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Best Basic Brushes for Acrylic Painting

best basic brushes for acrylic painting

Choosing the right paintbrush for your acrylic project is just as important as choosing the right paint. There are so many different types of brushes that it’s not always easy going with the correct one. Each paintbrush is specifically designed to give you that precise detail and it can sometimes be what makes or breaks your project.

From basic paintbrushes to professional ones, I’ve compiled my favorite and top ranked paintbrushes for painting with acrylics.

Onson Basic Acrylic Paintbrush Set

This acrylic paintbrush set by Onson is one of the best basic universal sets on the market. It’s very diverse and works with many types of paint such as acrylic, watercolors, and even gouache. It’s also kid friendly and super durable. This product can be found on amazon. To check its current price and availability click here.

These handmade brushes have a no split 360 rotation, which means no paint flaking or loose hairs. They’re made from the finest material to guarantee only the best outcome for your work. This set includes 15 paint brushes, ranging from liner, to flat, filbert, angular, round, fan and comb.

Every brush’s comfortable handle will let you make the best of your painting style, skills, and speed. It also comes with a high quality nylon portable carrying case, a bonus mixing knife and a sponge!

What I love about this set is that it can be used for multiple types of paint such as acrylics, gouaches, oil paints and even watercolors. They wash super quickly too, so the cleanup is as easy as putting them in the sink and rinsing with water. Not all brushes can do the job of a 360 rotation without messing up your work.

These brushes don’t leave loose hairs or flake paint off your brush while you’re painting so you can create your masterpiece worry free. Another bonus with this set is the pop up carrying case that includes a watercolor brush pen.

Not many sets will have a pop case that lets your brushes stand up, let alone a bonus brush pen. I always recommend a carry case because it makes it that much easier to travel with your paints, as well as protect them.

User Reviews

Many buyers claim the bristles are super soft and of the highest quality, as well as super easy to clean. They love the protective carrying case and how this set includes every shape of brush you need. Some buyers claimed that these fine paintbrushes give you nice controlled strokes for beginners.

Artify 38 Piece Paintbrush Art Set

This paintbrush set by Artify is beyond amazing. To start off, the carrying itself is a canvas wrap, so you can simply fold it out and you’re ready to start painting. To view this paint set and for pricing click here.

It’s a pretty unique way of storing your paintbrushes and very convenient for traveling. Its ergonomic design is great for students who travel, or even hobbyist that travel regularly.

On top of being stylish, convenient and lightweight, it provides awesome protection for your brushes. This set’s brushes are very versatile in that they include many different brush shapes to give you everything you need for your project. Whether you’re doing large strokes or very fine detail, Artify’s paintbrush set has a brush for every precision you need.

What I love about this set is that the brushes are natural and synthetic hairs, yet they include three different types of brushes including, Hog, Pony and traditional Nylon.

The natural hairs are super durable, resistant to fraying, and can withstand the heaviest washes, meaning they keep their shape and form so you can paint those perfect lines no matter how long you’ve had them.

The cool thing about these brushes is that the handles are paint covered handles. Each individual brush is coated with lacquer which helps you keep a firm grip as you’re painting. It’s also designed with an oil plant coating so they can shimmer and remain bright for years. This set will also throw in two bonus large nylon round and flat brushes!

If you want a diverse collection of long lasting brushes then I recommend this paintbrush set. I like that it offers Hog, Pony and Nylon brushes to meet every style you have, and detail.

User Reviews

Buyers say this set contains gorgeous brushes that performed like much more expensive ones. They held paint well whether it was straight out of the tube or thinned out on the palette. A lot of reviews say that they rinsed easily and did not lose a single hair.

This set got great reviews on the roll up case as well, due it protecting the brushes, preventing them from being bent out of shape and not taking up much room.

Many customers who purchased this set commented on how high the quality of the brushes are, and that they can be used for acrylics, oil paints, watercolors and more.

VisuartPro Acrylic Paint Brush Set

This awesome paintbrush set by VisuartPro is one of my go to’s for my acrylic projects. On top of the 15 different type of brushes, it also comes with premium acrylic paints. To view the pricing for this set click here. I received this set as a gift a few months ago and I love the quality of the brushes.

It includes 15 brushes, a mixing knife, a sponge and 24 premium acrylic paint tubes. It’s the perfect set for beginners, kids, adults, and even artists. These professional artist brushes are high quality non-shed nylon that give you that precision for your work.

The bristles are double clamped with extra string ferrules. The shapes include Filbert, Round, Fan, Rake, Angular, Glaze, Flat and Comb. They are all protected in the zippered case it comes in, so you won’t have to worry about damaging your brushes.

Apart from the brushes, it’s super cool that this set comes with 24 premium acrylic paints. As I mentioned I have this paint set, and not only are the brushes amazing and are very easy to clean, but the paint is actually high quality and makes my paintings extra vibrant in color. The paint for this set is non toxic, and richly pigmented to get that maximum color and clarity.

These paints are great on canvas, wood, glass, fabric, plastic, craft foam, ceramic, terracotta and so much more! I love that these paintbrushes are very easy to clean. Once I’m done with my painting I will rinse them out with water and quickly dry them before putting them back in the case.

I would definitely recommend this set, whether you’re a student, professional or even if it’s just a hobby, you need to have this set in your collection.

User Reviews

As an owner of this set, I can say for myself how amazing this set is. It’s durable and the brushes are of the highest nylon quality. I definitely have my favorite brushes from this set. This set got very high reviews due to its high quality brushes and premium paint set.

Many customers report the brushes as being durable, easy to clean, great precision, comfortable to use, no loose hairs, and overall artist grade brushes.

Many beginners as well as professionals have used this set and have nothing but great things to say about it. It’s definitely one of the best.

Mont Marte Premium Paint Brush Set

This set is unique because they have a diverse number of brushes, 15 to be exact! It comes with a liner brush #3/0, round brush #1, round brush #3, round brush #6, filbert brush #2, filbert brush #4, filbert brush #9, filbert brush #8, flat brush #6, flat brush #8, flat brush#10, angled brush #10, wash brush #11, fan brush #4, and a wide brush 5/4. Click here to view pricing and more info on Amazon.

The premium quality brushes comes with a magnetic closure roll that keeps your brushes protected, and makes transporting them easy and convenient. This set works great with acrylic paint, watercolor, oil, gouache and tempera painting.

These brushes are made from hog bristle and taklon of the highest quality. Not all sets come with a wide flat brush, and I think it’s important for every artists to have that in their set.

I definitely recommend this set, especially if you prefer hog bristle paintbrushes.

User Reviews

Mostly everyone who purchased this set was beyond happy with it. Customers stated they love how sturdy the brush is, and how easy to clean it is.

Artegria Detail Paint Brush Set

This set is specifically designed for detail painting or miniatures. It comes with 17 fine tip brushes that range in size from 4/0 all the way to 4. Click here to view the pricing and availability from Amazon.

This set includes a Dagger Stripper of 1/4″, and is highly praised by the pros for creating extra fine long lines and special effects. This special handle ensures better control and produces less hand fatigue than a standard round handle.

I love the solid cylinder container it comes in, the travel bag and little guide you get. It also comes with a super useful Bonus E-book with tips and tricks for all your painting needs.

Alot of artists use this set when they’re painting figurines such as Warhammer 40k, Dungeons & Dragons, Gundam, Star Wars, etc. It’s perfect for scale models (1/35 scale, cars, trains, airplanes), dolls, stones, ceramics; nail art, face- and bodypainting (kids’ birthdays, party makeup), brush lettering, illustrations, paint by numbers, etc.

As you can see, because these brushes are for detail, there’s an endless amount of things they can be used for. I think every artists needs this set in their collection.

Here are some specs and brush sizes that come with the set:

Liner: 4/0, 3/0, 2/0, 0, 1
Round: 4/0, 3/0, 2/0, 0, 1, 2, 4
Flat: 0, 1
Spot: 0, 1
Dagger Striper: 1/4”
Velvet Travel Bag
Mini Guide

Hair: nylon (no shedding, no splitting)
Ferrule: copper (prevents corrosion), double crimp
Handle: light-weight varnish coated wood
Use: acrylic, watercolor, oil, gouache

How Long Can I Expect Acrylic Paintbrushes to Last?

Acrylic paintbrushes can last years if properly taken care of. I’ve had one of my sets for over 4 years and all the brushes are still in good condition. I make sure to rinse them after every use.

To get the most out of your brushes, always rinse them thoroughly with water and clean the entire brush to prevent paint from drying. Here are some common mistakes that will ruin your paintbrushes:

1. Letting Paint Dry on the Brush And/Or Ferrule

It’s always easier to clean paint off the brush when it’s still wet. Once it’s dried, it becomes almost impossible to completely remove paint from the bristles. To prevent paint from drying on the brush, keep your paintbrush moist during your sessions, and make sure to clean it as soon as you are done.

Paint left on the brush will make hairs stiffer and the bristles will lose their shape.When using acrylic paint keep the bristles moist with water, but don’t leave brushes soaking in water for a long time.

Oil paint is slower to dry, so there is no urgency to keep the brushes moist during the painting session, but you need to clean them properly when you are done. If oil paint dries on the brush, try soaking the bristles in a good degreaser for a few minutes, and then rub them gently until the paint is out. You can add a bit of soap to make it easier.

2. Leaving Brushes Soaking for a Long Time

The brush is made of different parts, kept together by glue and pressure. You don’t want to let the paint dry on your brush as I mentioned above, but leaving a brush soaking in water for a long time can damage to it as well.

