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8 Best Oil Paint Brushes of 2023 | Reviews + Guide

A paintbrush is like an artist’s body part – vital and indispensable.

best oil brushes for painting

Creating an art masterpiece without the right brush is a long shot. If you look at the successful artists and experts worldwide, you will find one thing in common – a set of paintbrushes that is perfect for them, tailored to fit their needs. 

When it comes to oil paints, choosing the right brush is even more critical. There are many reputed brands providing art and craft supplies. We have carefully shortlisted eight of the best oil paintbrushes that you should consider. 

Without further ado, let’s get to the detailed reviews of these oil paint brushes

Best Oil Paint Brushes

Best Oil Paint Brushes

Whether you're a beginner or a professional artist, this list will help you find the perfect set of brushes to take your oil painting to the next level. So, without further ado, here's the list of the 7 best oil paint brushes.

1. Art Advantage Oil Brush Set - Best For Beginners

Sale
Art Advantage Brush Set t Oil/Acrylic 24pc
  • Twenty-four piece brush set
  • Free canvas brush roll-up

Art Advantage offers an affordable and comprehensive paintbrush set, specifically designed for beginners, students, and art hobbyists. The collection includes 24 paint brushes of varying sizes and finishes – six brushes each of Flat Synthetic, Flat Natural, Round Synthetic, and Round Natural. The set comes in a well-organized storage pouch.

Experience

We have included the 8724VP Paintbrush Set from Art Advantage in this list for one reason – it is one of the most inexpensive paintbrush sets available in the market and works well for beginners and hobbyists. You get an adequate variety of brush types in this set that works well with both oil and acrylic paints.

We especially liked this set as it includes twelve sturdy hog bristle brushes and twelve white nylon brushes. Each set of twelve has one flat brush and one round unit in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.

If you are new to the field of art and have a lot to learn, you would not want to spend a fortune on art supplies. This set is specifically designed for beginners who most likely operate on a tight budget.

You need to be aware of the fact that this paintbrush set is not meant for professional artists and experts. There is only so much you can get for a substantially low price. As long as you are comfortable with average quality at rock-bottom prices, this set will not disappoint you.



Pros

  • One of the most reasonably-priced paintbrush sets available in the market
  • Offers versatile use across different mediums, including oil and acrylic
  • Ideal set for beginners and art students 




Cons

  • It is not well-suited for professionals and experts, who will prefer a better, long-lasting brush set 



Bristle Material: Synthetic and natural bristle brushes | Brush Shape: Round, Flat | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 24

2. Da Vinci Maestro Brush - Best For Professionals

Sale
da Vinci Brushes 4225 Watercolor Brushes, Size 3 (Series...
  • Maestro kolinsky red sable sampler set of Rounds
  • Includes Size 3 in series 10, 11, 35 and 5506 to compare and...

The second spot in our recommendations has a paintbrush set for beginners, so let’s talk about the flip side of the coin. At the second spot, we have included the Da Vinci Maestro, which is a series of high-quality, top-of-the-line brushes that can be used with oil and acrylic paints.

Experience

You can choose from seven varieties of paint brushes in the Maestro series by Da Vinci – Round, Rigger Medium, Rigger XL, Filbert, Linear Medium, Cats Tongue, and Bright. You can also choose the perfect size to meet your needs, ranging from 0 to 24.

There is no gimmick here – this is undoubtedly one of the most premium paint brushes available in the market and accordingly commands a steep price. We especially liked the top-notch finish of these brushes, handmade in Germany from male winter Kolinsky Red Sable.

If you are a professional artist or an expert who is looking for a premium paintbrush, the Da Vinci Maestro is the winner hands down. You get superior control and spring with the seamless ferrules and plated brass.

Da Vinci brushes have been a go-to product for professionals and experts for several generations. You will be pleased to know that these brushes are handcrafted from sustainably-sourced wood to prevent any adverse environmental impact. We recommend these brushes due to their long-lasting needle-like point and longer bristles that allow faster tip action and tight point snap.



Pros

  • Premium paintbrush from a reputed brand, guaranteeing optimal quality
  • An ideal product for professional artists and experts
  • Each brush is handcrafted in Germany, goes through a thorough quality inspection, and is carefully packaged
  • Only gold and nickel-plated brass ferrules are used in this brush, making it rust-resistant




Cons

  • It is quite expensive, with each brush costing close to $30 



Bristle Material: Kolinsky Sable | Brush Shape: Round, Flat | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 4

3. Princeton Catalyst Polytip Oil Brushes - Best Value For Money

Princeton Catalyst, Series 6400, Long-Handle Synthetic...
  • BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY - The Catalyst series features...
  • ADVANCED POLYTIP BRISTLES - The true advancement in these...

The Princeton Catalyst Polytip Bristle Brushes serve as an advancement in the scientific breakthrough of synthetic fiber technology. It is available in eight varieties – Fan, Flat brushes, Egbert, Round, Filbert, Bright, Short Filbert, and Angle Bright. It is also available in all sizes, ranging from 0 to 24.

Experience

We recommend the Princeton Catalyst Polytip Brushes to anybody who wants to get their hands on a nearly artist-grade brush without having to pay an exorbitant price. These brushes are available at an average price of most synthetic bristle brushes but can effectively mimic the high quality of natural fiber brushes.

You might be thinking about how a synthetic fiber brush can compete with top-notch natural fiber painting brushes like the Da Vinci Maestro we just reviewed. The answer is reasonably straightforward – these brushes are made in a unique manufacturing process wherein each synthetic fiber is split at the end, allowing for a far heavier load that improves flow as well as efficiency.

If you are a student or a hobbyist who wants to get a taste of artist-grade art supplies without burning a hole in your wallet, you should consider buying these paintbrushes. If you are a seasoned veteran in the art field, you know this is a close replica of artist-grade paint brushes, but you may still find it useful if you want to save some bucks.

We especially liked painting with brushes because they are incredibly responsive and super stiff. These oil paint brushes are specifically designed for use with acrylic and oil paint.



Pros

  • The bristles maintain an excellent shape even after heavy use
  • It is moderately priced to be attractive for students as well as experts
  • The synthetic tips are split at the end to have an increased volume 




Cons

  • It is not the sturdiest option if you indulge in scumbling techniques and the brushes may lose their shape 



Bristle Material: Synthetic Bristle | Brush Shape: Flat | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 1

4. Winsor & Newton Winton Long Handle Brush Set

Sale
Winsor & Newton Winton Long Handle Brush (5 Pack) (Round 6,...
  • Made From Quality Hog Bristles, Hand-Set Into...
  • The Natural Curve Of The Hog Bristle Produces A Resilient...

A list of art and craft supplies will rarely be complete without at least one product from the reputed house of Winsor & Newton. The Long Handle Brush Set includes five oil paintbrushes – Fan (size 3), Flat (size 6), Bright (size 8), Filbert (size 6), and Round (size 6).

Experience

What we loved about the Long Handle Brush set from Winsor & Newton is the superior build of each brush. These brushes are made from the best Chinese hog bristles and are seamlessly handcrafted into corrosion-resistant ferrules. Although specifically designed for use with oil paints, these brushes work equally well with acrylics too.

You will notice a slight natural curve of the bristle on these brushes, allowing them to retain shape even after heavy use. The brush handles have a green-colored natural wood finish, which is protected by four coats of lacquer. You will not have to worry about these paint brushes for oil looking old and discolored anytime soon.

These animal fiber bristle painting brushes are not as top-notch as Sable but are significantly better than most synthetic bristle brushes. When you buy this set from Winsor & Newton, you get a better-than-average brush set at a very reasonable price.

However, if you are looking for an artist-grade brush set and have considerable funds at your disposal, you should go for an expensive and better alternative.



Pros

  • A carefully designed starter set for beginners, students, and hobbyists
  • The Winsor & Newton brand promises optimal quality and long-lasting performance
  • The set includes a nice variety of medium-sized brushes, perfect for starting with oil paints
  • Costing around $4 per brush, it is one of the most affordable quality brush sets in the market




Cons

  • It is not meant for professional artists and experts, who may find its quality to be sub-standard 



Bristle Material: Natural,Hog | Brush Shape: Round, Flat | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 5

5. LorDac Arts Detail Paintbrushes

LorDac Arts Paint Brush Set, 7 Artist Brushes for Painting...
  • ✔︎ PREMIUM DESIGN FEATURES — Benefits of Taklon...
  • ✔︎ EXCELLENT VARIETY FOR MULTIPLE EFFECTS — 7...

One of the most inexpensive paintbrush sets in this list, the LorDac Arts Detail Paintbrush set includes 12 brushes that can be used with oil, acrylic, or watercolor paint. The set includes five liners (sizes 0000, 000, 00, 0, and 1), five rounds (sizes 0000, 000, 00, 0, and 1), and two flats (sizes 0 and 1).

Experience

LorDac Arts Details Paintbrush is the only product in this list that is made from Taklon synthetic bristles. We love these bristles because relative to natural hair bristles they are less likely to break, more hygienic, easier to clean, and last longer.

The set has a comprehensive variety of brushes, each featuring a short handle design to enable precision work. We recommend this set to students and beginners as it is very reasonable, costing less than $1.5 per brush.

We especially liked the durable construction of each brush in this set. The ferrules are made of aluminum and are double-crimped onto the handle, ensuring long-lasting performance and resistance to damage from paint and solvents.

You will appreciate the ergonomic design of these brushes – perfectly balanced thick, and short handles ensure a stress-free and fatigue-free painting experience. It is reasonably straightforward to maintain precision points with these brushes, helping substantially with detailed painting.



Pros

  • One of the most inexpensive brush sets on the market
  • Offers versatile use and works well with oil, acrylic, and watercolor paint
  • Features sturdy construction and double-crimped ferrules to ensure longevity
  • Features synthetic Taklon bristles which are better than natural hair bristles




Cons

  • In spite of all the right things about this brush set, it is not artist-grade and may not appeal to veterans in the art industry 



Bristle Material: Synthetic Bristle | Brush Shape: Round, Flat | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 7

6. Grumbacher Academy Oil & Acrylic Brush

Grumbacher Academy White Nylon Bristle Oil & Acrylic 3-Brush...
  • Includes brushes: Flat 6, Flat 8 and Flat 10
  • Soft, white nylon bristles ensure even strokes and excellent...

Next on our list of recommendations for oil paint brushes is an all-out winner for students, beginners, and hobbyists. Grumbacher offers student-grade Academy brushes, made of white nylon synthetic fibers. These brushes are excellent for use with oil as well as acrylic paint. Grumbacher offers these brushes in the flat brushes variant in three sizes 6, 8, and 10.

Experience

When it comes to recommending a paintbrush for students, we will undoubtedly pick the Grumbacher Academy Oil & Academy Brush. It has a sleek design and soft nylon synthetic bristles, making it ideal for various painting techniques, including glazing.

We cannot emphasize how easy and comfortable it was to carry out fine detailed work with these brushes. If you indulge in any painting endeavor which requires you to minimize brush strokes, you will realize how comfortable these brushes from Grumbacher are.

You will appreciate the thoughtful design of these brushes. It features a long handle with an oversized center, which allows you an unparalleled comfort level to paint for hours on end. While painting your next masterpiece, this brush will not be causing any hand fatigue or discomfort.

The design of this brush from Grumbacher is not only ergonomic but also attractive. The brush has a durable wood shaft that is covered with a beautiful blue metallic finish. Students will like this brush as it works well with all popular paint mediums like watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting.



