best paint brushes uk

9 Best Paint Brushes UK (2021 Buying Guide & Reviews)

Last Updated on 27 April 2021

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Paint brushes aren’t a particularly sexy addition to your tool bag, but they’re essential for any decorating job. However, with thousands of different products on the market – mostly sold in multipacks containing a variety of head sizes – choosing the right paint brushes for your home or business can be daunting.

To cut through the noise, we’ve tested nine of the best brush sets currently on sale. Two manufacturers fought for top billing, but our recommendation for the best paint brushes in the UK is Silverline’s 282408 set of synthetic paint brushes. Combining traditional design with modern manufacturing precision, they should meet everyone’s requirements, whether you’re hanging them on hooks or dipping them in a variety of gloss, matt, wood stain or lacquer.

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick for 2021:

Silverline 282408 Synthetic Paint Brushes 5 Piece Set
  • Synthetic, solid round, tapered filaments
  • Wooden handle with stainless steel ferrule
  • Use with emulsion, water or oil-based coatings, varnish, woodstain & lacquer
  • Traditional beaver tail handle with hanging hole for simple storage

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Game, Set and Match

Paint brushes sell in matching multi-packs, and our chosen candidates range in number from four to six. 

To begin with, look out for the variation in head sizes. Half-inch brushes are ideal for edging, such as around sockets or the slim front sections of window sills. Five of our candidates include half-inch brushes, while one uniquely offers a three-quarter-inch brush.

Every manufacturer includes one and two-inch brushes in their multipacks, but only a couple go larger. And while you’d probably want to use a roller on large, flat surfaces (as discussed in our recent guide to the UK’s best emulsion paint rollers), three-inch or four-inch brushes can cut down on time it takes to paint window sills and deep skirting boards. They also reduce the risk of overlapping brush strokes being visible once everything’s dried.


Painting a Picture

Of course, even the best paint brush is only as good as the paint it’s applying. Our comprehensive guide to different types of paint currently on the UK market covers everything from palettes and pigments to acrylic and anti-mould paints. Our shortlisted brushes should be suitable for any kind of paint, and we’ve focused on products that are – or claim to be – immune to bristle loss.

Depending on the type of painting you’re undertaking, the cost could be a factor. None of our brush sets are expensive, but you’ll have to factor their cost into the price of any job. We recently published a guide to calculating the cost of painting jobs, which is worth reading.


Material World

Another factor affecting the cost of paint brushes is the materials used in their manufacture. Our chosen products include metal ferrules, which hold both the handle and the bristles firmly in place. Stainless steel is a more expensive choice, but it’ll withstand repeated immersion in water and white spirit more effectively than non-stainless surfaces. Three of our products have wooden handles, while another two have rubberised handles.

The composition of bristle material is unimportant compared to how densely individual strands pack together, so read product reviews to ensure your chosen set of brushes isn’t likely to shed hairs. Picking a bristle out of freshly applied paint inevitably ruins the smooth finish you’ve just applied. That means repainting that section while hoping history doesn’t repeat itself. However, just because a manufacturer guarantees no bristle loss doesn’t mean their products will deliver. Given the low cost of paint brushes, few consumers will ever return them for a refund.

Pro Tip: Although something is pleasing about wooden handles, they can make some people’s hands feel sweaty during ongoing use. The same is true of smooth, shiny plastic handles. If you suffer from this phenomenon, textured or soft-grip brushes tend to provide more comfort for protracted painting jobs.


Best Paint Brushes UK – The Top 9 in 2021

These are our favourite paint brushes on the UK market, starting with a worthy test winner:

1. Silverline 282408

Silverline 282408 Synthetic Paint Brushes 5 Piece Set
  • Synthetic, solid round, tapered filaments
  • Wooden handle with stainless steel ferrule
  • Use with emulsion, water or oil-based coatings, varnish, woodstain & lacquer
  • Traditional beaver tail handle with hanging hole for simple storage

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There’s something pleasingly traditional about Silverline’s five-brush set. Perhaps it’s the wooden beavertail handles with their rounded eyelets, or maybe it’s the blue bristles that taper off to white at the tips. Either way, these are undoubtedly appealing products to pick up, hold and use.

