Best Oil Paint Brushes That Will Make For Better Artwork

Michael Daly
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Making art is a challenging task. You never get anything quite right the first time through, and sometimes it’s hard to get it right even after a thousand tries.

Whether you are a professional artist or somebody who dabbles in art for fun, you need good tools to help you make your artwork as appealing as possible.

There are many kinds of paint brushes out there that you can use. We’ve covered all of them for you below, ranging from natural bristle brushes, to synthetic and more. By reading this guide, you will be able to choose which paint brush is right for you.

NameCategoryProduct
Princeton Catalyst PolytipBest OverallPrinceton Catalyst Polytip
Grumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round BrushBudget PickGrumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round Brush
Silver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Starter Short Handle Acrylic/Oil Brush SetUpgrade PickSilver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Starter Short Handle Acrylic/Oil Brush Set

1. Princeton Catalyst Polytip

Our rating: 9 / 10

Princeton Catalyst Polytip

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Pros:

  • Good quality bristles
  • Flat brush for smooth coverage
  • Good for oil paintings as well as acrylics
  • Affordable price

/0, Bristle Type Polyester, Length 15.77", Width 2.13"

If you are looking for good quality oil paint brushes, these are great, especially if you are a beginner. The Princeton Catalyst is one of the best selling oil brushes on the market. They are high quality and have great reviews, but the key is to think about which size brush you really need.

These brushes are great because they are not so expensive and they have good quality bristles. If you are deciding between several brands, you should focus on some specific criteria measurement and also those of the head.

2. Art Advantage Oil and Acrylic Brush Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

Art Advantage Oil and Acrylic Brush Set

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Pros:

  • Available in many sizes, shapes, and styles
  • Sturdy wood handles
  • Many shapes and sizes to choose from
  • Can last for decades
  • Variety of sizes to choose from
  • Various shapes and colors
  • Transparent plastic allows you to monitor paint levels
  • Can use with oils or acrylics
  • Synthetic brushes are more flexible and durable
  • Creates great fine lines with concentrated color

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • May need time to achieve desired consistency

Oil and acrylic brushes are often a special purchase that artists purchase within their first few weeks of starting off. They can often be very expensive in some cases depending on whether or not you plan on using them for a long time. When you’re starting out, you may want to opt for the cheaper versions to see whether painting is for you.

There are no beginners in painting or art. There are only people who have not yet started or are starting again.

It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, or how long you stay on the ground. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how many years you have. Whether you are 5- or 90-years old, you can paint.

3. Winsor & Newton Winton Long Handle Brush

Our rating: 8 / 10

Winsor & Newton Winton Long Handle Brush

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Pros:

  • Pack of 5 brushes in each set of your choosing
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to other brands
  • Caringly and safely shipped
  • Soft and heavy duty
  • Colors are vivid and rich
  • Holds a lot of paint because of the volume

If you’re a beginner to painting or if you’re trying to get kids who are starting out in arts & crafts interested in painting or other arts & crafts, the Winsor & Newton Winton Long Handle Brush (5 Pack) (Round 6, Filbert 6, Flat 6, Bright 8, Fan 3) is the best pick for you.

Winsor and Newton is a name that is well-known in the art world. The brushes have an excellent quality control, and the bristles are good and soft. The round 6 is great for thin and medium line work. The filbert 6 is perfect for running strokes and shading. The flat 9 is great for precision, and is a go-to choice for artists who apply paint to a large surface area. Finally, the fan 3 is great for fine details and highlighting.

4. da Vinci Oil & Acrylic Series 1206 Maestro Liner Brush

Our rating: 8 / 10

da Vinci Oil & Acrylic Series 1206 Maestro Liner Brush

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Pros:

  • Item is as described
  • Brush hair does not split due to its hardness
  • Soft yet hard brush hair is appropriate for many mediums
  • Brushed hair has a good spring
  • Hardness adds control
  • Hair has perfect resilience with the correct amount of stiffness
  • It has perfect length and a good sized ferrule
  • The ferrules are well cast and durable
  • Handmade with a good sized brush head
  • Excellent quality brush with a good price tag

Cons:

  • As per customers, it takes many soaks to clean out the paint
  • Two-sided brush with one side dry and the other wet which is difficult as per few consumers

A list of the best oil paint brushes would be incomplete without mentioning the wonderful da Vinci stencil brushes. We think these are brilliant for artists, as they can be used to create both fine and broad lines, to paint very fine details as well as to create broader strokes.

