All Things Acrylic Paint Brushes

I get asked about acrylic paint brushes all the time… What brush is best? How do you clean your brushes? What if I don’t have said brush? How do I know which brush I need to use?

When first learning how to paint, standing in the brush aisle at the local craft store can be overwhelming. There is just so much to choose from!

Today, I am sharing a list of acrylic paintbrush resources to help you find the right tool for you, how to care for it, and my tutorials that break down some great ways to use each brush. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or you’ve been painting for years, you may learn a new trick or two!

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1. My Favorite Acrylic Paint Brushes

Every artist has their own personal favorite paintbrushes, and you may too! But when you are just beginning to learn how to paint, it is hard to know which brush to use.

There are so many different shapes, sizes, and materials to choose from and the costs vary greatly! But acrylic painting doesn’t have to cost a lot! I still use inexpensive brushes every day.

In this blog, you will get all of my recommendations on which brushes to get. From a quick start-up complete set to my new favorite round brushes and more.

Don’t worry if you don’t know which set to pick just yet, I will show you what I like to paint with each paintbrush later in the article so you can see what one you want based on what you are planning to paint.


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2. Brush Care 101

Now that you have your acrylic paint brushes picked out, you want to be able to keep them in their best shape so they can deliver great results time and time again. In my acrylic brush care blog, I walk you through the best products and ways to clean your brushes.

Have you ever had pesky wirey bristles, or not so straight tips?.. Well, I have a magical trick that is sure to save them you don’t want to miss!

All things Acrylic Paint Brush Care 101 The Social Easel

I am guilty of letting my brushes sit the water cup a little longer than they should be after painting. Do as I say, not as I do 🙂 Make sure to at least give them a good rinse, squeeze them off in a towel, and lay flat if possible till they are dry to prevent any access water running down to where the ferrule and handle join. BUT this trick has fixed so many of my damaged synthetic brushes.

Now we can talk about how to use each of my most used acrylic paintbrushes!

3. How to Use a Flat Acrylic Paint Brush

In my blog, How to Use a Flat Paint Brush, I share all of my favorite ways and tips for using a 1″ flat brush. Unless I am just doodling in my mixed media pad, I don’t think there are many paintings I don’t use a 1″ flat brush!

I especially love them for painting the backgrounds of my paintings. You have a lot of surface area to cover with a beautifully blended sky or lots of heavy texture, and the large size of this brush helps me create both.

4. All the Things You Can Paint Using an Angled Paint Brush

The angled paintbrush is one of the most versatile brushes! If I had to choose just one brush this one might be it. Yep, I said it!

Angled acrylic paint brush painting techniques The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Leaves, grass, trees, and of course flowers can all be tackled with this brush and in my angled paintbrush blog, I show you how to paint all of those!

5. My Favorite Ways to Use a Fan Brush

The fan brush is a unique one. Its long, wide bristles create more give, and that means you only need the lightest touch to get wispy grass, or to dab snowy tops on trees and achieve an organic look.

Using the fan brush takes some practice, but I share some tips to help you in my blog all about the fan brush.

Fan acrylic paint brush painting techniques The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Every time I lightly bounce my fan brush on my canvas, creating evergreen trees and fluffy bushes, I am reminded of Bob Ross’ “Happy little trees.”

6. Using a Round Acrylic Paint Brush

I have a few sets of round acrylic paint brushes on my Amazon list. I personally love having a large variety of sizes. Though it did take me a bit to find my favorite ones.

There are so many different brands of round brushes and they all label the sizes a little differently. If you watch me paint Live, you know I don’t often give out a specific number and prefer to define them more in terms of fine, small, medium, large because of those differences.

Tips for using a round acrylic paint brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

In my round brush blog, I show you how to paint a cute truck, simple flowers, and even do some lettering, ALL with round brushes. With practice, you will get a hang of the amount of pressure to use with each brush and how it changes your brush stroke.

7. The Filbert Paint Brush

The filbert acrylic paintbrush is perfect for painting petals thanks to its unique shape. The filbert is similar to a flat brush, but the tips of the bristles form a curve that you can use to easily paint small petals as hydrangeas have.

Filbert Acrylic Paint Brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

In my Filbert Paint Brush Blog, I walk you step-by-step on how to paint a full, beautiful bouquet and share my best tips for working with a filbert brush.

8. The Rake (Wisp) Brush

I originally hadn’t included this brush in my brush series, but have recently been experimenting with the rake brush and have found it a little more simple than a fan brush for a few things. The rake brush I use is very similar to the fan, but it has notches out of the bristles creating small spaces in your strokes.

Rake Brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio (1)

For me, these small gaps make it easier to paint palms and grasses. You can see how I do those and see the rake brush up close in this article.


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All acrylic paintbrushes can be used to paint multiple things. Everyone feels comfortable using a different brush and technique. That is why practice is most important. Use your mixed media pad to “doodle” and get a feel for each brush you have and learn how you like to use them.

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