24 Best Brushes for Acrylic Paint on Canvas in 2024: Complete Guide

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

The right brush decides the future quality of the painting as much as well stretched and primed canvas and paint.

This is why when you start I recommend investing in a few best brushes for acrylic paint on canvas you can afford and artist-grade paint in a limited palette.

Over time, you will learn what shape is good for what kind of work and what shape and size really work for you.

A beginner can start by buying some essential brush shapes and sizes or to buy a good affordable set. The best brush for acrylic paint on canvas is a synthetic, stiff, and very durable paintbrush, like Princeton. If you don’t want to learn all shapes right now, buy a good set where you will have all your painting needs covered, like Mont Martre Paintbrushes set of 15.

Shapes, sizes, material – all of this and even how all parts of a brush were made are important for a good artist. It is not easy at all to pick a good brush today – there are tons of offers and of course, they will all state great quality and numerous features.

Best Brushes for Acrylic Paint on Canvas
Photo by Kasturi Roy on Unsplash

I will give you The best brush in my opinion and the best brush set, but I will explain why: in my article, there are no long text paragraphs, but each brush or brush set contains easy-to-read Pros and Cons and alternatives for acrylic brushes.

I am sure after reading my Buyer’s guide you will be very confident about your brush choice.

Table of content:

If you purchase via the Blick or Amazon links below I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps me support my blog.

Related: 13 Best Brushes for Miniature Painting & Wargames Models [Brushes under $20 included]


What brush shape do I need?

TAKEAWAY: To start get 3 shapes of brushes: round, flat and bright brushes.

There are 8 main brush shapes that you will discover learning and experimenting with:

Paintbrush Types

Usually, when you’re buying a set of brushes, you will have all the main shapes and sizes.

Brush shapeUse and description
RoundHas a large belly with a fine point.

– can cover large areas easier
– good for detailed work
– create thin to thick lines

Must have: a mid-sized round brush.

Use with thinned paint 
Pointed roundHas a sharp pointed tip.

– good for detailed work, retouching
– good for portraits
FlatHas square, flexible ends

– can make long even strokes
– good for blending in large areas
– good for painting large areas
– toe and sides can be used for detailed work
– good for thicker application and impasto
– good for varnishing
– large separate flat brush is great for gesso and varnish

Large flat brush can also be called “wash brush”
BrightFlat with edges curved inward at the tip, with shortish hairs.

– good for thicker application
– good for close work
– short and controlled strokes
FilbertFlat and oval-shaped end with medium to long hairs.

– Filbert brush is good for blending on canvas
– can be used both for detailed work and large areas
– can be used for layering underpainting
Angular FlatFlat with angled hairs at the end.

– good for curved lines and filling corners and small areas
– can cover large areas as a flat brush
FanFlat brush with spread hairs.

– good for textural effects              
Detail RoundRound, hairs shorter in length. shorter handle.

– good for fine lines and detailed work

If you want to save money, fan brushes, filbert, angeled and very tiny detailed brushes are not a necessity.

What size brushes are best for acrylic?

The size of the brush includes length, diameter, and width. Every shape can be in different sizes.

The size of the brush it is a number: #8, e.i.

You normally need 2-3 sizes of round, flat or filbert brushes. Most commonly used sizes are #2, #4, #6, #8 and #10. Sizes are not consistent through all brands so please test!


  • small-size (#0-#6) brushes are great for detailed work
  • mid-size (#6-#14) brushes are quite universal, good for underpainting, coloring areas, and sometimes for details too
  • large-size (#14 +) brushes are great for painting large areas and washes. I use large brushes for abstract painting a lot!

Size range is: 20/0, 12/0, 10/0, 7/0, 6/0, 5/0, 4/0 (also written 0000), 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30.

Sizes 000 to 20 are most common.

These “numbers” are not universal for brands, some brands may vary and if you are used to #4 of one brand, don’t assume it is the same for others.

What to do with it?

Make notes about brush sizes, check the product details about the length, diameter, and width of the brush before buying.

Short or long handle?

best brush for acrylic paint short and long handles
  • Brushes with longer handles are useful for easel work when you want to paint from a distance that allows you to see the whole work at once.
  • Short handles are recommended for table-top painting where the artwork lies flat, especially with water media.

The width of the brush stroke is not equal width of the brush itself!

The actual width of the stroke varies according to the amount of pressure used, the angle at which the brush is held, the media used, and the flexibility of the brush hair.

The brush stroke will vary depending on how you hold your brushes too.

Holding your brush close to the ferrule gives you the most control, great for painting details; holding near the end gives you lose strokes.

Natural or Synthetic Bristles?

