art brushes Which Hair Is Best for Your Painting Project?

So you’ve picked out your paint, now, you’re staring at a massive wall of brushes. To the average individual, one looks just as good as another. You could decide based off of price, but is that the best way to get the most out of your work? How do you narrow your choices down? There are so many to choose from. One of the most important decisions has to do with the type of hair the brush has.

Paintbrushes have two basic kinds of hair: synthetic and natural. Each has its purpose for different types of paint. If you select the wrong one, you may end up with a completed job that has brush strokes everywhere, or which required double the time.


Natural hair on a brush is made of the hair of camel, hogs, or badgers. It is a high-maintenance selection that can be more costly. When working with oil-based paints, you will want to select a natural-hair brush, as it will leave no trace of brush strokes on your work. Typically, the types of projects that use these are fine-arts projects. When your work is done and it is time to clean, you will need to have some paint thinner and a comb. If you buy a natural hair brush for water-based paint, you will find that the hair absorbs the water. This can clump up the paint and cause it to become very difficult to spread.


Synthetic brushes are made of nylon, polyester, or a blend of both, and are more rough and stiff than natural-hair brushes. Use the synthetic choices when working with water-based paints.  They will usually be a less-expensive option, and are pretty easy to clean. However, they can lose their shape and require replacement more often.

  • Nylon
    • Nylon options are more flexible than polyester. They are easier to clean.
  • Polyester
    • Polyester should be avoided on surfaces that are rough. The hairs do not hold up to the abrasiveness of such a job.

In addition to the types of hair, there are also hairs that are flogged. This means that the ends are split.  You can tell if they are by looking at the ends, or reading the label of the brush. You will want to use these for latex paint projects. The split ends give the brush the ability to soak up more paint than usual.  It will help to create fewer strokes, and create a very smooth finish on your project.

There are a lot of factors to consider in any painting project. After reading through this, the type of hair a brush includes should be easier to determine. If you know the type of paint you are using, you will be pointed in the right direction. Use the right tool for the job for a beautiful finished job. Selecting the right type of hair in your brush will reward you with time saving benefits and perfection.