Types of Paint Brushes for Walls

Different Types of Paint Brushes for Walls. Which Ones Are Best For You?

Types of paint brushes for wallsPainting walls need a large area to cover. This requires large-sized paintbrushes that can hold more paint and cover that big surface area evenly. There are many types of paint brushes according to the surface area you want to paint. It may be a canvas, a floor, a wall, or even glass. In this article, we will cover the different types of paint brushes for walls.

In modern days, painting has evolved a lot. Many contemporary painting styles are used to decorate even our home walls and some techniques are also used for street walls.

Street painting is another subject of wide variety of painting techniques that include spray paints, oil paints, enamels etc. that can withstand the changing weather.

There are a lot of paint brushes according to their sizes and bristles. Some have natural bristles while some are made with synthetic bristles. You can choose any size or any material according to your own preferences. We have covered the different paint brushes used for wall paintings in the following discussion.

But first! A little history about wall painting:

Decorating walls with different paintings have been practiced from old times. People used to regularly paint the walls of their homes. It was especially practiced for religious buildings which were decorated with different techniques like frescos and mosaics etc. to make them look beautiful and elegant.

There are many pieces of evidence of wall paintings from the stone age. Humans used to paint their stories of hunt and wars on the walls of caves with hands with the help of different pigments like red, yellow, ochre, charcoal, etc.

Wall Painting Techniques

These days many new styles are introduced for wall paintings. Some of them need paint brushes while others need some other tools (like spray paints) but for an even base, before applying almost any technique, you would need a paintbrush to cover the whole wall. The most common techniques of wall paintings are:

  • Metal and Patinas
  • Harlequin
  • Smooshing
  • Fresco
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Stippling
  • Sponging

Types of Paint Brushes For Walls According to the Bristles

There are two types of bristles that are used in paint brushes.

Natural Bristles

Natural bristles are the natural hair of animals. Natural bristle paint brushes have more tendency to hold paint than the man-made synthetic brushes. Natural bristle paint brushes are stiffer than the synthetic brushes that make them able to push around the paint more easily without getting stuck together like soft synthetic paintbrushes.

If you are using oil paints, then using natural bristles paint brushes is a good choice. They don’t break or get damaged easily (unlike synthetic bristles) and will also give you a smooth and fine finish that you can’t paint with synthetic bristles.

  • China Hog Bristle Paint Brushes

These are made with the hairs of hogs that have flagged ends that make them suitable for painting rough surfaces. There are two types of china hog bristles:

  1. Black China Bristle Brushes

These are stiffer and thicker with a tendency of holding more paint than other brushes. These are best for oil paints, enamels, or any other oil-based paint. These brushes are best for painting rough surfaces but also work quite well on smooth surfaces.

These are durable and can be used for a long time without losing bristles and getting out of shape.

  1. White China Bristle Brushes

These are also natural bristles made of hog hairs, but these are fine and flexible. These are ideal to use with varnishes, polyurethane, and stains. These are best for oil-based paints and you can use them for both interior and exterior wall painting.

The tips of these bristles are much more delicate than black china bristles, which give you a smooth finish surface.

  • Ox Bristle Paint Brushes

These are the paintbrush bristles taken from the oxen ears. Unlike hog bristles, these are very soft and flexible. These brushes have fine points unlike black china bristles, which make them ideal for detailed work. These are the most expensive ones.

Synthetic Bristles

Synthetic bristles are soft and firm and are best for painting water-based paints (like latex and acrylic paints). They keep their shape even when soaked in water while the cuticles in animal hairs make them stick to each other and deform their shape.

They give you quality painting with a good tension against the surface of the canvas. There are a lot of types of synthetic brushes that can be used in alternation to natural brushes.

In original, synthetic brushes are bright white in color and it is very easy to separate them from the natural paintbrushes. But some synthetic brushes are dyed that make them look more natural. The other important thing that dying adds to them is that they become a bit more rough and this makes them hold more paint than usual.

  • Nylon Bristle Paint Brushes

Nylon is also a synthetic material. Nylon bristle brushes are smooth and flexible brushes. These brushes allow you to do smooth and fine painting and release more paint. They are also easy also to clean. These brushes are very popular among the artists.