TAKEAWAY: Choose synthetic acrylic brushes for beginners for acrylic painting.

Natural-hair brushes are not recommended for acrylic paint, because acrylics can damage natural bristles over time.

They are better for oil paint and, in fact, can be more expensive than synthetic brushes. Kolinsky sable is the most premium natural hair for brushes.

Do not buy squirrel natural brushes! The tend to be of worse quality.

Synthetic-hair brushes are made, generally, from nylon, taklon, or polyester and can be soft or stiff. They imitate nature hair but are easier to clean and perfect for acrylics.

Synthetic brushes can handle water, while natural ones don’t like it.

  • nylon tend to have less streaks and last longer than other synthetic. It is one of the best choices.

As a beginner, you will have more controlled strokes with synthetic bristles.

Despite my recommendations, both natural and synthetic brushes can be of a great or poor quality! Go for popular brands and artist quality brushes only.

Natural bristlesSynthetic bristles
Compatibility better for oil paints than acrylicsbetter for acrylic
Pricemore expensiveaffordable
Stiffnessloses fasterloses over time
Ease to use for painting, blending, mixingrequire skillseasier to use
Hair losshappens oftenbad with cheap brushes
Carerequire more careeasy to care for
Brush strokessofter but visiblesmoother, almost no brushstrokes with the right technque
Ease to cleantrickysuper easy, soap and water.

Read also: Is Acrylic Painting Expensive? Cost Breakdown From An Actual Artist

What Brush do I need for acrylic painting?

TAKEAWAY: You need a brush with firmly connected parts, no rust on the ferrule, no falling bristles. If you are pressing the bristles against a flat surface, they do not bend too close to the ferrule. Check that there isn’t a gap between the bristles and ferrule, where paint could accumulate.

A paintbrush has 4 main parts: a handle, a crimp, a ferrule and bristles.

  • A handle helps us hold the paintbrush. It can be long or short, wooden or plastic.
  • A crimp secures the handle and the ferrule together.
  • A ferrule is a very important part – it firmly connects bristles and the handle. A good ferrule doesn’t rust or loosen.
  • Bristles are hairs of our paintbrush. With bristles, we apply the paint. Good quality bristles don’t fall. Can be natural or synthetic, for acrylic we choose synthetic, but we’ll talk about it later. Bristles have a belly – the wide center part of the brush, and a toe – the very ending of the brush bristles which actually touch the surface.

The Best Brush for acrylic paint on canvas

Princeton Paint Brush are the best paint brushes for acrylic paint I know!

A great choice for beginners and intermediate painters. The manufacturer, Naohide Takamoto, produces brushes for 5 generations already – imagine the quality!


  • affordable bestseller, around $6 for flat #6
  • NextGen synthetic filaments, durable, strong
  • full range of shapes and sizes
  • smooth and controlled stroke
  • very comfortable handle
  • Princeton has a variety of series of brushes and they are all of great quality (Snap, Velvet Touch, Lauren, etc)


  • only offer small sets

GREAT Alternatives to The Best acrylic paint brushes for beginners

Buying brushes or sets depends not only on shapes, sizes, and hair material but on your budget. Some brands are more expensive, like Da Vinci.

We picked some great brushes already, let’s have a look at good alternatives.

Here is the recap table of all alternatives followed by a review of each of them.

As we know, the price is very important for beginners, so I mention the price for flat brush #6 for each brand and the general price range to give you an idea.

Paintbrushes for acrylic paintingPrice for
Princeton Velvetouch Series 3950 Synthetic Brushes and Set (BEST)around $6
Grumbacher Goldenedge Acrylic Paint Brusharound $11
Blick Masterstroke Golden Taklon Brushesaround $6
Blick Master Natural Bristle Brushesaround $11-12
Blick Scholastic Wonder White Synthetic Brushes and Setsaround $5
Da Vinci Nova Synthetic Brushesonly other sizes
Da Vinci Top Acryl Synthetic Brushesonly other sizes
Loew-Cornell American Painter Brushesonly other sizes
Royal Langnickel Zen All Media Brushesaround $4
Utrecht Manglon Synthetic Brushes and Setsaround $6
Winsor & Newton Artisan Brushesaround $8
Winsor & Newton Monarch Acrylic Paint Brushes (Natural Bristles)around $15
ROSEMARY & CO Brushes SetShiraz #6 around $7-8
they have good sets, check price

Grumbacher Goldenedge Acrylic Paint Brush

Grumbacher Goldenedge Acrylic Paint Brush

Grumbacher is one of the most famous brands when it comes to art supplies.


