Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle Paint Brush Review

Updated Feb 9, 2023 | Posted Nov 25, 2021 | Product Review, Tools | 7 comments

Hamilton decorating tools have a great reputation in the industry for innovation, development and rigorous testing of new products as they bring them to market. However, today I’m going to talk about one of their “old school” products. This is my Hamilton Perfection pure bristle paint brush review; I hope you find it useful.

Hamilton is one of, if not THE brand leader when it comes to decorating tools for the professional decorator. As such, you can pretty much buy their products at any trade outlet. I tend to buy mine online and by the box, as you can often find better prices. Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle brushes are available in various sizes, but I’ve always found the 1.5 and 2 inch to be the most useful.


Why do I Call Hamilton Perfection Old-School?


I stand by what I said, Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle are the most old-school brushes on the market. They’re best suited for oil-based paints such as gloss or undercoat. In fact, they’re absolutely superb in oil-based gloss, which unfortunately, is a product becoming less popular amongst homeowners.


You see, Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle are one of the only brushes which you can use in oil-based gloss paints and not have to worry about the bristles sticking together. They hold loads of paint too!! Plus, they stand up to being cleaned and they respond well to brush conditioner. On top of all that, they’re designed to cope with the solvents in this type of product, so you can be confident the brush will last.

I’m going to go a step further than saying “they’ll last”. A more accurate statement would be to say they get better with time. A new Hamilton Pure Bristle brush may be perfect for painting doors or fascia boards, but a “broken in” Hammy (Hamilton) is so much more!!

The shape is sublime, and it becomes the perfect “cutter”. Especially for sticky materials such as the previously mentioned oil-based gloss. We’re talking about something special here, and it’s probably something the younger generation of decorators may never experience. Pure magic!


Is the Hamilton Perfection a Thing of the Past?


Well no, not for me. Hamilton and other manufacturers are always developing new brushes which are better suited for modern water-based paints. However, while oil-based are still in circulation, the Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle will always be available to apply the stuff. One thing that is changing is the need for a “broken in” Hamilton to use as a cutter. Now-a-days there are an array of new brushes which are up to the task straight from the shelf.


Sometime in the distant future, oil-based gloss, along with diesel cars, will be a thing of the past. Then, and only then, we might see the demise of the beloved Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle paint brush, that will be a sad day for the industry, but we’ll need to wait and see.

One thing that is for certain, these brushes have had a massive role to play in the industry. The phrase “dogs cock” may be forgotten, but there were several whole generations of decorators who used and loved their Hamilton Pure Bristle, and no namby pamby water-based satinwood will ever erase that.

You can buy a box of these brushes for a reasonable price online at Paint Well.

Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle Paint Brush Review – by Mike Gregory

Updated Feb 9, 2023 | Posted Nov 25, 2021 | 7 comments


  1. Jack Wardley

    pure bristle brushes are still mostly the only brush i use still and im 28

  2. Dave Green

    I have ‘ specialised ‘ in painting fitted furniture since 1989 . At first it was all oil – based paint , put on with Hamilton’s Perfection Plus , invariably finished with dragging , marbling etc. in Ratcliffe’s oil glaze . Paint effects are largely out of favour , and I haven’t used oil – based for twenty years . Until a fortnight ago when a customer insisted on it . I made the mistake of buying a new Hamilton’s Perfection . It was bad enough Hamilton’s being taken over by Harris – a bit like Bentley being taken over by Austin – Rover . Now some outfit called Orkla owns the brand and while they’re adept at plastering their packaging with all the idiot buzz words of modern marketing , they evidently can’t produce a paint brush worth buying . Hamilton’s used to be firmly packed with good quality bristles that had a resilience and spring to them that gave the best finish you could buy . The new brush ( ” far from perfection ” ? ) has about thirty bristles that are so floppy they’d make it a good dusting brush , but for applyin a professional looking coat of paint , personally I wish I’d stuck with my Purdys . Job over and the brush cleaned , the poor thing lies there with its bristles splayed out all over the place ( the ones still left on the brush after a lot had escaped during use ) . The cynical triumph of the company accountants

    • Stuart

      Was lucky enough to get a load of 30-40 year old perfection brushes off eBay last year. They modern ones are useless.

  3. David Ogden

    Having been born sometime before WWll and followed my Dad in using Hamilton Namel-Var brushes (both non- professional!) I was lucky to discover Italian maker OMEGA by chance, when the former deteriorated.

    • Paul Depear

      HI David nice to hear from an old school decorator like yourself as the saying goes you have forgoten more than i know. Are the omega bristle brushes verry good as i have been looking many a year to find a decent bristle brush many thanks paul apprentice decorator 20 year experiance

    • Steven Lumsden

      They are still the best brush for oil based paints, but obviously no where near as good as they use to be. Synthetic brushes are ok but don’t last long in oil

  4. Neil Ward

    Hurray I’ve seen some comments on the quality of the perfection bristle I’ve been using them for forty years and there nothing like they used to be, cheap made and not British anymore “ I’m awaiting a response from Hamilton after complaining about the quality of them, many decorators I know have said the same and some have switched to yank brands, sad as 100% used to be the best brush on the market


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *