lot of different projects, this material combination will also work with a variety of paints and stains.

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  • Best Two-Inch: Wooster Brush Q3108-2

    Since two inch brushes are among the most common types of paint brushes, you will find a lot of different options in this category. For the best brush, you should find one like the Wooster Brush Q3108-2 with soft brush tips. While a hard brush head is good for increasing the potential lifespan of the brush, the extra stiffness can lead to small imperfections in the finish. Soft brush tips offer more flexibility which creates a smooth and even finish without a lot of extra effort.

    This brush’s...MORE tips use a combination of white nylon and gold polyester filaments to maximize paint absorption while reducing stray drips as you move along the surface. A brass plated steel ferrule reinforces the brush head so it isn't too flexible in your hand. For the best finish, you can use this brush with latex and oil-based paints.

  • Best One-Inch: Proform CS1.0AS

    When space is small, a one inch paint brush is the way to go. While you won't be covering a lot of surface in a short amount of time, a small brush can still cut down on the amount of work involved. A brush like the Proform CS1.0AS is perfect for corners, trimming, edging, and other surfaces that larger brushes struggle with. A smaller brush gives you more control and reduces the amount of over painting involved.

    The Proform comes with a slender, sash-style wooden handle to keep the brush’s...MORE overall profile long and narrow. The handle is comfortable to hold for long periods of time, and offers additional reach for even tighter spaces should the need arise.

  • Best Angled: Purdy 144152125 Clearcut

    The shape of a brush head will determine the amount of control and surface coverage a brush will give you. Traditional brush heads are completely flat, maximizing the surface area the brush has to absorb and distribute paint during a stroke. Angled brush heads, like the Purdy 144152125 Clearcut, offer more control over the types of strokes you can do while painting. The brush shape allows you to change the width of the overall stroke simply by adjusting the angle of the brush as you paint.

    The...MORE Clearcut brush uses round, tapered nylon and polyester filaments to increase the stiffness you feel during each stroke. The stiffness is also useful for hotter, more humid climates when painting outdoors. The angle of the brush is perfect for laying down edge strokes before filling in the surface area all with the same brush.

  • Best Fine: Harbor Freight Tools Horsehair Bristle

    Paint brushes are good for more than just getting that unique, hand brushed finish. For intricate details, you can also turn to fine brushes, commonly found in art studios, for the maximum amount of control and creative possibility. The Harbor Freight Tools Horsehair Bristle set provides 36 separate 1/2 inch horsehair brushes you can mix-and-match for any fine detail.

    This type of set is perfect if you're looking to create something truly unique on your walls, doors, furniture, or other...MORE interior surfaces. Whether it's fine art or a simple touchup project, the different sizes of brushes in this kit will give you enough options to paint on a smaller scale that larger brushes can't match. Each brush comes with a long, metal tubular handle to increase comfort and reduce hand fatigue for longer projects. 

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