  • synthetic durable bristles
  • controlled soft strokes
  • comfortable handle


  • only limited sizes are available
  • expensive

Blick Masterstroke Golden Taklon Brushes

Blick Masterstroke Golden Taklon Brushes


  • Taklon bristles
  • bestseller
  • great control and absorbency
  • a big choice of shapes and sizes


  • no sets

Blick Master Bristle Brushes

Blick Master Bristle Brushes


  • high-quality hand glued brushes
  • high-quality durable bristles
  • bestseller
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • one of the widest choice of shapes and sizes


  • expensive
  • only one set of 4 shapes is available

Blick Scholastic Wonder White Synthetic Brushes

Blick Scholastic Wonder White Synthetic Brushes


  • cheap
  • full range of sizes and shapes
  • sets available
  • good durable Taklon


  • student-grade quality

Da Vinci Nova Synthetic Brushes

Da Vinci Nova Synthetic Brushes


  • responsive and controlled strokes
  • short and long handles are available
  • wood for the handle is from sustainable forest


  • not all shapes have all sizes

Da Vinci Top Acryl Synthetic Brushes

Da Vinci Top Acryl Synthetic Brushes


  • extra-strong, extra-smooth synthetic bristle
  • very durable hairs due to the “interlock” effect
  • short and long handles are available
  • good for heavy-body paint, thick application, and impasto
  • sets available


  • not all shapes have all sizes
  • not all shapes are available

Loew-Cornell American Painter Brushes

Loew-Cornell American Painter Brushes


  • synthetic golden Taklon hair
  • handmade brushes
  • controlled strokes
  • high dexterity
  • good for heavy-body paint, thick application


  • extremely small size and shapes range – only filbert, wash, and shader shapes available in 1-2 sizes.

Royal Langnickel Zen All Media Brushes


  • lightweight
  • the handle is durable and waterproof
  • controlled strokes
  • cheap


  • not all users liked the bristles

Utrecht Manglon Synthetic Brushes and Sets


  • nice design: each shape has its own colored tag
  • excellent paint capacity
  • good with all kinds of acrylics, including heavy-body
  • deep double crimping, very durable brushes


  • only one set of 4 is available
  • pricey

Winsor & Newton Artisan Brushes


  • retain spring after contact with water
  • controlled stroke
  • durable and last long
  • easy to clean


  • only available for North America
  • expensive

Winsor & Newton Monarch Acrylic Paint Brushes


  • long handles
  • variety of shapes and sizes
  • good quality natural bristles designed for acrylics
  • very responsive strokes


  • expensive
  • not available in sets

Rosemary & Co Brushes Shiraz

Rosemary & Co Brushes Shiraz
Shiraz brushes set for acrylic painting

Two times already I have seen super professional acrylic or water-based mediums artists using Rosemary brushes. They are rare creatures and you cannot find them on Blick or Amazon, only at Jackson (for watercolor or oils), but they are considered exteprt watercolor, acrylic and oil paint brushes.

The best option is to buy them through official site. The reviews for each brush are almost consistently 5 stars.

Shiraz series is what we may need for acrylic – they are synthetic brushes. The set of 8 Shiraz brushes costs about $50 and comes with most popular different brushshapes and sizes – no useless brushes. Not cheap but not bad for acrylic professional brushes! Check reviews and prices.

The Best acrylic paint brushes SET for beginners

Quick reminder: the best acrylic paint brushes for beginners are synthetic brushes of main shapes and sizes. Definitely pick some round, flat, and detail brushes to start your creative journey. You will need some small-sized brushes #2-4 for detailed work like round brushes, and sizes #6-12 to cover larger areas evenly.

The best acrylic paint brushes for beginners will come in sets. If you’re just starting, you don’t know yet techniques and how comfortable handles and sizes are.

Grab an affordable but durable and performant brush set and figure out your painting style through some tutorials. Then, you’ll be ready for Premier League and you are free to buy brushes of specific sizes and shapes individually depending on your project.

Mont Marte Art Paint Brushes Set of 15 is The best brush set for acrylic paint on canvas for beginners

Best acrylic paint brushes for beginners

This is the set of 15 brushes: 2 filbert (#4 and #8), 4 angle (#2, #5, #10, #12), 2 round (#3 and #7), 2 flat (#6 and #11), 1 fan, 1 rigger (#3/0), 1 liner and 1 mop brushes – all you need to start painting.


  • great for beginners
  • good variety of brushes in shapes and sizes
  • cheap $16.95 for 15 pcs
  • carry case included
  • handmade professional brushes

Check availability on Amazon and 2800 reviews


  • good for beginners, the pro will switch to buying brushes individually.

