According to celebrity manicurist Elle, the best acrylic nail brushes come in a size 8, have a precise, pointed tip, and are crafted from natural kolinsky sable hair.
When you first begin to practice your application of acrylic, you will usually make use of a smaller brush which could be a size 6 or 8. These brushes are great to begin with as they effectively lift a smaller bead of acrylic (powder with liquid) allowing you to master your application technique with the 3 zones.
“Bigger balls are easier to lay down on a nail or tip,” says Tosti. "Larger brushes also stay firmer, especially at the belly, making it easier to pull down the acrylic from the cuticle to the free edge."
Paintbrush sizes are indicated on the handle and refer to how big or wide the brush is. The higher the number, the bigger the brush. The most common sizes are from 000 to 20. Brushes below size 4 are ideal for details, while sizes 4 to 6 are commonly used for painting small areas.
Size 8 - The Beginners Brush
Nail Techs start using a size 8 during their training. The smaller size gives you a feel of control when applying acrylic beads. However, with the small size it can take a long time to create a full nail set.
“I use a round pointed brush for acrylics because it holds enough liquid in the well for the proper mixture of liquid and powder,” says Polly Infante, a nail technician at Salon Nouveau (Redondo Beach, Calif.). “For odorless products, I use a flat tip brush because it holds less liquid.”
An Oval is essentially the same as a round brush, with the exception that at the top of the ferrule the brush is pressed. The brush being pressed makes it a bit flatter as well as easier to pick up a bead of acrylic. Just as the round brush, it's quite easy to get into the cuticle area as the brush comes to a point.
An acrylic nail brush in a size 8 is often recommended as the best size for beginners. You'll also find that most beginners kits come with a size 8 brush. I'd have to agree that if you're just getting into acrylic nails, a size 8 brush is a good starting point.
4 (3/32") 6 (4/32")
From smallest to largest, the sizes are: 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.
Artists' brush sizes
From smallest to largest, the sizes are: 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, 2 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch.
To be most accurate, measure brushes according to the following: LENGTH — the distance from the edge of the ferrule out to the tip of the hair in the center of the brush. DIAMETER — the distance of the hair at the opening of the ferrule. WIDTH — the distance across the hair above the opening of the ferrule.
The most popular types of paintbrushes are Round, Liner, Wash, Angular Wash, and Fan. Each type of brush has different sizes to help you cover larger areas or get those fine details depending on the size and subject of your painting. The higher the number, the bigger the brush or the more bristles there are.