Any paint job requires an adequate paintbrush but not all paintbrushes are of the right standard. For this reason, choosing the right tool for the job can often be harder than it seems. DIY stores sell a wide range of brushes with natural or synthetic blisters, all with various sizes and a bunch of different characteristics.

Unless you’re an expert, identifying the right tools for your redecoration work may be confusing.

Thankfully we’ve tested and rated the most popular paint brushes in the UK. Check our top picks below to find the best brush for all paint types.


Our #1 Best Pick

LG Harris 5 brush set

LG Harris Platinum Brush Set

Our top pick – a set of fully synthetic paintbrushes ideal for almost any paint.

Low Cost Option

10 brush economy set

Stanley 10 Piece Set

Good value for money – an affordable set of paintbrushes for the budget-savvy DIYer.

Best Of The Rest

Specialist PRO12S Decorators Set

A pack of twelve paint brushes for homeowners and professional decorators.

Coral Zero Loss Paint Brushes

A set of high-quality paint brushes that offer firm control and flawless finishes.

LG Harris Easy Clean Brushes

An outstanding selection of paint brushes for home redecoration jobs.

LG Harris 5 brush set
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Superior quality synthetic paintbrushes ideal for occasional home use.

LG Harris is a manufacturer of decorating products renowned for the diversity and the superior quality of its paintbrushes. Among them, the Platinum Brush Set stands out. This pack contains five brushes of various sizes which are also available as a three-pack.

All brushes in the set have fully synthetic bristles and a traditional wooden handle long enough to ensure an ergonomic grip. Designed to leave a smooth, fine finish with all types of paint, the set is ideal if you aim to achieve a professional look at home.

Our favourite trait is the softness and flexibility of the bristles. This makes the products ideal to use for refining touches during the final stages of the job or for the topcoat. In fact, the brushes didn’t leave marks on most paints and varnishes we tried.

One thing we noticed is a slight incompatibility with chalk paint. However, chalk paint is often tricky to apply with a brush and a roller is certainly more suitable for the job.

According to the manufacturer, the brushes lose no bristles. Our tests have shown they do lose some, but the loss is negligible. And we haven’t yet found any home use brush that doesn’t lose any bristles. As such, we wouldn’t really call this a drawback.


• The sizes of the brushes included in the pack address the needs of most homeowners. There are two 1”, two 1.5” and one 2” brushes.
• Traditional wooden handle has an ergonomic shape, making it easy to handle the product.
• Synthetic bristles are soft and easy to clean after use.
• Affordable price makes this set ideal for most homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. The brushes come in several purchase options.


• The pins that attach the handle to the bristles come out easily and the brushes are very lightweight. Heavier brushes would provide a better grip.
• Being on the thin side, the brushes don’t hold much paint. However, they do provide a good finish.

10 brush economy set
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Synthetic blend bristle paint brushes for odd jobs around the house.

Looking for the best value for your money? Stanley proposes a set of 10 paint brushes that comes at a very affordable price. Including a huge range of brush sizes, this set comes in handy for a wide range of redecoration jobs around the house.

The size of the brushes varies from ½ to 3 inches and they are compatible with most paints, varnishes and emulsions.

Easy to clean with water or white spirit, the brushes are made from synthetic blend bristles and have ergonomic plastic handles which are very comfortable to use. The quality of the bristles is average and we wouldn’t recommend using these brushes for your finishing touches. However, they are ideal for priming, undercoating or alternative uses.

Another thing we liked is the excellent price/quality ratio. Whilst priced to be disposable, the brushes clean up well in water or white spirit. As for the bristle shedding, you can reduce it by splaying the bristles and giving them a tug.


• This 10-piece paint brush set comprises two ½-inch brushes, two 1-inch brushes, three 1 ½-inch brushes, two 2-inch brushes and one 3-inch brush.
• Synthetic bristles are compatible with most paints and are ideal to give a new lease of life to woodwork and small wall areas.


• Brush marks are near impossible to avoid. This product is not ideal for those who want to use it for finishing touches.
• The metal that keeps the bristles together rusts easily.

the decorators dozen
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Mixed natural bristles and synthetic filament make for a high-quality product.

Specialist PRO12S is a set of 12 professional decorator brushes made from a blend of natural bristles and synthetic filaments. Ideal to use for a variety of varnishes and paints, the brushes are more suitable for oil-based paints due to the absorbance of the natural bristles. However, the product provides acceptable results with water-based paints too.

The brushes included in this set come in four popular sizes and are ideal to use on walls and woodwork, metal, ceramic and a range of different surfaces. In detail, the pack comprises two 1-inch brushes, five 1 ½-inch brushes, four 2-inch brushes and one 3-inch brush.

A professional look is offered by the nickel-plated ferrule and wood handle which is ergonomic and ensures an easy grip.

We also like the manufacturer. Specialist Group Ltd is a company committed to providing good quality products that satisfy the expectations of the customers. The brushes offer great performance on surfaces, leave negligible brush marks and the bristles don’t shed easily.


• Popular-sized brushes are ideal for painting and alternative uses. They are compatible with a wide range of paints.
• Easy to maintain, the brushes can be cleaned with water or white spirit – whichever is indicated for the type of paint.
• Supplied in a blister pack, the product looks professional and good quality.


• We would have expected more versatility from a 12-piece set. Instead of five brushes of the same size, we would have preferred brushes of different sizes.
• The nickel-plated ferrule is easily damaged by solvents and it may rust if not maintained properly.

coral zero loss brushes
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Deep-set fine-tipped synthetic filaments ensure a minimal loss of bristles.

Zero Loss Brushes by Coral present themselves as a set of high-quality brushes suitable for a wide range of jobs. The manufacturer states that it guarantees no loss of bristles but our tests revealed the brushes do lose filaments.

While we dislike misleading advertising, the quality of this product was still high. Despite the minimal loss, the bristles seem to stay firm in the brush and the generous filling with filaments offers a high-level of control during work. This improves the finish and makes the brushes ideal for the final touches.

Compared with other brushes on the market, these ones stand out thanks to the soft-grip handle that improves comfort during use.

The synthetic bristles can be used with water- and oil-based paints, emulsions and varnishes. And we also like how easy it is to clean and maintain the brushes after use.

Combing the brushes prior to use prevents bristle loss in the paint and saves you the hassle of picking loose bristles from your newly painted surfaces. This will make your experience a faster and easier job whilst minimising time loss.


• Finely tipped filaments limit the occurrence of brush marks on newly painted surfaces, ensuring a flawless finish.
• The advanced filaments are deep set into the metal ferrule to reduce bristle loss.
• This set of five brushes includes one ½-inch, one 1-inch, one 1 ½-inch and two 2-inch paint brushes.
• Coral provides an outstanding after-sales customer support. All issues are dealt with efficiently.


• The handles are quite short and reduce flexibility during use. However, the product is ergonomic and easy to handle.
• Despite the generous number of filaments, we still feel these brushes are rather thin. They don’t seem to hold enough paint.

LG Harris Quick Clean
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An impressive range of brushes ideal specially designed for water-based emulsion paint.

With most of the paints on the market boasting water-based formulas, we had to test the LG Harris Easy Clean brushes. Yes, we were a bit sceptical about the easy clean claim, but it turned out the brushes are easier to clean than their traditional counterparts when used with the preferred paint cleaning products.

Aside from this, the brushes impressed us with other characteristics too. They are designed specifically for water-based emulsions and are intended for interior use. The synthetic filaments provide a flawless, smooth application – ideal for cutting in and finishing touches.

Another awesome feature is the hard-plastic handle that offers durability and ergonomic benefits.