Pros

  • Made from versatile synthetic bristles and can be used with oil and acrylic paint
  • Features an oversized center and a long handle, allowing for comfortable use even for hours
  • Handcrafted explicitly for beginners and students 




Cons

  • Available in limited varieties and can be used for some specific painting projects only 



Bristle Material: Synthetic Bristle | Brush Shape: Round, Flat | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 3

7. Escoda Optimo Oil Paintbrush

Speedball - 2410-1 Art Products Escoda Optimo Series Artist...
  • ARTIST PAINTBRUSH MADE WITH PURE KOLINSKY HAIR - Optima...
  • SIZE 1 OIL AND ACRYLIC PAINTBRUSH - Pointed round shape...

Escoda Optimo offers a premium artist-grade Kolinsky Sable brush which is great for controlled, delicate works of art. The fine-haired bristles form a soft brush head, enabling better flow and control. These are available in nine different brush sizes in either round or flat brush variants.

Experience

We are essentially paying homage to the adage “Last but not least” by keeping the Escoda Optimo Paintbrush at the end of our product review list. It is one of the most beautiful artist-grade oil paint brushes you can get your hands on. It is handcrafted from the best Kolinsky Sable bristles.

Escoda uses its exclusive triple crimping process to make these brushes. You will never have to worry about any of the bristles falling out from the ferrule or the unit breaking into two parts, even after the most substantial use.

We especially liked this premium product as a lifetime guarantee backs it, so you know you get your money’s worth when you shell out those extra bucks to buy it. It is also ISO 9001/100 certified, proving that it adheres to the best consistency and quality standards.

It is an artist-grade brush and students or beginners will not be willing to spend so much. A trivial limitation of the brush is that it is specifically designed for oil painting brushes and does not fare well when used with other mediums like watercolor and acrylic paints.



Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee, ensuring best-in-class consumer satisfaction
  • Holds an ISO 9001/100 certification, meeting the best consistency and quality standards
  • One of the most excellent artist-grade Kolinsky Sable brushes available in the market
  • The ferrule of this brush is crimpled thrice, to ensure that none of the bristles fall out even during heavy use




Cons

  • Expensive and cannot be used with other mediums like acrylic and watercolor paints



Bristle Material: Kolinsky Sable | Brush Shape: Round | Handle Material: Wood | Quantity in Set: 1

Best Oil Paintbrushes Comparison Table

ProductBristle MaterialBrush ShapeHandle MaterialQuantity in Set
Art Advantage Oil Brush SetSynthetic and natural bristle brushesRound, FlatWood24
Da Vinci Maestro BrushKolinsky SableRound, FlatWood4
Princeton Catalyst Polytip Oil BrushesSynthetic BristleFlatWood1
Winsor & Newton Winton Long Handle Brush SetNatural,HogRound, FlatWood5
LorDac Arts Detail PaintbrushesSynthetic BristleRound, FlatWood7
Grumbacher Academy Oil & Acrylic BrushSynthetic BristleRound, FlatWood3
Escoda Optimo Oil PaintbrushKolinsky SableRoundWood1

Best Oil Brushes Buyers’ Guide

Buying Guide For The Best Oil Paintbrushes

Buying the perfect paintbrush is more complicated than most people realize. Professional artists and experts know what to look for in a paintbrush, but the same cannot be said for beginners and hobbyists. We have summarized some helpful information that can help you choose the best paint brushes that meets your needs.

  1. Size and Shape of Brush

There are two essential factors to consider when you purchase a paintbrush – the size and the shape.

As a general rule of thumb – go for a size 6 or smaller brush for intricate details, size 6 to size 14 for color blocking or medium-scale work, and size 14 or above for washing, backgrounds, or large-scale paintings.

Paintbrushes are available in many shapes, but if you are going to work with oil paints, you should be concerned with three – Flat for edges, lines, and color blocking, Filbert for blending, Round for patterns, curved lines, and detailed work.

  1. Cleaning and Maintaining Your Brushes

No matter which paintbrush you choose to buy, it will last as long as you do the needful for preserving its useful life. Unlike most of other art supplies, a paintbrush is very delicate and needs utmost care. Even the most expensive brushes will give in to damage unless you clean them regularly.

You should choose a brush that is easy to clean, with regular soap water or inexpensive solvents that are readily available.

  1. Parts of a Brush

You should be aware of the different parts of an oil painting brushes to gain a better understanding of what makes a brush better than the rest. There are three major components of a brush – bristles, handle, and ferrule.

Bristles can be made of sable or hog hair, natural or synthetic, hard or soft. Handles can be long or short and are usually made from plastic or wood. A longer handle is preferred by artists who prefer a lighter touch on the canvas. The ferrule is the metal band that holds the bristles on one end and attaches to the handle on the other. A durable ferrule is vital for a long-lasting paintbrush.

Oil Paint Brushes FAQ's

  • What are the different shapes of oil paintbrushes?

    Oil paint brushes come in a variety of shapes, including round, flat, filbert, fan, and angular. Each shape is suited for different types of brushstrokes and painting techniques.

  • How do I choose the right brush size for oil painting?

    When choosing the right brush size for oil painting, consider the size of your canvas and the level of detail you want to achieve. Smaller brushes are best for fine details, while larger brushes are better suited for broader strokes and larger areas of color.

  • How do I clean my oil paintbrushes?

    To clean oil paint brushes, use a solvent such as turpentine or mineral spirits. Rinse the brush in the solvent until the paint is removed, then rinse it with soap and water. Avoid using hot water or harsh cleaners, as these can damage the brush.

  • How do I store my oil paintbrushes?

    To store oil paint brushes, rinse them with solvent to remove any remaining paint, reshape the bristles, and allow them to air dry. Store them upright in a brush holder or wrapped in paper or cloth to protect the bristles.

  • How often should I replace my oil paintbrushes?

    The lifespan of oil paint brushes depends on how often they are used and how well they are cared for. As a general rule, brushes should be replaced when they start to lose their shape or become too worn to create the desired brushstrokes.

  • How do I care for natural hair oil paint brushes?

    To care for natural hair oil paint brushes, rinse them with solvent after each use, reshape the bristles, and store them upright in a brush holder. Avoid using hot water or harsh cleaners, as these can damage the brush.

  • What are synthetic oil paint brushes?

    Synthetic oil paint brushes are made from man-made materials like nylon or polyester. These brushes are often less expensive than natural hair brushes and are suitable for a variety of painting techniques.

  • Can I use the same brushes for acrylic and oil painting?

    While it’s possible to use the same brushes for acrylic and oil painting, it’s generally not recommended. Acrylic paint can be harder on brushes and can cause them to wear out more quickly. It’s best to use separate sets of brushes for each medium.

  • Best Oil Paint Brushes Final Thoughts

    Conclusion

    We hope you've found this article on the best oil paintbrushes informative and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read it! Now that you are well-versed with various oil paintbrush options, it's time to reveal our top three recommendations. Ready to take your painting endeavors to the next level?

    Out of these 7 best oil paintbrushes, here are our top three recommendations:

    1. Best for beginners: Art Advantage Oil Brush Set is an ideal option for those who are just starting with oil painting, due to its affordability and variety, as well as its compatibility with both oil and acrylic paints. However, remember it's not designed for professional artists and experts.

    2. Best for professionals: Da Vinci Maestro Brush is a good option for professional artists and experts who are looking for premium, high-quality brushes for the finest work. Made from Kolinsky Red Sable and handcrafted in Germany, these brushes offer superior control, spring and rust resistance, albeit with a higher price-tag.

    3. Best value for money: Princeton Catalyst Polytip Oil Brushes is the right choice for painters who want to experience artist-grade brushes without breaking the bank. Made with advanced synthetic fiber technology, these brushes mimic the quality of natural fiber brushes and are suitable for both acrylic and oil paint.

    As you take a moment to decide which of these top three best oil paintbrushes to invest in, we encourage you to consider not only the quality but also the value and suitability for your specific painting style and needs. Whether you are a beginner, a professional artist, or a hobbyist looking to hone your skills, rest assured that your creativity will be beautifully expressed with these fantastic oil paintbrush options. And, as you embark on your journey with oil painting, remember that progress is made by practicing your craft, enjoying the process, and never being afraid to make a few happy accidents along the way. Happy Painting!

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