Also available as a three-piece, the 282408 set includes the only ¾-inch brush on our list, alongside 1, 1.5, 2 and 3-inch brushes. That makes this set uniquely versatile, beaten only by the larger six-piece Gaosaili. The presence of stainless steel ferrules is also welcome, adding extra durability.

ProsCons
Well-made from premium materialsHard to find fault
Competitively priced 

2. Nicholas Jack NJ001/5

Paint Brush Set with No Bristle Loss Pack of Paint Brushes for DIY Wood Gloss Wall Furniture Indoor & Outdoor Painting - Free Decorating Guide (Set of 5 Paint Brushes)
  • Paint Brushes Decorating Set - Quality paint brush set ensures you get the perfect finish. All purpose DIY painting brushes for all types of paint, means no job is too big or small.
  • No Bristle Loss - The paint brushes have synthetic bristles which are sealed in place to cut out bristle loss. This means while painting you get the perfect finish and are not removing bristles from your freshly painted surface.
  • Pack of 5 Decorating Paint Brush Set - Brushes for all jobs including detail finishing - Sizes included 1 x 0.5 Inch / 12mm, 1 x 1 Inch / 25 mm, 2 x 1.5 Inch / 38mm and 1 x 2" / 50mm
  • Superior Quality Paint Brush Set - Easy grip dual moulded handle is easy to hold and allows for a better finish. Anti rust metal ferrule secures bristles in place. Perfect bristle fill to ensure even smooth paint finish.
  • Nicholas Jack - Providing you with quality decorating products and tools which are backed by heritage and tradition.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also available as a three-pack, this five-pack of Nicholas Jack paint brushes includes four heads ranging from 0.5 to 2 inches. Unusually, it comes with a pair of 1.5-inch brushes, rather than the typical pair of 2-inch brushes. This British brand focuses solely on brushes and tin openers.

With handles resembling a monochrome version of the Coral brushes elsewhere on our shortlist, Nicholas Jack’s products include an easy-grip rubber handle with contrasting eyelets. Anti-rust ferrules and no-loss bristles are guaranteed, plus these products enjoy a good reputation with professional decorators.

ProsCons
Well-made British brushesFew drawbacks at this price
Comfortable textured handle 

3. Emitever Ff4 5 Piece Paint Brushes Set

Sale
Emitever Paint Brushes Set-5 Piece, Wood Handle, Premium Wall Brush Set, House Paint Brush, Trim Paint Brush, Sash Paint Brush for Cabinet, Sash, Home Improvement Trim Edging
  • 【Professional paint brush set】The wall brush set includes 2.5" Angle sash paintbrush, 2" flat brush, 2" Angle sash paintbrush, 1.5" Angle sash paintbrush, 1" flat brush. The Angle sash paintbrush is perfect for cutting in walls and Flat Sash Paint Brushes are perfect for trim. Compared with other brushes, our 5-piece suit takes into account the needs of different consumers and different scenes. One suit can meet your needs.
  • 【High-quality brush】It is made of a mixture of sharpened wire and PET. The high-quality synthetic hybrid brush can hold more paint and gives brushes up to 30% more paint holding capacity. . The high-quality synthetic wall brushes provide a smooth surface, uniform release, finer and more precise, to save you time and provide smooth touches and finishes to your painting needs.
  • 【Comfortable handle】The solid wood handle is specially designed for comfort and control. It is easy to hold, increase friction and prevent the handle from slipping. At the same time, our paint brush is equipped with a rope, which is easy to carry when working at heights and achieve the best quality control.
  • 【A variety of scenes】Excellent paint brushes, which can be used for various purposes, can enable professional painters or novices to obtain excellent effects on painting walls, decorations, cabinets, doors, fences, decks, retouching and handicrafts.
  • 【Durable and easy to clean】It is easy to clean after use, making it easy to reuse multiple times. How to clean: 1, remove wet paint from the brush 2, clean the brush with solvent 3, rinse the brush with water 4, dry and store the brush.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You wouldn’t instantly know it, but Emitever’s five-piece paint brush set comes with pleasingly traditional poplar wood handles. 

