Using the wrong kind of brushes with acrylic paints can only lead to disappointment. Old or poor quality brushes can become splayed, leading to rough lines and unwanted markings.


Unless you’re painting in a rustic style, this is unlikely to give you the results that you’re looking for.

Choosing the right acrylic brushes makes the painting process much more satisfying and you’ll be able to create artwork with a more professional finish!

How to care for your acrylic paint brushes

Taking care of your acrylic paint brushes will help them to last longer. Never leave them sitting in a jar of water when not in use as this will make the bristles bend.

Clean your brushes with soap and water to keep them in peak condition. If you’re using brushes made from animal hairs such as hog bristle, these can be cleaned using shampoo instead.

What to look for in your acrylic paint brushes

When you’re looking for brushes, it’s best to select ones specifically designed for acrylics or mixed media. Don’t use watercolour brushes for acrylic paints, as you’re likely to damage them.

Finally, we’d recommend choosing brushes made by a reputable brand such as Pro Arte, WInsor & Newton and Daler Rowney if you can. These are great quality brushes and will last for a long time if you look after them.

It’s also worth trying own-brand brushes from art shops like Cass Art and Jackson’s Art, which are also made to suit the needs of artists.

10 best brushes for acrylic paint

1. Daler Rowney Simply acrylic brush set

Daler Rowney Simply Taklon brushes

This acrylic paint brush set from Daler Rowney is an excellent starting point for beginners.

The set comes with a selection of brushes in different shapes and sizes, including larger brushes you can use to block in large areas of your canvas. The smaller brushes are perfect for detailed work.

The brushes are made from a synthetic hair called gold Taklon, which can be used with most paint mediums.

You can store your brushes in the handy zip case, which will protect the bristles if you need to take your art materials out and about with you.

2. Pro Arte Polar acrylic brushes

Pro Arte Polar paint brushes

If you’re a mixed media artist and don’t want to buy lots of different brushes, it’s best to select a brush with synthetic bristles.

This paint brush set from Pro Arte is designed to be used with a variety of mediums including watercolours, acrylics and gouache.

You’ll find these brushes work well with your acrylic paints and are made to a good standard.

However, the brush styles are quite limited and there are only five brushes in the set.You may find that you wish to buy additional brushes separately to complete the set.

3. Seawhite Baker’s brush set

Seawhite Baker's brush set

Every artist should have a few large brushes to hand. They’re useful for priming your canvases and filling in large areas of colour quickly.

This set from Seawhite includes three large brushes in different sizes, so it’s easy to pick the best one for your latest art project.

4. Pro Arte hog brushes set C

Pro Arte hog's brush set

Most artists have a favourite type or make of paint brush, so it’s a good idea to try different brands until you find the one you like best.

If you’ve previously used synthetic brushes, you should try hog brushes and see which you prefer.

Hog bristles work really well when you’re using thicker mediums like acrylics or oils and you’ll be able to apply the paint smoothly.

Be aware that hog brushes are made using real animal hair, so this product isn’t suitable for vegans.

5. SAA acrylic brushes

SAA acrylic brushes

Looking for a premium set of acrylic brushes to take your art to the next level? These brushes are SAA’s own brand and are made from a mix of synthetic fibres.

The bristles are slightly springy and hold the paint well, but are softer than bristle brushes. The brushes are high quality, so they should last a long time if you look after them.

The set of 10 brushes includes a variety of shapes, so you shouldn’t need to shell out for extra brushes.

They’re perfect for acrylics and would work well with oils too.

6. Mont Marte acrylic paint brushes

Mont Marte acrylic paint brushes

Mont Marte is a well-known manufacturer of art supplies and this is a great quality set of brushes for a beginner or intermediate artist.

The set contains a selection of brushes in different shapes with a mixture of synthetic and natural bristles. There are 15 brushes to choose from and the set comes with a protective case.

The brushes are suitable for all mediums, so this would be a good choice for mixed media artists.

7. Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint brushes

Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint brushes

This acrylic paint brush set from Daler Rowney is an upgrade from the brand’s more basic Simply range.

The brushes provide a great level of control and accuracy, with a short ergonomic handle for comfort. The synthetic bristles are durable and flexible.

There are a good selection of different brush shapes in this set, including a short flat brush, filbert brush and an angle shader.

As an added bonus, this set comes with a sturdy case to keep your brushes safe.

8. MEEDEN acrylic brushes set

Meeden essential acrylic brush set

Brush up your artwork with this starter set from MEEDEN. This set of 12 brushes would suit a beginner or an art student.

The brushes are made to a decent standard with synthetic brushes in different styles, allowing you to experiment with different effects and techniques in your art.

The bristles won’t shed and leave hairs in your paint, unlike cheaper brands.

The handle is made from smooth wood, making them comfortable to use during long painting sessions.

Get to know your medium

If you’re new to acrylic painting, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with your materials and all the techniques you need to know.

Get started with Gathered’s acrylic painting guide.

9. Cass Art grey synthetic brushes for acrylic

Cass Art acrylic brushes

We love the look of these beautiful brushes from Cass Art. Just look at those sleek wooden handles and synthetic bristles! If you want to treat yourself, this would be a fabulous set to invest in.

Like most of Cass Art’s own-brand products, they provide superb value for money. The brushes come in varied shapes and can cope with both regular and heavy-bodied acrylic paints.

This set would make a fantastic gift for the artist in your life – and we’re tempted to get some for ourselves!

10. MEEDEN oil paint brush set

Meeden oil painting brush set

Don’t be fooled by the name! These brushes are perfect for acrylic paints as well as oils.

These brushes have durable bristles made from horse hair, which won’t lose their shape over time. The paintbrushes hold the paint well and are fairly flexible too.

The wooden handles are made from high quality rosewood and coated with wood wax for a smooth finish. They’re super comfortable to hold and should last you a long time.

The bristles are firmly attached with an anti-rust ferrule, so you shouldn’t get any stray bristles in your paint.

Avoid disappointment by choosing the best acrylic paint brushes for your art

It’s always worth taking the time to choose the right paint brushes for the job. Using an old or inadequate paint brush can make it much more difficult to create the effects you’re trying to achieve.

Good quality acrylic paint brushes will allow you to create smooth lines, even layers of paint and precise details.

Where possible, you should look for recognisable art brands when choosing your brushes. Art shops often make their own brushes, which can provide excellent value for money.

Develop your artistic style with fresh acrylic painting techniques

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced artist, experimenting with new methods can help you to improve your art.


Explore exciting acrylic painting techniques with Gathered’s handy guide!


Sarah OrmeDigital Editor, Gathered

Sarah Orme is a UK-based linocut printmaker, digital editor, feature writer and award-winning podcaster. She's been editing the sewing and art sections of – and before that our sister website – for over 3 years. She’s the host of Gathered’s We’ve Made It podcast and A Calmer Life podcast. She’s a keen crafter and artist and loves creating DIY tutorials for Gathered. Sarah has previously written features for The Guardian, In The Moment Magazine, Project Calm Magazine,, and She enjoys designing her own unique lino prints and dreams of opening her own online shop. She shares her work @sarahormeprints

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating