Updated October 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Crayola Paint Brush Pens
Paint Brush Pens
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Easiest to Use
Bottom Line

These brush pens with washable paint are a must-have choice for classrooms and home activities.


Contains paint inside. Non-toxic. Washable. Has colors: purple, green, blue, red, and yellow. Smooth paint flow, no dripping. Easy to use and put away. Comes in a pack of 5.


Does not have a lot of colors to choose from.

Best Bang for the Buck
Creativity Street Round Brushes (Pack of 144)
Creativity Street
Round Brushes (Pack of 144)
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Best for Large Groups
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Its affordable price and large quantity make this pack a must-have for large classrooms and households.


Pack of 144 brushes. Comes with reusable plastic canister. Plastic handle brushes. Non-shed nylon bristles. Easy to use. Works well with acrylic paints.


Lacks different sizing and tip styles.

Crayola Paint Brushes (Pack of 8)
Paint Brushes (Pack of 8)
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Most Versatile
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A pack of 8 paint brushes, suitable for watercolors, acrylics, and tempera paints.


Small and lightweight, making them easy to put in storage. Pack of 8 contains assorted sizes. Long-lasting.


Its thin structure may be difficult for younger children.

Crayola Big Paint Brushes (4 Count Flat)
Big Paint Brushes (4 Count Flat)
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Durable & Rugged
Bottom Line

Its synthetic bristles make these brushes easy to clean and minimal shedding.


Pack of 4 paint brushes, each of which are a different size. Soft, synthetic bristles. Stain-resistant. Easy to clean and hold. Allows for bold strokes. Works well with watercolors, gauche, and acrylic.


A buyer found the brushes to feel too light.

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Paint Brushes (Set of 4)
Melissa & Doug
Jumbo Paint Brushes (Set of 4)
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Easy Grip Handles
Bottom Line

The jumbo-tipped design makes these brushes easy to use for toddlers. An ideal choice for a daycare classroom.


Jumbo-tipped design and easy-grip handles were hits with parents of younger artists. Made of plastic. Cleanable. Non-shed nylon bristles. Easy to store with reusable pouch. Comes in a pack of 4.


A buyer found the bristles to be stiff and hard to move paint on the paper.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Fingerpaints are ideal for toddlers, but when your kids are ready to advance their art skills, then it’s time to invest in a kids’ paint brush set.

Kids’ paint brush sets are available in a variety of configurations. For example, is your child in need of four brushes or 40? What size brushes are best for your kid’s age? What should you be searching for in terms of a brush’s shape, handle, and splint? And what the heck is a splint?

Whether you're searching for a set for the classroom or your own home, we’ll help you sort through the various kids’ paint brush sets to find one that is both durable and within your budget.

Bristles on kids’ paint brushes are generally made from nylon or some other synthetic material, while professional brushes often use natural hair.

Key considerations

Number of brushes

If you are buying a paint brush set for a classroom, a large family, or just a group of kids that are rough on brushes, you should pick up a set that contains a greater number of them. Kids’ paint brush sets can range anywhere from four brushes to over 100, so give the number of brushes some consideration before you start shopping. Four to eight brushes is around average for the majority of these sets.

Brush sizes

Paint brushes for children can vary considerably in size. Some sets contain a uniform selection of brush sizes, while other sets feature a variety of sizes. A variety of sizes will appeal to those kids who effortlessly switch between easel-sized projects and more compact painting. If you have several painters you are outfitting, a variety of brush sizes can also appeal to a wider variety of ages.


Kids can be rough on paint brushes, so you will want to pick up a set that can handle a child’s often extreme artistic touch. While it is not reasonable to expect kids’ paint brushes to last for years like professional brushes, you also shouldn’t need to replace them every other week. While a product’s online reviews can alert you to durability issues, at the very least kids’ paint brushes shouldn’t easily snap in half or shed bristles.

Soft brush bristles may be better for children than stiff ones, as kids may have a hard time using stiffer brushes to effectively move paint around the paper.



Brush shapes

Paint brushes come in a variety of shapes, with brushes with round or flat bristles being most common. Generally, round paint brushes will provide you with more precise control, while painting larger areas will be easier with flat paint brushes. Some kids’ sets only include one brush shape, while others include a variety. Much like brush size, for the greatest variation in painting styles select a set with different brush shapes.

Whereas many professional paint brushes use bristles made from animal hair, kids’ paint brushes typically use nylon or some other synthetic material for the bristles. Some kids’ paint brushes have sponge tips rather than bristles, although this is less common. While stiffer bristles will provide you with more control, kids may have a hard time using brushes with bristles that are too stiff.