The smallest brush is one inch, which might be a problem for detailing. One of its two-inch brushes is flat, while the other has an angle for corners and recesses.

Emitever claims their synthetic hybrid bristles (made from a blend of PET and sharpened wire) can hold up to 30% more paint than other products. As well as eyelets, each brush comes with a rope, which is unique on this shortlist.

ProsCons
Five different styles of brushNo 0.5-inch brush
Tactile wooden handlesRelatively expensive

4. Harris 101021005 Woodwork Gloss Essentials 5 Pack

Sale
Harris 101021005 Woodwork Gloss Essentials 5 Pack, 1 x 0.5, 1 x 1, 1 x 1.5, 2 x 2 Paint Brushes
  • The Essentials gloss paint brush set contains all the paint brushes you need for painting interior woodwork such as skirting boards and doors, in one handy set
  • The soft synthetic filament brush gives a good everyday finish when painting with gloss paints.
  • The comfortable handles are easy to grip, ideal for those long decorating sessions.
  • The different paint brush sizes means you can choose the right paint brush for the area you are painting.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Harris is one of the leading names in paint brush manufacturing, and we’ve chosen their Woodwork Gloss Essentials as our pick of the crop. 

Five brushes range from 0.5 to 2 inches, with two of the latter included in a pack that lacks eyelets but does offer soft filaments for glossing.

The lightweight plastic handles are reasonably comfortable to hold for long periods, and the black bristles should show up pale paints better than the yellow bristles on some of the other products on our shortlist. There’s no guarantee against bristle loss, but the stainless steel ferrules give us confidence that these brushes will last. 

ProsCons
Stainless steel ferrulesNo eyelets
Soft bristlesOnly four sizes of brush

5. Gaosaili 5939 6pcs Paint Brush Set

Gaosaili 6pcs Paint Brush Set, Decorating Brushes for Furniture, Wall Painting, with PP Handles and No Loss of Bristle Suitable for All Paints
  • HIGH QUALITY - The bristles are made of PET and PPT materials, which are tough and dense in design, and can apply paint smoothly and evenly, making the paint thickness consistent and easy to use.
  • ANYONE CAN USE - The handle is made of PP material, durable, feels comfortable and non-slip. It could reduce hand fatigue for a long time of use. There is a hole in the handle, convenient to hang on the hook.
  • VALUE PACK: 1 X 6pcs/Set Paint Brushes; Size: 1inch, 1.5inch, 2inch, 2.5inch, 3inch, 4inch.
  • ALL-PURPOSED BRUSHES SET: Great utility brushes for using all paints, stains, varnish, acrylic, and gesso. Get professional results on walls, trims, cabinets, doors, fences, decks, touch-ups, and arts and crafts. Our brushes are designed to hold more paint to save you time and give you the finish you are looking for. Filaments are durable and long-lasting and an all-around great for a house paint brush, a trim paint brush, and paint brushes set with wooden handle.
  • OUR QUALITY GUARANTEE: If for any reason you are not delighted with your purchase, simply contact us and you will promptly be given a full refund, NO questions asked.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The only one of our shortlisted paint brush sets to come in six pieces. The Chinese-made Gaosaili set also includes brushes up to four inches. That’s ideal for glossing deep skirting boards or window sills. Other brushes range from one to three inches, with a unique diversity of coverage.

There’s nothing beautiful about these black-and-steel brushes, though they do contain eyelets. Bristles are made from a blend of PET and PPT, while durable and non-slip handles support ongoing use.