  • Polyester Bristle Paint Brushes

These are synthetic bristle brushes that are mostly used for rougher surfaces. These are stiffer and have better wear tendency than other brushes.

  • Mix Nylon and Polyester

The most common brushes that you find in the market are made of both nylon and polyester bristles. The nylon bristles add softness to these paintbrushes while the polyester makes them stiff and strong. These paint bushes do not lose their shapes even after hours of painting.

These are suitable for both outdoor and indoor paintings. Because of their stiffness, these are ideal to paint rough surfaces and with the softness of nylon, you can also use them on smooth surfaces. These are somewhat difficult to clean but are very useful for any kind of painting.

Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Bristles

  • Natural bristles are quite expensive as they are the natural hairs of animals. While synthetic bristle paint brushes are cheaper than them.
  • Synthetic bristles are soft and smooth and are best for watercolors. Whereas natural bristles are not that smooth because of natural scales on the animal hairs.
  • Due to natural scales on animal hair, they have a better tendency to hold more paint than synthetic bristles, which makes it best for painting wide or larger surfaces with natural bristle paintbrushes.
  • Natural bristles are good for oil-based paints when compared to the synthetic bristles. But if you are using water-based paints, then you should avoid using them as the cuticle in natural hair gets damaged due to water which makes them sticky. This makes them lose their original shape as well.

Types of Paint Brushes For Walls According to Their Sizes

There is a wide variety of paint brushes available according to the surface area you want to paint.

Types of Paint Brushes for WallsPaint Brushes for Large Surface Area

These are mostly used to paint a larger surface area like a large wall, big canvas, etc. these are mostly 5 inches to 6 inches wide and can paint a big surface area in no time as their large size makes them hold more paint.

You can paint a big wall in no time with the help of these brushes. They can carry more paint because of their thick and flat surface. You can paint a considerably larger area with one or two strokes that a regular brush can’t (obviously!). These are the most common type of paintbrushes that you can find everywhere easily for wall painting.

They have short handles but long bristles that allow you to carry extra paint. This also makes them flexible for painting in different directions.

Paint Brushes for Small Surface Area

You can not use a wide paintbrush for every part of your wall. To do the corners and edges neatly, you will also need a small paintbrush that will give you more freedom for the small spots.

Also, if you are making any detailed painting or even a landscape on the wall of your room, you will need small-sized brushes for different types of details.

  • Sash Cutter Paint Brush

Sash cutter paint brushes are used on the curvy areas of any surface. These allow you to paint tight or narrow areas that are not easy to paint with normal brushes. There are two types of sash cutter paint brushes

  1. Flat Sash Brushes

Flat sash brushes come with trimmed bristles and have narrow, thin, and long handles that help you to grip them easily. Moreover, this also allows you to paint as well as turn more comfortably in any direction you need. These are ideal for trim works and flat surfaces.

  1. Angled Sash Brushes

Angled sash brushes are made with an inclined edge at their tip. They have an edge of 14 degrees that gives you extra control over your brush while you paint. These brushes are ideal for painting angled surfaces as well as narrow areas that are hard to reach.

  • Oval Cutter Paint Brushes

These are ideal for trim work and edging. The bristles attached to this brush give you an overall oval shape for greater control and precise painting on edges. These brushes, because of their oval shape, can hold more paint in the center.

  • Flat Trim Brushes

These brushes are used for trim work and small areas. These are small in size with only 2 inchea to 3 inches width and a thin handle that gives you full control over your paintbrush as you paint small and narrow areas.

  • Flat Varnish Brushes

Flat varnish brush can be used to paint any kind of surface, but they are specifically designed for painting flat surfaces. Its wide edge is used for broad strokes. Its narrow edge can be used for thin strokes; this side is mostly used for corner and narrow areas.


So, as you can see that there are a lot of types of paint brushes for walls that are used for different purposes. They vary in sizes, materials, and thus are ideal for different surfaces and jobs. The variety of paintbrushes allows you to paint any type of surface, whether it is rough or smooth.

You can also do detailed painting on the walls by using different sizes and kinds of paintbrushes that we have mentioned above. Different paints require different types of brushes. Always choose the paintbrush according to the painting you want to do, it will save you a lot of time and effort. You can find all types of paint brushes on Amazon.

Happy wall painting! 🙂 

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