5 Best Types of Paint Brushes for Paint and Sip Classes

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Paint and sip classes are a great way for friends to get together to have a good time, enjoy a few glasses of wine, and learn some painting skills. In many cases, these classes are made up mostly of beginners.

To keep from overwhelming my students with a lot of information overload, I like to keep things simple. 

When it comes to the paint and sip supplies list, understanding the brushes is very important.

I don’t bring a huge variety of paintbrushes with me, only the ones that the students will need.

I also like to discuss what each brush is used for. I usually do this prior to painting, so the paint and sip students will know which brushes they need for their masterpieces.

If you are going to be teaching a sip and paint class, or even if you are a beginner who wants to learn more about the brushes used at most paint parties, keep reading.

Let’s Start with Learning About Bristles

In most cases, for beginner classes, I generally bring inexpensive paint brushes made with synthetic bristles. 

While there are many different types of bristles, the ones made from higher-quality materials are much more expensive, and not necessary for painting parties.

Artist paint brushes are made with either synthetic materials or animal hair. The type of paint used will usually dictate the type of brushes to be used.

Brushes and Paints

First, I would like to mention that certain types of brushes are best used with certain types of paint. 

For example, if I was teaching a class how to do an oil painting, I would have the students use brushes that have springy bristles.

On the other hand, if the class is working with acrylic paints, I suggest they use brushes that have finer bristles. If I am teaching a watercolor class, the students will be using soft brushes that hold plenty of water.

Types of Paintbrush Bristles

First I am going to talk about synthetic paint brush bristles. These are what my paint and sip students generally use most often.

Synthetic paint brushes are inexpensive and versatile. They can be used for all types of paint, including acrylic and oil. Quite often, you will find brushes made with a combination of animal hair and synthetic materials.

Keep in mind if you are going to get into painting, you will want to invest in better-quality brushes. Inexpensive synthetic brushes are great for beginner painting students, but they are not durable and they will lose their shape.

Let’s take a look at some other types of paintbrush bristles.


Brushes made with hog hairs are stiff and springy. They are also among the least expensive of the natural bristle brushes.

Hog hair brushes are ideal for working with oil paints, but I don’t find they are best for fine details. I prefer to use brushes made from sable for detailed painting.


The name is confusing because these brushes are actually made from the tail of a certain type of mink that is found in Siberia and North-Eastern China. These brushes are very fine, and they will hold plenty of water.

I love using sable brushes for acrylic and watercolor painting and often recommend them to students who want to continue painting after the paint and sip parties.


These brushes have soft hair, and not a lot of resistance so they will snap back. They also hold a good amount of water.

I tend to recommend squirrel brushes to students who want to get into watercolor painting.


If I am teaching oil painting at a paint and sip class, chances are the students are not beginners. I bring a better quality of brushes, with bristles made from badger hair.

These brushes are thick at the tip and thinner near the belly. They are great for painting broad strokes.


While these brushes aren’t commonly used by beginners, they are ideal for acrylic and oil painting. They are made with mongoose hairs, which makes them very sturdy so they will last for a long time.

Regardless of the types you have, if your bristles are bent, you need to learn how to straighten paint brush bristles to help your painting.

What Brush Shapes Are Needed for Paint and Sip?

There are many different brush shapes, but for the sake of this article, I am only going to discuss the ones I bring most often to paint and sip classes. 

Most of the inexpensive brush sets I get at dollar stores will include these basic shapes.

Filbert Brushes

Filbert brushes are very versatile. The shape is kind of a combination of a round and a flat brush. These brushes have curved tips, which allow painters to blend easily. This is the type of brush that my students will use the most.

Round Brushes

Round brushes are wide at the belly and tapered at the end. These versatile brushes are ideal for detail work, as well as for strokes that are long and bold. You can get round brushes with very fine tips, which are perfect for fine-detail painting.

Flat Brushes

These brushes have a flat tip. They are used to make strokes that are flat and consistent, and they can also be used to create thin lines. If students will be blocking with one color and in solid shapes, I always get them to use flat brushes.

Fan Brushes

While fan brushes are considered specialty brushes, I always find a use for them in sip and paint classes. They can be used for so many things, from painting grass to painting leaves on trees and a whole lot more.

How to Clean and Store Paint Brushes

Properly cleaning and storing your paint brushes is essential for maintaining their quality and durability. 

After each sip and paint class, remove excess paint by wiping the brushes and rinse them under warm water for water-based paints or use an appropriate solvent for oil-based paints. 

Gently clean the bristles with mild soap or brush cleaner, rinse thoroughly, reshape them, and pat them dry. 

Store the brushes upright or flat in a container, separating them based on type and size to prevent damage or cross-contamination.

By doing this, you can ensure that your paint brushes remain in excellent condition for future paint and sip classes.

In Conclusion

These are the basic types of brush sizes you will be using at a paint and sip class. I don’t tend to discuss brush sizes much, because there really is no industry standard.

I generally recommend that paint and sip students get used to using a variety of brushes in small, medium, and large sizes. This gives them a chance to get used to the various sizes and discover what works best for them.

Also check my guide on what size and types of canvas for paint and sip.

*image by wirestock_creators/depositphotos