ProsCons
Generous choice of sizesUnderwhelming to look at and use
Great for large-surface jobsQuestion marks over the quality

6. Coral 31417 Zero

Coral 31417 Zero Paint Brushes with No Loss of Bristle Paintbrush Heads 5 Piece Pack Set, Yellow, Set of 5
  • Do you want a brush set with no loss of bristles Guaranteed? Do you like an easily controlled smooth finish? Prefer a comfortable handle?
  • Bristles stay firmly in the brush. You’ll avoid the pain of picking loose bristles from fresh paint. You’ll finish faster so you can sit back and enjoy your newly decorated room.
  • Generously filled with advanced filaments, these brush heads offer firm control and a finish that will impress. You'll also benefit from the comfort of the duel material handle.
  • As you pick up these brushes you'll feel the comfortable soft grip handle. Before first use, you'll Comb the brush.
  • You'll feel more control from the firm brush head. Why risk wasting your time repeatedly recovering lose bristles when you have better ways to enjoy your free time?

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While aesthetics are secondary to practicality, Coral’s entry into our shortlist of the best paint brushes in the UK certainly looks the part. Grippy rubberised handles are punctuated with eyelets, while yellow bristles are deeply embedded into steel ferrules.

With two 2-inch brushes, there are only four different sizes on offer. However, Coral does guarantee no bristle loss, while fine-tipped filaments help to reduce splashes. This British brand’s products will appeal to many, and the inclusion of a 0.5-inch brush is handy for edging.

ProsCons
Look the partOnly four sizes
Guaranteed not to lose bristlesMild steel ferrules may rust

7. Mokani FB-5Black

Sale
Mokani 5PCS Paint Brushes for Wall & Ceilings with Nice Bristle Paintbrush Heads, Stain Brushes for Woodwork, Fence, Sash, Professional House Brush Set for Architects
  • 5 sets small flat paint brushes: 2 in, 2 in, 1.5 in, 1 in, 0.5 in.
  • Quality smooth plastic handle: Lightweight and Easy to Hold.
  • Premium synthetic filaments are tighten by a reinforced metal brace. Durable and No Loss of Bristles.
  • The soft filaments are designed to hold more paint in order to save your time and effort and give your work a good finish.
  • Profession results on wall, ceilings, trim, arts, crafts, fences decks, doors, cabinets.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mokani promotes their products as being durable, with heat treatment applied to the heads. Steel ferrules are anti-rust and anti-corrosion, holding filaments in place with a metal brace. However, there have been reports of bristle loss, which is perhaps unsurprising given their relatively low cost.

Ranging from 0.5 to 2 inches in size (with a pair of the latter supplied as standard), Mokani paint brushes have a beavertail plastic handle with an eyelet. The manufacturer claims their filaments are soft to hold more paint, while lightweight construction makes them easy to use for long periods.

ProsCons
Lightweight and sturdyIt may not last very long
Well-pricedOnly four sizes on offer

8. Hamilton 23140-005 Prestige Pure Synthetic

HAMILTON 23140-005 Prestige Pure Synthetic 5 Paint Brush Set, Set of 5 Pieces
  • Contains 1x 1", 2x 1.5" and 2x 2" paint brushes
  • Use with emulsion paints
  • High quality tipped synthetic filaments offer a great finish
  • Good for painting walls and ceilings
  • High quality synthetic filaments for great paint pick-up and spreading rate

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It’s a cliché to say you get what you pay for, but Hamilton’s relatively expensive contribution to our shortlist does have an air of quality to it. While other products are stuck together with cardboard or wrapped in clingfilm, this attractive set comes in a dedicated box.

Sizes are disappointing (ranging from one to two inches), but the only other drawback to this set of brushes is its high price. 

Beavertail handles are comfortable to hold with eyelets installed, ferrules are rust-resistant stainless steel, and the product quality reflects Hamilton’s 200-year history.

ProsCons
Feel like quality productsQuite expensive
Reputation for durabilityLimited sizes

9. Bizwizz 5pc Professional

Sale
Bizwizz 5pc Professional Paint Brushes with Strong of Bristle Paintbrush Heads 5 Piece Pack Set, Best Paint Brushes Decorating Tools & Technique for Architects
  • QUALITY: Synthetic filament for high quality application, finish and durability with water-based satinwood paints. This is best painters tool. This set is also use for house paint. Medium series holds more paint set than thinner alternative.
  • QUANTITY: This set of brusies includes 5 brushes small paint brushes for decorating, medium paint brushes and large painting brushes. Package contains 5pcs of : 1x 0.5" (12mm), 1x 1" (25mm) , 1x 1.5" (38mm) ,1x 2" (50mm) ,1x 2.5" (63mm) x brush for furniture, door, fences etc. paint brushes.
  • USES: Do you want a paint brush set ? Would you like a smooth finish that’s easy to control? Do you appreciate a soft comfortable handle? Bristles stay firmly in the brush. You’ll avoid the paint of picking loose bristles from fresh paint. These burshes as a use for furniture paint brush, outdoor furniture, Fence paint brushes, paint brushes for wood and also use for ceiling paint pro.
  • EASY AND FASTER: You’ll finish faster so you can sit back and enjoy your newly decorated room with cutting in brush. Generously filled with advanced filaments, these brush heads offer firm control and a finish that will impress. You'll also benefit from the comfort of these brushes. As you pick up these Paintbrushes you'll feel the comfortable soft grip handle.
  • 5 Sizes of Brushes: This set includes 5 paint brushes for all professional pro painting jobs. The different paint brush sizes means you can choose the right paint brush for the area you are painting.You'll feel more control from the firm brush head. Why risks wasting your time repeatedly recovering lose bristles when you have better ways to enjoy your free time?

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, this five-pack of brushes from the curiously-named Bizwizz will tick many boxes on paper. 

Mixed synthetic bristles are mounted in stainless steel ferrules, with lightweight stick-shaped red plastic handles keeping overall weight down.

Despite having been improved for 2020, there are question marks over the longevity of these products. There are multiple reports of ongoing bristle loss, despite a no-loss guarantee. Yet, it’s hard to overlook the merits of an affordable utility pack with five different brush sizes on offer.

ProsCons
Five different sizesQuestion marks over durability
Colourful handles are easy to findNo eyelets

Final Thoughts

While all of these products will do a perfectly adequate job of applying paint to flat surfaces, two manufacturers stood out in our test. Silverline is the only company to offer quarter-inch size increments, while its wooden handles and two-tone bristles add to a quality aesthetic matched by the user experience. Similarly, the soft-grip handles of the Nicholas Jack products are pleasing to hold, and the presence of a half-inch brush (something four of our shortlisted sets don’t include) makes this an excellent choice for detailing and edging.

While some of our other shortlisted products are pretty generic, one or two have distinguishing characteristics. The Emitever and Hamilton both use wooden handles rather than the less eco-friendly plastic found elsewhere, though Hamilton’s high price drags down what would have been an impressive score. And while Gaosaili might not be a name you’re familiar with, professionals might find it hard to argue with a six-pack of brushes ranging from one to four inches in size. Only the Silverline comes close to that level of versatility; overall, it’s a worthy winner.


9 Best Paint Brushes UK – 2021 Comparison Table

ModelQtySizesEyelets?No-bristle guarantee?HandleRating
Silverline 2824085¾” to 3”YesNoWood9
Nicholas Jack NJ001/55½” to 2”YesNoTextured plastic9
Emitever Ff451” to 2 ½”YesNoWood8
Harris 1010210055½” to 2”NoNoPlastic7
Gaosaili 593961” to 4”YesNoPlastic7
Coral 314174½” to 2”YesYesTextured plastic7
Mokani FB-5Black5½” to 2”YesNoPlastic7
Hamilton 23140-00551” to 2”YesNoWood6
Bizwizz 5pc5½” to 2 ½”NoYesPlastic6