One of the most common questions I get asked is which brushes I would recommend so I thought it was time I shared my thoughts on brushes!
Personally I don't think there is any need to buy special brushes 'designed' for cake decorating. My personal thoughts on that is that brushes are brushes, as long as they are new, clean and never used for anything else then they are perfectly fine for cake decorating. That goes for a lot of other tools I use for cake decorating too!
I find that brushes sold by cake decorating supply shops are exactly the same as normal artist brushes but have a big premium added to the price!
I use brushes in all of my classes and have to have up to 10 of each which need replacing ever few months so I am always looking for a great brush at a great price.
Here is a quick run down of my favourite brushes and what I use them for...
1. This is a great brush for painting. I use this mainly for applying a lustre finish on my fondant. But I also have one of these that I just use for brushing water/alcohol across my cake before applying fondant. This is a great brush which I've not had any shedding issues with. My preferred size is a 1" but it also comes in other sizes. Buy here..
2. I love big fluffy brushes and have several of these. Make-up brushes are great (as long as they're brand new of course). I mainly use these for brushing cornflour on or off and buffing a lustre finish. This particular one came in a set with a smaller version (which I forgot to photograph) which is great for applying a touch of colour to flowers or cheeks of models. This set can be found here..
3. This is a fantastic brush which I use for glitter - which my students LOVE!! I use this buy dipping it in the glitter and tapping it over the cake/flower to allow it to drop into place which means you get a nice subtle shimmer and don't end up with glittery fingers! It is actually a nail art brush and is part of a set which also contains brushes 6,7,8 & 9 and is so cheap at under £1 at the time I wrote this! Buy the full set here...
4. This is a great brush for stencilling. I like it as it has a nice squared edge so the bristles don't sneak under the stencil when brushing lustre dust on. Just like in this cute cupcake which was decorated by one of my students...
I also have a couple of these for applying cornflour to moulds, I find it is great for getting into all the little nooks and crannies! You can get this brush in various hobby shops but if you want to order online here is the link.
5. This is my glue brush! I have LOTS of these! I only ever used to use these for edible glue! For me it's personal preference, I like that they have a green handle as it means my students know they are only to be used for glue!
Recently I have purchased an extra set as they are also great for painting with food colouring and I've found them fantastic for adding tiny painted details along with some of the brushes from the nail art set.
These come in a set with several different sizes and can be purchased here...
6, 7, 8 & 9. These are all brushes that come in the nail art set and they're great. I use them for all sorts of things including: painting with edible food colouring, fixing my royal icing pearls, getting the cornflour off a delicate detail etc. These aren't brushes I would personally buy separately but as they come in the set I find I use them all the time anyway!
I hope this little post has helped you and will give you an idea of where to start but hopefully through experimenting you will find the best brushes for you depending on what you are doing.