This is a highly durable brush with hard and soft strands, which means it can be used for a wide variety of painting techniques. In addition, the soft side of the brush can be used for thinning oils. These are hand made brushes and are somewhat stiffer than those found in cheap artist brushes.

5. The Brush Crate Multi Bin Paintbrush Organizer

Our rating: 7 / 10

The Brush Crate Multi Bin Paintbrush Organizer

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Pros:

  • Made of powder-coated steel
  • The organizer is designed for up to 49 paint and makeup brushes
  • Allows for easy view of contents
  • The organizer has different sections for different types of products
  • 5 removable bins for easy emptying
  • Perfect for makeup brushes, makeup pencils, pens, and so much more
  • Rubber feet to prevent it from sliding on your table

If you’re looking for the best oil painting brushes in 2019, then you need to check out these amazing watercolor and oil brushes from The Brush Crate. It features different sizes and shapes to make it easy for you to blend water and oil colors for the best painting results.

This set of brushes are not only perfect for experienced artists, but they also make great gift ideas for the aspiring artist in your life. They have a beautiful design, so you can display them as well.

The brushes can easily be cleaned with the help of a brush cleaning tablet. There’s also a great video tutorial on how to clean the brushes and a cleaning card to ensure that you clean them properly.

6. Silver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Starter Short Handle Acrylic/Oil Brush Set

Our rating: 6 / 10

Silver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Starter Short Handle Acrylic/Oil Brush Set

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Pros:

  • Acrylic and Oil Based
  • 6 brushes included
  • Specially crafted for superior use of acrylic, oil paints and stains
  • Handcrafted for saleable exhibition and gallery standard
  • High Quality extra soft handles for a painters grip
  • Superb ergonomics for ease of use
  • Materially balanced brushes
  • Resistant to warping and splitting
  • Hand finished for a seamless appearance
  • Long lasting and durable

Cons:

  • The brushes are for easy cleanup for proper care and maintenance
  • High quality brushes to give the professional artist the necessary edge when painting
  • Close the gap in your kit when you need a brush for any painting medium
  • Use them to create amazing works of art for exhibition

The Silver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Set of Brushes contain a set of 6 medium sized brushes. They do work well with an array of paint types, especially acrylic and oil based paints.

To clean the brushes, you can use water to flood bristles. The high quality brushes make it possible for the artist to create amazing works of art and exhibitions.

7. Grumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round Brush

Our rating: 6 / 10

Grumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round Brush

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Pros:

  • Can be used with both oils and acrylics
  • Very soft
  • Holds a lot of paint
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Good quality
  • Makes painting much easier
  • Can be used for base coats on buildings
  • Can cover a lot of areas
  • Can also be used for general arts and crafts

The Grumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round Brush is a round brush that can be used in oil and acrylic painting. It is meant for medium to fine applications and works great with both soft and hard pastels.

This brush is a premium brush that is made of synthetic nylon with a white glossy finish and a 10/0 round shape. It has a long, white wood handle and a red ferrule. This brush is flexible and allows you to create fine lines so you can create detailed work. The brush is big enough for base coats on buildings.

This brush is heavy duty and strong enough to have oils and glazes applied to it. It is very fine for detailed applications and makes your painting easier. The brush gets the paint and glazes only where you want them, so you can avoid waste and get an even coat of paint on the surface.

8. Speedball Escoda Optimo Series Artist Oil & Acrylic Long Handle Round Paint Brush

Our rating: 6 / 10

Speedball Escoda Optimo Series Artist Oil & Acrylic Long Handle Round Paint Brush

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Pros:

  • To make sure that your artwork is at its finest, then you’ll need the best oil paint brushes.

Sable, Series KOL08-1.

