Parts of a Oil Paint Brush
Regardless of the brush manufacturer, all brushes consist of three main parts namely the hair or bristles, the
handle and the ferrule.
This is the most important and first part that any painter needs to understand in a brush. This part is the one
that retains paint and applies to the canvas or painting medium.
The amount of hair and the specific make and shape of the brush form the main characteristics of the brush,
which makes the major difference in a detailing brush and a large area application brush.
Every painting brush as determined by their hair helps determine the area of application and the quality of
application expected. You should also know that there are brushes made out of natural hair while others are made of
You may have noticed that some brushes have their points glued together to protect the hair and keep the shape
intact during shipping. For this reason, you should always clean the brushes before you begin using them. This is
an important tip for beginner oil painters.
Some brushes have different layers of air with good color transferring properties, and within this core, there
is a layer of hair, which defines the outline of the brush. If you are using a brush made out of natural hair, it
is imperative that you know how the brush structure works.
The hair consists of a fine core enclosed within tiny scales, and if you soak the brush in water for a long
time, this will cause the brush to open up the same way a pine core does. This makes the brush lose flexibility and
the capacity to hold enough paint. After washing the brush, always ensure the brush dries and regains its original
This is the second part of a painting brush that every painter needs to understand. This part is commonly made
of brass tubing and is nickel-plated, and used to keep the hair or bristles and the handle together. In this case,
if you are allergic to nickel, you may want to get brushes that are nickel free, however these are hard to find and
the best solution would be to use gloves when handling the brush.
It is notable that the glue within the ferule is resistant to most solvents and is heat sensitive. This means
that you should avoid using hot water for washing, as this will weaken the glue therein. On the other hand, avoid
drying the brush using heat dryers as these are destructive as well.
The handle is the last part of the brush and is the part that you use to hold when painting. Some brushes have
long handles while others have short handles. Handles vary in shapes where some are triangular and others are
rectangular. The handles are also made of different material and some are made of plastic while others are made of
wood. The choice of material would be determined by whichever material you are comfortable with.
Some brush manufacturers have made handles that are very easy to use when painting. Again, the handle that one
chooses is largely dependent on their preferences and whether you can use them comfortably.