11 Acrylic Paint Brush Sets Alternatives

Acrylic Paint Brush Sets for acrylic paintingPrice
Mont Marte Gallery Series Acrylic Paint Brush Set – BEST VALUE FOR MONEYaround $9 for 6 pcs
Royal & Langnickel Acrylic Paint Brushes – for details & miniaturesaround $20 for 11 pcs
Jerry Q Acrylic Paint Brushesaround $9 for 12 pcs
da Vinci Acrylic Paint Brushes – good small synthetic setaround $26 for 5 pcs
LorDac Arts Paint Brush Set – good set for newbies (not for detailed work)around $18 for 7 pcs
Komina Acrylic Paint Brush Set of 15around $19 for 15 pcs
Dainayw Artist Paint Brush 12 Pcs – cheap and versatile!around $9 for 12 pcs
Artbrush Tower 24 Piece Acrylic Paint Brush Set – super large and cheap set (not long-lasting)around $6 for 24 pcs
D’Artisan Paint Brush Set + Case – versatile, has both synthetic and natural brushes!$35 for 15 pcs
Adi’s Art Pro Paint Brush Set of 12 for Acrylic Paint
+ case+sponge+palette
$24.99 for 12 pcs
Benicci Artist Paint Brush Set
+24 paint tubes+palette knife+sponge
$16.97 for 12 pcs

Mont Marte Gallery Series Acrylic Paint Brush Set

This is the set of 6 main shapes: 2 round (#6 and #16), 2 flat (#8 and #10) and 2 filbert (#8 and #10) brushes – all you need to start painting.


  • great for beginners
  • cheap
  • good quality Taklon bristles
  • good paint absorbency, smooth application


  • only for beginners

Royal & Langnickel Short Handle Acrylic Paint Brushes

This is the set of 11 detail and short liner brushes in sizes 5/0, 10/0, 0, 20/0 and 3/0. It is not a universal set to go for a beginner.


  • Finest quality soft synthetic bristles
  • short handles
  • good set for fine work
  • rust-resistant ferrule


  • only for detailed work
  • limited sizes and shapes

Jerry Q Acrylic Paint Brushes

It is the set of 12 brushes: Round (# 10/0 #3/0 # 0), Flat (#2 #4), Long Liners (#20/0 #10/0 #5/0 #0 #2 #4 #6).


  • cheap option
  • nylon bristles
  • nice variety of brushes
  • long handles for comfort


  • only for beginners
  • no larger size is available

da Vinci Acrylic Paint Brushes College Set

It is one the most well-known manufacturer and they offer several types of sets for beginners. The College Starter Set includes 5 brushes: 2 round (#2 and #6), 3 flat (#4, #8, #12).


  • wood for handle from sustainable forest
  • the handle has a grip for more comfort
  • durable synthetic brushes
  • controlled strokes
  • easy to clean


  • personally, I don’t like grips on handles, for me they are uncomfortable
  • pricey

This brand also sells brushes individually and they are extremely good.

LorDac Acrylic Paint Brushes Set

LorDac Set contains 7 brushes of different shapes: 3 Round, 2 Flat, 1 Filbert, and 1 Angular.


  • decent durable bristles
  • smooth application
  • Travel Kit case included
  • Money-Back Guarantee
  • eco and vegan friendly
  • easy to clean


  • only in sets

Komina Acrylic Paint Brush Set of 15

The Komina set is great for beginners, especially for children and students. This set includes 15 brushes and a brush holder. The brand says that these brushes are good both for painting on canvas and body.


  • handmade nylon brushes
  • protective brush holder included
  • 30 days money-back guarantee
  • 15 brushes included: all 8 main shapes and different sizes for round, flat, and angular flat brushes
  • affordable


  • only in sets
  • I don’t really trust such cheap and multi-purpose versatile sets, but they are good to start for kids

Dainayw Artist Paint Brush 12 Pcs

This is a student grade set of 12 brushes:  flat, filbert, angle, round, liner, and oval in different sizes.


  • really cheap
  • dual-color nylon, chrome-plated brass ferrules look durable
  • money-back guarantee


  • only for beginners
  • not really easy to maintain
  • can be less durable than alternatives

Artbrush Tower 24 Piece Acrylic Paint Brush Set

This set is amazingly full different sizes: size:#1,#2,#3,#4,#5,#6,#7,#8,#9,#10,#11,#12 for for 2 main shapes – round and flat.