The damages of soaking your paintbrushes include, too much moisture and the weight of the whole brush resting on the bristles cause bristles to bend and deform, liquid penetrates under the ferrule, soaks the unvarnished part of the handle, and soften the glue, possibly causing the ferrule to detach from the handle.

In the future, the glue that holds the bristles and the brush together can also dissolve, causing the ferrule to come off, or hair starts shedding while you paint and we all know how frustrating it can be to remove hairs off your painting.

Furthermore, fluid penetrates under the handle varnish, making it flaky. When a brush loses the varnish, the texture of the handle is different, but also pieces of varnish may peel and fall in the paint and get on your painting.

3. Not Cleaning the Bristles Properly

Whether you use oil paint or a water-based paint, not cleaning the bristles thoroughly can shorten the life of the brush. First, take the excess paint off with a cloth rag or paper, then clean and wash the hairs until no trace of paint is left.

Remember to clean the base of the bristles too, rubbing them between your fingers with soapy water. A buildup of old paint at the base of the brush “shortens” the hairs, making them thicker and less flexible.

4. Storing a Wet Brush Upright or Down

After you wash your brushes carefully and rinse them well, they need to dry. The best position to dry is lying flat, in a dry environment and away from heat. I notice a lot people store their brushes in a jar or holder and that great, but only after they are completely dry.

If your paintbrush is still wet, and you keep it standing upright, the water captured in the bristles will run down under the ferrule and create problems, like loosen the grip of the ferrule on the handle, and on the hair of the brush. Once you have cleaned and dried your brushes make sure you store them in a way that does not put any pressure on the bristles.

Hairs are flexible and a prolonged pressure keeping them bent or spread out will irreparably ruin the shape of your bristles. So never, ever store your brushes standing on their hairs or upright before they dry, always on their handles. I have the roll up canvas wrap mentioned above to store my oil paint brushes. For my acrylic brushes, I keep them in the carry bag in the set above, because it works great for storing them, and when I’m on the go.

What Is the Purpose of the Knife in the Paintbrush Kits?

You many notice some paintbrush kits come with a bonus painting or palette knife. But what is it really for? Well, if you’ve ever spread frosting on a cake, you have an idea of the textural possibilities when using a painting knife to create your painting. Mixing the paint with a palette knife can give you a cool mixture that some brushes can’t do.

A palette knife is more for mixing your paints on the palette, as to a painting knife if to actually slide the knife on your canvas or project to give it a particular design or texture that a brush won’t.

Painting with a painting knife is fast-paced, exciting and fun, producing finished pieces that evince textural qualities and expressive gesture. What’s more, after creating a few of these pieces, you’ll find that frosting a cake will be a snap!

What Are the Most Common Paintbrush Styles?

There are 8 main types of artist paint brushes that are used with acrylics. To help you familiarize yourself and choose your style, here are some of the most common paintbrushes:

basic acrylic paintbrushes

Round or Pointed tip brushes are good for sketching, outlining, detailed work, controlled washes, filling in small areas. It creates thin to thick lines – thin at the tip, becoming wider the more its pressed down. You can use them with thinned paint rather than thick paint. 

Pointed Round brushes are narrower than the round paintbrush. It has a sharply pointed tip, and are good for fine details and lines, delicate areas, spotting and retouching. 

Flat brushes are square end, with medium to long hairs. They are great for bold strokes, washes, filling wide spaces, impasto. can use edge for fine lines, straight edges and stripes. Long haired flat brushes are ideal for varnishing.

Bright brushes are flat with edges curved inward at tip, with shortish hairs. They’re good for short controlled strokes. They’re thick and heavy in color, so it’s better for working up close rather than holding the brush at a distance from the canvas.

Filbert brushes are flat and oval-shaped end with medium to long hairs. They’re mostly used for blending, soft rounded edges like flower petals. This brush is sort of a combo of the round brushes since they can be used for detail and flat.

Fan brushes are flat and spread hairs. Their natural hairs are good for smoothing, blending, and feathering. Synthetic hairs are better for textural effects, clouds, and leaves on trees. For acrylics, use strong and sturdy ones, otherwise the hairs will clump when paint is added.                      

Angular flat brushes are flat with angled hairs at end. They’re great for curved strokes and filling corners. They can reach small areas with tip. also can be used to cover lots of space, similar to flat brushes.

Detail Round brushes are round, the hairs are shorter in length, and shorter handle as well. It details the short strokes and holds more color than you might think!

Final Thoughts

As an owner of the Onson and VisuartPRO paint set, I can say they are my top picks for acrylic paintbrushes. Out of all my brushes, my top favorites are within these two sets. I recommend all of these paint sets whether you are a beginner, paint as a hobby or an artist. You will not be disappointed in the fine quality of all these paintbrushes. I know I love them, and make my paintings awesome!

Acrylic Art World

Annick's passion has been painting with acrylics since her youth. She has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects, from simple acrylic painting to advanced techniques like acrylic pouring.

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