The Escoda Speedball KOL08 round paint brush is made for use with oil paints. The Easy Clean carbon black ferrule on the KOL08 brush allows the brush to be cleaned quickly and efficiently.

The brushes feature a silky-smooth, seamless silver-black form wash. They hold an extra-high capacity of paint and deliver a fluid stroke every time.

9. LorDac Arts Detail Paint Brushes

Our rating: 6 / 10

LorDac Arts Detail Paint Brushes

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Pros:

  • Perfect for detailed and intricate art projects
  • Compact and very light
  • Ideal for packing for travel
  • Great as a starter set
  • Holds color well
  • Can handle heavier pigments

Cons:

  • Not ideal for basic painting and drawing
  • Brushes are on the smaller side

The LorDac Arts Detail Paint Brushes are perfect for those who are just starting out with oil painting and other detailed art projects. It’s a terrific set of travel brushes.

Each brush in this set is made of high quality synthetic hair that is extremely soft for a pleasant and smooth experience. The handle is made from wood, and is light and quite durable.

The brushes are intricately made and are as small as a finger. They’re great for large detailed works like miniature paintings. They’re are also great for calligraphy, watercolor, adult coloring books, and other miniature art projects.

10. Grumbacher Academy White Nylon Bristle Oil & Acrylic 3-Brush Set

Our rating: 5 / 10

Grumbacher Academy White Nylon Bristle Oil & Acrylic 3-Brush Set

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best brushes to use for oil painting?

Oil paint is a medium thick consistency which can be used with bristle, mason, and synthetic tips on your brushes. Bristle and Mason brushes will give you a brighter pop of color, and synthetic brushes will be less likely to cause your oils to harden.

Mason and bristle brushes need to be cleaned after each use, but synthetic brushes can be washed in cold water and then reused.

What is the best wood for oil painting?

There is no best wood for oil painting, as it simply depends on what effect the artist is trying to achieve by painting with that particular wood.

However, the wood is not your only consideration when it comes to choosing your oil painting materials. You will also want to consider the type of brush (sable, nylon, goat, etc.), the size of the brush ( width of bristles), and the quality of the brush (price).

If you are just starting out painting, stick with white lead for the time being until you have mastered the basics of painting. And most importantly, have fun!

Are synthetic brushes good for oil painting?

There are tons of different kinds of oil paint brushes out there, but there are basically two broad categories: synthetic and traditional. Traditional natural bristle brushes have been the industry standard for years, and they are just as good today as they were then.

However, synthetic brushes are naturally more long-lasting than natural brushes. If you use your paint brushes very regularly, it may be cost effective to opt for synthetic-bristle brushes over traditional natural bristle brushes. Synthetic brushes are also cheaper than traditional brushes and do not lose their shape as quickly.

Do I need special brushes for oil paint?

Yes and No. I like to think of oil paints as liquid paint. The fewer brushes you use to apply it, the less chance there is for you to contaminate the oil between the different applications.

For me, I’m a fan of using round brushes and few in number. Basically, I recommend one, “Handy Brad” style medium-sized brush of good quality. This brush will do just about everything you need to do. If there is some extreme detail work where you feel the need for a smaller brush, or a larger one, then you apply it where needed at that time.

While I am a big advocate of only using one brush for most of your oil painting needs, there are a few instances where you may want to use a smaller brush to inch in on some detail work.

Conclusion

One of the most important, but often neglected, aspects of painting is choosing the right brush.

The thing is, there isn't a one size fits all solution for a good brush. Everyone has different needs, preferences, and goals.

For instance, if you want to use a painting kit for a kid, you might just pick up a starter-set with some basic brushes. But, if you want to use it for yourself, you might want to upgrade to a nicer brush set.

No matter your needs, the best oil paintings starts with a good brush.

On this page, we hope to help you find the best paint brush that can help you to achieve your goals.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Princeton Catalyst PolytipBest OverallPrinceton Catalyst Polytip
Grumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round BrushBudget PickGrumbacher Academy Oil and Acrylic Round Brush
Silver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Starter Short Handle Acrylic/Oil Brush SetUpgrade PickSilver Brush RSS-2560S Ruby Satin Starter Short Handle Acrylic/Oil Brush Set