Brief Guide To Paint Brushes

Brief Guide To Paint Brushes


A paintbrush is a magic wand to express your feelings and emotions. Paintbrushes have been believed to be used by men since the Paleolithic era, around 2.5 million years ago.

In ancient Egypt, ancestors used to make paintbrushes by using split palm leaves to decorate the surroundings. With this, according to discovery, it is said that one of the oldest brushes ever discovered was made from animal hair.

Anatomy of a Brush


The handle is the part of the brush with which we can get a comfortable grip, giving perfect control while painting. These brush handles are made from different materials like wood, plastic or metal, which are sometimes painted or polished. The length of the handle plays a vital role, and the behaviour of the use of the brush differs from brush to brush, so it is essential to consider the size of the brush handle.

If you are using the wooden handle brush, you have to check the polishing of the wooden handle to avoid leaving it in contact with liquids for too long to prevent its swelling, distorting or crackling. Because of these reasons, plastic handles are now much more in use.


Bristles are the part of the brushes which hold the paint or ink, and the length of the bristles also differs, just like the brush handles. The bristles are accessible in both natural and synthetic, in which the natural form includes the hairs of animals like camel, ox, horse, etc. In contrast, the mixture makes synthetic bristles of plastics, nylon and polyester.



A Ferrule is made from metal and is the most crucial part of the paintbrush as it maintains the hold of the bristles and keeps them connected with the handle. The ferrule is curled from one end so that the bristles stay in one place glued to the handle. The ferrule's size depends on the brush's size and quantity of the bristles.



The middle part of the bristles is known as the belly, which carries the highest amount of paint. Before buying the paintbrush, take a quick test of the paintbrush belly and ensure it gives a flat and bouncy feel.

The paint brushes are always selected after the paint selection because even if you buy expensive paint, the wrong choice of a paintbrush can disappoint you as the paintbrush will not distribute the paint appropriately.


Let us look for the types of paintbrushes.

From the information mentioned above, we have come to know that the paint brushes' size and shape differ per their uses. If you are an amateur in painting, here is a list of the different types of paintbrushes and their benefits.

1. Round Paint Brush

When we say about paintbrushes, the shape and size of the brush that will come to our mind is the round brush, the most ancient and traditional shape of the brush. The decent and sharp tip of the round brush enables the painter to paint detailed fine lines.

While buying the brush, make sure that the bristles are made from top-quality materials so that they regain their straight shape when the pressure is taken off the brush.

2. Flat Paint Brush

The flat brush is also known as a square brush, and as the name suggests, the shape of the brush is the same, except that the bristles are a bit longer. The bristles in the flat brush are arranged widely but not so thick. While buying the flat brush, make sure that the bristles bend quickly when a little pressure is applied, creating broad and thin brush strokes as you turn the brush.

The paint load's capacity depends on the bristles and their length. A synthetic brush with short hairs holds less paint, while a brush with long bristles will hold more paint. In watercolour, synthetic bristles hold less colour than natural hair. A good combination is a blend of natural hair and synthetic filament.

3. Rigger or Liner Paint Brush

This paint is also known as a sword paint brush as it has thin and long bristles which are sharp and pointed with flat or square-shaped tips. This brush is considered the best option while producing fine consistent lines for painting thin branches of trees or grass.

4. Sword Paint Brush

The sword is the same as the liner brush but with a steep angle and pointed tip. Through this sword paintbrush, you can paint extraordinary thin lines just with the help of the tip and broad lines by holding the brush in such a way that a good quantity of bristles touches the surfaces. Because of this factor, this sword paint brush is best used for calligraphic mark-making and is also called a striper brush.

5. Mop Paint Brush

The name “Mop” suggests that a mop brush is vast in shape and has quite a large quantity of bristles. This mop brush is ideally used for large watercolour washes as it can hold a large amount of paint in its bristles.

As the mop brush has a considerable amount of bristles, it requires much cleaning time.

6. Fan paint brush

As the name suggests, “Fan,” this paintbrush also has a thin layer of bristles spread out at the ferrule. The main work of a fan brush is to blend the colours, but it is also commonly used for painting thin tree branches, grasses and hair strands.

7. Stencil Paint Brush

This short round brush with stiff, flat-cut hair makes it easier to paint, preventing it from getting under the edge. This brush is mainly used to create textures such as clumps, facial hair, or rust on metal objects.

8. Other types of Paint Brushes


          Cheap decorating brush

          Varnishing Brush


          Colour Shapers

Concluding Thoughts

Painting can be very therapeutic and give your mind a peaceful meditative activity. To have such a wonderful experience, you must have correct knowledge about the characteristics of the paint brushes and how to use them.