The set of five includes brushes of the most popular sizes, from ½-inch to 2 inches. And as with all LG Harris products, the brushes benefit from a lifetime guarantee.


• Liquiflo technology developed by LG Harris allows an easy washout of the brushes. The synthetic filaments dry fast.
• Easy Clean set comprises three brushes of ½ inches, 1 inch and 1.5 inches, plus two 2-inch brushes.
• These brushes provide flawless results with all water-based emulsion regardless of their finish. They also perform well with some oil-based paints.
• Clearly cut bristles ensure painting accuracy. Thanks to the optimal flexibility, the brushes leave no marks.
• Exceptional price delivers great value for the money.


• Bristles tend to come off when painting, and this is annoying.



• Paint
• Primer
• Painter’s tape
• Sanding paper
• Drop cloths


• Paint brushes
• Stepladder


Getting a professional finish at home is the ultimate goal of all homeowners who paint their interior. Regardless of the size of the project, brush strokes are plain ugly and we all want to avoid them.

The secret to a flawless finish is the brush. Not all paints have the same consistency, so matching the brush with the paint is essential.

An accurate surface preparation is also important. Before applying the paint, repair all cracks or holes and level the surface with sanding paper. Remove all dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner, then wash the surface with degreaser to remove all oily stains.

This is an important step because paint doesn’t adhere well to dirty surfaces – and this can lead amateur DIYers to keep painting the surface despite the unflattering result.

How you hold the brush also matters. Once you’ve found the right brush for your project, practice holding it until you feel comfortable. Then, apply the paint by holding the brush at an angle.

If you’re painting wood, it is essential to paint in the same direction as the wood grain. Brushing against the grain creates texture and brush strokes.

Ultimately, the type of paint also determines the outcome of the project. Matt paint is the easiest to apply without leaving ugly brush marks behind, due to the capacity of this paint to disguise minor surface imperfections including brush strokes.

What are the best brushes for gloss paint?
Gloss paint is tricky to apply with a brush. The high-sheen finish highlights all surface imperfections – including any brush strokes. That’s why most professional decorators prefer using a sprayer to apply water-based gloss paint.

However, we wouldn’t recommend applying oil-based paint with a sprayer – not only because of the mess, but also because it’s hard to clean the sprayer after painting.

To ensure smooth results, choose a brush with fine bristles that can hold sufficient paint; natural bristles are preferred over synthetic ones.

What are the best brushes for acrylic paint?
Acrylic paint is water-based and the best brushes for it are the ones with synthetic bristles. This because natural bristles absorb the water, thickening the product and hardening the application.

Both straight or angled brushes are fit for the purpose, although we recommend the angled ones for cutting in and finishing touches. The thickness of the bristles is also important.

Matt paints are the easiest to apply with any type of brush but eggshell, silk and gloss paints benefit more from the use of a brush with fine bristles.

A special word about chalk paint – this popular product is water-based, but the finish provided by a regular brush is often unflattering.

To achieve a flawless look, use a round brush made from a blend of natural and synthetic filaments. Use a generous quantity of paint and apply it with a firm motion, working in small sections at a time.

How to clean paint brushes after use
Cleaning your brushes after use is easy as long as you use the right paint remover. Water-based paint is the easiest to clean with soapy water.

Make a solution from neutral detergent and lukewarm water. Soak the brush in it and stir to remove paint. Rinse the brush with running water until the water comes out clean. Remove excess water, then wrap the brush in newspaper and store it.

If you used oil-based paint, you’ll have to use an adequate solvent. White spirit is the most popular, but there are other paint cleaners to consider.

Pour a generous quantity of solvent in a jar, soak the brush in it and stir to remove paint from the bristles. Move the brush to a new jar filled with clean solvent (don’t dispose of the solvent in the first jar) and repeat the procedure.

When all paint is removed, rinse the brush in soapy water, then in running water, before slightly drying and wrapping the brush in newspaper for storage.