I’ve been a decorator for the best part of 30 years and I’m a real brush geek, trying loads of different brands from across the world. The Decorators Forum UK have asked me to name the very best paintbrushes for emulsion, these are my top 5. Most are available in the UK.
Richard is a Canadian paintbrush manufacture. Currently they have a limited range available online. Or you can have access to the full range from Canada which means shipping over. They are what I’d call a premium brush. Very high-quality bristles & ergonomically designed. I love the sheer number of filaments in the brush and length of them. It holds loads of paint and lays off very well, especially in emulsion. What I don’t like is the density and length of the filaments when it’s wash out time! The amount of material it holds can make it a chore to wash out, taking significantly longer to clean. Also buying from the UK you only get access to a limited range. Price is in the £10-£15 area, so not cheap, but a very nice brush. A solid 8/10 for me. Easily one of the best paintbrushes out there.
Oldfields have been making paintbrushes in Australia for over 100 years. They are master brush makers. I’ve been using Oldfields for over a year now. They have recently become exclusively available from Mypaintbrush. They are an extremely well made and designed brush. Available in beaver tail and long handled. Nice soft synthetic filaments, paint pickup and flow are also great. Long lasting and hold their shape incredibly well after washing out. What I don’t like; Not a lot honestly…Maybe a few more filaments in the oval brushes, but that’s just me being picky. Price wise I think they are bang on the money at 2 brushes for £15. I’d rate then easily at 9/10.
Another Canadian paintbrush manufacture. Once again, I’ve been using them for over a year now. I was reluctant to put these forward initially due to the difficulties in obtaining them. As of writing this, they are only available from one UK Facebook seller, although you can buy them from Canada and have them sent over.
Zachary Brushes have a super soft and thin filament blend, very similar to a Proform Blaze, but with zero twisting issues. They excel in cutting in too. They are easily one of the best cutting brushes I’ve ever used. They are a good brush in every way, but the cutting line the produce is very good indeed. These paintbrushes work well in emulsion, and water-based satinwood.
I don’t like how hard they are to find/obtain in the UK. They need to try harder to secure a proper EU/UK distributor. Also, I find the filaments tend to hold on to the dry paint around the ferrule. Price wise it’s a bit all over the place. If you can get them UK supplied £12ish a brush, ordering from USA/Canada £35 for 3. I’d rate them a 8/10.
A massive USA brand, although better known for their rollers than brushes. They make rollers for a host of other brands; chances are high you’ve used their stuff and not known it. Premier have 3 main blends available. My preference is the Morton firm blend. It’s a great brush for your thicker paints like Dulux Diamond matt and Armstead Anti mould. Good pickup and laying off. Nice ergonomics and wash out very well. I don’t like the filming length, I feel it could be a touch longer. Currently only available online buy clicking here, or limited trade paint outlets, but I believe that’s going to improve soon. Price wise… £10 – £15 a brush depending on size. Solid 7.5/10
ProDec Ice Fusion
I couldn’t do a brush review without including Ice Fusion paintbrush! I got off to a rocky start with these. I was initially comparing them to the premium brushes I’ve talked about. I was left underwhelmed, an average brush. Not worth all the fan fair. Then I took a second look. I compared them to other brushes in their price range, Fox, Axus, Rolling Dog, Ciret etc… Now they make sense!
Using them back to back with those, the Ice Fusion blow the competition out the water. For me there isn’t another brush at this price point that comes close. £25 for a box of 3! They are a great everyday brush. They hold a fair amount of paint, lays it down well, wash out great and hold their shape too. I love the move away from paper envelopes to the waterproof plastic… I don’t like the aluminium ferrule though. Price is great at £25 a box, solid 7/10. Available online, or from a wide range of stockists.
I’m not sure how useful this blog has been for you, simply because some of the paintbrushes on the list are hard to come by in the UK. That said, I have been completely honest from start to finish. The products on this list truly represent the best paintbrushes for emulsion in the world.
One last point I’d like to make is even though I’m a bit of a fanatic, it really is worth buying a good-quality paintbrush. You’ll find the paint flows better, you’ll get through the work quicker, and your lines will be neater. Not just that, but a good brush will last for years. I don’t understand why anyone would try and save a few quid by buying cheap.
The Best Paintbrushes for Emulsion in the World – by Simon Young