The Best Paint Brushes For All Types of Painting

For a flawless finish when decorating, selecting the right paint brush is paramount and our recommendations include brushes for all scenarios.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Best Paint Brushes
Edward Bailey/DIY Works
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    When it comes to paint brushes, you really do get what you pay for and it’s worthwhile spending time to find the best. Whether you are painting a door frame, ceiling or interior walls, you have a multitude of choices in terms of types and sizes at your disposal.

    To assist you in selecting the right paint brush, our handpicked selection features top-performing brushes that have been chosen based on our first-hand experience. We have used these brushes across various applications and with multiple paint types, and our choices are a result of rigorous testing and ongoing research.

    Best Overall: Harris Seriously Good Paint Brush Set
    Purdy Monarch Elite Professional Paint Brushes
    Best Professional: Purdy Monarch Elite Paint Brushes
    Dulux Perfect Finish Paint Brushes
    Best For Edging: Dulux Perfect Finish Paint Brushes
    Best For Water-Based Paint: Hamilton Prestige Pure Synthetic Paint Brushes
    Stanley Hobby Paint Brush Set
    Best Budget: Stanley Hobby Paint Brush Set
    Fastcar Mixed Paint Brush Set
    Best Budget Runner-Up: Fastcar Mixed Paint Brush Set

    How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates The Paint Brushes

    Over the years, we’ve tried and tested a variety of paint brushes from some of the best brands in the UK. Whether we are using a paint brush with emulsion, satin, acrylic or gloss paint, we certainly have plenty of experience.

    As shown in the photo below, we recently put the Harris Seriously Good paint brushes to the test and they ticked all the boxes. As we were using them with emulsion, they were also easy to clean, which meant that we could reuse them for other painting projects too.

    However, our testing doesn’t stop there because we’ve been busy testing the latest paint brushes from the best brands in the business.

    Best Paint Brushes UK

    Edward Bailey/DIY Works
    best paint brush for emulsion

    Edward Bailey/DIY Works

    To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest paint brushes (for this article), we are continuously putting the most rated paint brush sets to the test. As you can see in the images below, we recently put the professional Purdy Elite to the test as well as a range of other sets that vary in price.

    best professional paint brushes

    Edward Bailey/DIY Works
    best paint brushes for walls

    Edward Bailey/DIY Works

    As well as our extensive testing and experience of using multiple paint brushes, we also based our recommendations upon hours of research and a number of factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the sizes available, build quality (ferrule, handle and bristles), usability, ease of cleaning and value.

    The Best Paint Brushes

    At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

    1. Best Overall: Harris Seriously Good Paint Brush Set

    (How We Review →)

    The Harris Seriously Good Paint Brushes are specifically designed for painting walls and ceilings. Included within the set are 5 brushes that are ideal for painting with emulsion paints and can be easily cleaned in water after use. In terms of the brushes, the pack include 1 x 0.5, 1  x 1, 1 x 1.5 and 2 x 2.5 inch brushes.

    Pros
    • 5 brushes per pack
    • Guaranteed no bristle loss
    • Cleans with just water
    • Sizes range from 0.5 to 2 inches
    • Ideal for walls and ceilings with emulsion
    • Flexible comfort handle
    Cons
    • Handle stems are relatively thin (can become uncomfortable when used for many hours)

    Overall, the Harris Serious Good Set are the best paint brushes for the money that tick all the boxes. For the average DIY’er, they are more than ideal and offer far higher quality than similar priced alternatives.

    2. Best Professional: Purdy Monarch Elite Paint Brushes

    (How We Review →)

    For any perfectionist, professional paint brushes are worth the investment because they last much longer and provide a better finish. Therefore, if you require professional paint brushes, the Purdy Monarch Elite set is a great example and each of the three brushes included within the set is handmade in the UK to the highest of standards.

    Pros
    • 3 brushes per pack
    • 1, 1.5 and 2 inch brush sizes
    • Suitable for use with all paints
    • Stainless steel ferule
    • Handmade in the UK
    Cons
    • Most expensive paint brush set within our roundup

    Although expensive, the Purdy Monarch Elite are the best paint brushes money can buy and they won’t disappoint. Once you have used them once, you’ll never want to return to cheap paint brushes ever again.

    3. Best For Edging: Dulux Perfect Finish Paint Brushes

    (How We Review →)

    Dulux is one of the most well-known brands in the paint industry and they offer a number of brushes to best suit your requirements. By far their most rated is the “Perfect Finish” set, which features a unique triangular design that’s designed for precision edging and easy painting.

    Pros
    • Pack of three
    • 1, 1.5 and 2 inch brush sizes
    • Available as singular brushes
    • No loss of bristles
    • Easy to clean
    • Split bristle tips for a smooth finish
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

    Overall, the Dulux Perfect Finish paint brushes are an excellent all-round option that’s high quality and relatively affordable. They are the ideal size for cutting, door frames or window frames and are perfect for all experience levels.

    4. Best For Water-Based Paint: Hamilton Prestige Pure Synthetic Paint Brushes

    (How We Review →)

    Another popular set of professional paint brushes is the Hamilton Prestige Set, which includes 5 brushes designed for superior paint pickup and spreading. This desirable feature is made possible by the brushes using high-quality synthetic filaments that are easy to use and clean.

    Pros
    • Set of 5 brushes
    • Pure synthetic bristles
    • Suitable for emulsion paints
    • Stainless steel ferrule
    • Ideal for walls or ceilings
    • 1, 1.5 and 2 inch brush sizes
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive when compared to other paint brush sets

    The Hamilton Prestige Brush Set is a great choice for those that want the highest quality but without spending too much. They are the best alternative to the Purdy Monarch Elite above and are best used with water-based paints.

    5. Best Budget: Stanley Hobby Paint Brush Set

    (How We Review →)

    The Stanley Hobby Paint Brush Set includes a selection of paint brushes that range from 0.5 to 3 inches in size. Each of the brushes is constructed of synthetic bristles and ergonomic plastic handles for easy painting on all surfaces.

    Pros
    • Yellow plastic handles
    • Synthetic blend bristles
    • 10 brushes per pack
    • Easy to clean
    • Reputable brand backing
    Cons
    • Occasional bristle loss

    Considering that you get 10 paint brushes per pack and they are manufactured by the Stanley brand, you can’t go wrong with the Hobby Set. They are by far the best cheap paint brushes on the market that offer outstanding value for the money.

    6. Best Budget Runner-Up: Fastcar Mixed Paint Brush Set

    (How We Review →)

    By far the most popular and cheapest paint brushes on the market are the Fastcar Mixed Brush Set. They are a set of five that include 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5-inch bushes that are suitable for all paint types.

    Pros
    • 5 brushes per pack
    • Synthetic bristles
    • Ergonomic red handles
    • Easily cleaned and stored
    Cons
    • Occasional bristle loss
    • Not as high quality as the premium alternatives

    If you require budget paint brushes for applying primer, undercoat or as a “one use” brush, the Fastcar Mixed Brush set is the perfect solution. They are cheap paint brushes that cannot be beaten on price.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to paint brushes, you really do get what you pay for and it’s worth spending slightly more for a better brush. Therefore, all of our recommendations include brushes that are suitable for all paints and budgets, which means that whether you require a budget paint brush for single use or the ultimate brush set for a smooth finish, the selection above is more than ideal.

    If you require further information regarding any of the paint brushes listed within our roundup, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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