  • extremely cheap
  • 1-year replacement guarantee
  • wide range of sizes


  • such a low price makes me question the production cost and quality.
  • the brand says the shapes in the set are round and flat, but for me flat doesn’t look flat at all, as bright – maybe.
  • only 2 main shapes

D’Artisan Paint Brush Set of 15

A professional artist set of 15 brushes with a carrying case: 4 flat paintbrushes, 1 fan brush, 3 round brushes, 4 filbert brushes, 1 angle brush, 1 rigger brush, and 1 wide brush.

Sizes: 3/0,1,2,3,4,6,8,9,10,11,5/4


  • synthetic + hog high-quality bristles (4 natural hog hair bristle brushes and 11 synthetic bristle brushes)
  • good for intermediate and pros
  • durable and ergonomic custom design
  • 15 brushes and a storage case included


  • expensive

Adi’s Art Pro Paint Brush Set of 12 for Acrylic Paint

Great set for a beginner! You have brushes, a case, but also a palette! The set includes 12 brushes: 1 angle brush, 4 flat paintbrushes in different sizes, 1 filbert, 4 round paintbrushes, 1 liner brush, and 1 fan brush. 


  • simple palette, Pop-up Carrying Case, and sponge included
  • good quality durable hand-picked brushes
  • double crimped ferrules
  • 1-year money-back guarantee


  • a bit more expensive because the case and palette are included
  • maybe not what a Pro expects, but great for starting painting!

Benicci Artist Acrylics Paint Brush Set

Another great option for a beginner is Amazon Editor’s Choice by the way. This set can cover all needs of a beginner: 12 different sizes and shapes brushes are included.

Paintbrushes: 4 round, 1 fan, 1 filbert, 6 flat.


  • good variety of brushes
  • good quality durable double-clamped bristles
  • strong ferrules
  • 1-year money-back guarantee


  • I would not expect much from the paint quality in the set for $17
  • if the set costs $17, how much do brushes really cost?
  • only for beginners

How to store and clean acrylic brushes 

The 2 main ways to care for acrylic brushes are proper cleaning and storage.

The better you care for and maintain brushes, the longer they will last without falling apart because acrylic paint is very rough and harsh with bristles.


Always clean your brushes right after you finish the painting session. If you will leave them with acrylic paint on them – it will destroy bristles very quickly. Never let you brushes dry with paint.

You can use water and soap or a special Master’s brush cleaner (painters all over the world really prefer this one). I recommend double washing brushes every time.

During painting, always keep 2 separate containers with water: one use to clean brushes and another to just have clean water to dip and wet brushes.

It is vital that brushes dry properly after cleaning!

Related: How to Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes [The Ultimate Cleaning Guide]


Storage is another important thing. Always keep your brushes dry and facing bristles up.

This is how old brushes look like. They cannot hold shape anymore. You can try to condition them (using paint brushes conditioner and trying to shape them up) or buy a replacement.

Photo by Dianne Policarpio on Unsplash

Best Brushes for Acrylic Paint on Canvas

Best Acrylic Brushes FAQ

How often should I replace brushes?

A cheap brush can loose brisles and shape after a few days even, but professional brushes can serve you up to 3 years and even longer but only if you took good care of them! This is also why good professional brushes tend to be more expensive but they are worth it as you are buying one for next few years!

What type of brush is best for acrylic painting?

Synthetich soft brushes are best recommended for acrylic painting. While there are a variety of shapes and sizes, according to professional artists and amateurs, round, flat, bright (short flat), and filberts are the most popular brushes for acrylic paints.

What are the best paint brush brands?

Professional acrylic painters use Princeton, Rosemary, Grumbacher, Winsor&Newton and Liquitex acrylic paint brushes.

Can I use the same brushes for watercolor and acrylic?

Technically you can use the same brushes for all water-based paints including watercolor, acrylic and gouache. However, some watercolor brushes are made to hold morewater, so be careful and test first to avoid runny paint.

Read also: Watercolor vs Acrylic Paint: Key Difference Between Acrylic and Watercolor

What size brush for beginner acrylic paint?

Paint brushes sizes #2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are most popular for acrylic painting.

If you are working with miniature painting you will look into sizes #1 and below like #00. Brushes larger than #10 are good only if you are working with very large areas, upcycling furniture or working with abstract acrylic art.

Read also: 19 Best Brushes for Gouache Reviewed by Artist [Ultimate Brush Guide]

To Sum Up

Starting your acrylic painting journey, keep it simple: only a few brushes for acrylic paints, such as round and flat in sizes from #2 to max #10.

As you explore more techniques and styles, you are free to experiment.

Remember that cheap brushes can not produce the desired effect and tear quicker than professional brushes, and the synthetic soft brushes are the best for learning and practising acrylic painting.

Happy painting from Masha!

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API