Brush handles

Brush handles are typically made from either plastic or wood. Of the two, wood tends to hold up better, particularly if it is well lacquered. Kids’ paint brush sets often have handles painted in different colors so that kids can select their favorite or use a brush with its matching paint color.

In addition to durability, the biggest feature of a brush handle is comfort. A handle should be easy to grip and hold. Children usually find wider handles easier to hold and maneuver.

Brush splints

This is the part of the brush that holds together the bristles and the handle. Without a splint, you would just have a pile of useless brush parts. Splints can be glued, welded, or stamped as a single piece. Regardless of how it is attached, a splint should be strong enough to keep the bristles from falling out of the brush after washing or during use.

Storage containers

The best kids’ paint brush sets include some form of storage container to hold the brushes when your kids aren’t using them. Whether this is a plastic tub with a cover or a sealable pouch, a rugged storage solution can both protect idle brushes and keep them from becoming lost.

Did You Know?
Shorter-handled brushes are typically used to paint with watercolors, while longer-handled brushes are more often used with paints like acrylics.

Kids’ paint brush set prices

Kids’ paint brush sets start out at around $5 and can reach $15 or higher. The average for these sets is in the $7 to $12 range.

Sets under $6 tend to be simple in design, with fewer brushes and fewer size options. Brushes in these inexpensive sets tend to have a lower-quality construction and are best for children who only occasionally paint.

In the $7 to $12 range, you’ll find numerous kids’ paint brush sets with a variety of sizes and shapes and higher-quality bristles and handles, including wooden handles. The number of brushes per set varies greatly in this range. These sets tend to be designed for kids who enjoy painting and do it often.

Any kids’ paint brush set over $13 is geared toward kids who really love painting. These sets often include a larger number of brushes and the widest range of sizes and shapes. They should be durable and hold up for many years of use.

Regardless of paint type, never let paint completely dry on a brush tip. Dried paint in a brush’s bristles can be difficult – if not impossible – to remove.



  • When shopping for kids’ paint brush sets, try to avoid brushes with thin handles, which can be more difficult for little hands to grasp and control.
  • For younger kids, small brushes with rounded bristles are generally best. This type of brush provides both decent overall painting coverage while also being precise enough for detail work.
  • Don’t forget to put some thought into paper, too. The best type of paper for painting is usually some form of paint-absorbing canvas paper with a texture. If you will be using specific paints such as watercolors, you may also wish to search for paper geared toward that specific paint.
  • Never leave paint brushes bristles-down in a cup for any length of time. Leaving a brush in this position can bend or damage the bristles and permanently affect the way it handles paint.
  • To enjoy the full artistic experience, your kids will need a palette to mix paints. One of the easiest and cheapest solutions is to use paper plates for palettes. They are large enough to hold a number of paint colors and can be folded and thrown away for easy cleanup.
In addition to never letting paint dry on a paint brush, you should also not allow a brush to stand in a cup of water overnight. Doing so can damage the bristles.


Q. What is the difference between paint brushes and brush pens?

A. Paint brushes are pretty straightforward; essentially they are brushes with bristles that are used to move paint around. When you are buying a brush, you’re just getting the brush. You will need to purchase paint separately, although on the plus side you have a wide variety of options concerning both paint type and color.

Brush pens actually combine paint within the brush, so you won’t need to purchase paint separately. Brush pens are available in a variety of colors and stand out for their ease of use. On the downside, you are limited to whatever paint type and color is in each pen.

Q. What is the best way to clean kids’ paint brushes?

A. It’s most likely that your kids will be using water-based paints such as acrylics, so water should be the go-to cleaner for their brushes. To clean water-based paints from brushes, use running lukewarm water and mild soap, such as dish soap. Work the soap into the bristles of the brush with your fingers and keep massaging the bristles until the water runs clear. Once all the soap and paint have been rinsed away from the bristles, dry the brush by squeezing the tip with paper towels. Reshape the bristles, and lay the brush flat to dry on a paper towel overnight.

Q. What paints are best to use with kids’ paint brushes?

A. Any paints your children are using should be nontoxic, easy to use, and simple to store. Three of the most common paint types for kids include:

  • Acrylic paint: As it is easy to create textures and mix new colors, acrylic paint is a popular choice for artistic children. This paint holds up when dry and is water-resistant. Use acrylic paint on canvas, paper, and wood.
  • Watercolor paint: Arguably one of the safest paints for kids, watercolor paint offers a light wash of color. This paint is easy to clean up and works best on special watercolor paper.
  • Tempera paint: Also easy to clean up, tempera sets up fast and won’t flake when dry. This paint works with a variety of surfaces.
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