Best types of brushes for applying dye to leather

To achieve the finest results when dying or painting leather products, it is critical to use the proper brushes. In this article with tips from The Leather Colour Doctor, we’ll go over the best brushes for dealing with leather, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. We’ll also look at the qualities and materials used to make these brushes.

There are many different types of painting brushes available, each with their own specific uses and characteristics. Here’s an overview of some common types of brushes:

Round: These brushes have a round tip and a large belly, making them versatile for different techniques, such as detailing, filling, and creating lines of varying thickness.

Flat: Flat brushes have a square or rectangular shape with long bristles, which are great for creating bold, sweeping strokes, blending, and filling in large areas.

Bright: Similar to flat brushes but with shorter bristles, bright brushes are perfect for short, controlled strokes and laying thick paint.

Filbert: These brushes have a flat, oval shape, making them suitable for blending, creating soft edges, and painting rounded shapes.

Fan: As the name suggests, these brushes have bristles spread out in a fan shape, which is excellent for blending, creating textures, and softening edges.

Angle: These brushes have angled bristles, which are great for precise strokes, shading, and working around tight corners.

Rigger: Also known as liner brushes, rigger brushes have long, thin bristles that are perfect for fine lines, intricate details, and delicate work.

Mop: These brushes have a large, round shape and soft bristles, making them suitable for washing large areas, blending, and applying glazes.

Dagger: These brushes have a slanted, triangular shape that allows for precise strokes, as well as creating sharp edges and lines.

Hake: Hake brushes have long, flat, and wide bristles that are great for applying washes, glazes, and varnishes.

Stippler: These brushes are designed for creating textures and patterns by dabbing paint onto the surface.

Dry brush: This technique involves using a brush with minimal paint and no water to create textured effects and highlights.

How to clean oil paint brushes

Remember that brushes can also be categorised by their bristle material, such as natural hair (e.g., sable, hog, or squirrel) or synthetic fibres. Different bristle materials are better suited for various paint mediums (oil, acrylic, watercolour, etc.) and techniques.

These are the brushes recommended by The Leather Colour Doctor for dyeing or painting leather products

Flat brushes

For dying and painting leather, flat brushes are a common choice. Their bristles are often composed of synthetic materials that are resistant to chemicals and solvents prevalent in leather dyes and paints, such as nylon or taklon.


  • Even the application of dye or paint
  • Suitable for covering large areas
  • Easy to control


  • Not ideal for detailed work
  • Can create visible brush strokes if not used properly

Round brushes

Round brushes are versatile and can be used for applying dye or paint to leather. Their synthetic bristles are soft and flexible, allowing for smooth application and blending.


  • Good for detailed work
  • Can create lines of varying thickness
  • Smooth application and blending


  • Less suitable for covering large areas quickly
  • May require more frequent reloading of paint or dye

Angle brushes

Angle brushes have slanted bristles that make it easy to reach tight corners and create precise lines. Synthetic bristles are preferred for working with leather dyes and paints.


  • Precise application
  • Ideal for tight corners and edges
  • Can create sharp lines


  • Less suitable for large areas
  • May require more control to avoid uneven application

Filbert brushes

Filbert brushes have a flat, oval shape that works well for blending and creating soft edges. Synthetic bristles are recommended for leather dyeing and painting projects.


  • Good for blending and creating soft edges
  • Can cover larger areas than round brushes
  • Versatile shape


  • Not as precise as angle brushes
  • Can be challenging to control for beginners

Stippling brushes

Stippling brushes have short, stiff bristles that allow for creating textures and patterns on leather by dabbing paint or dye onto the surface. Synthetic bristles are recommended for durability and resistance to chemicals.


  • Excellent for creating textures and patterns
  • Durable and resistant to chemicals


  • Not suitable for smooth, even coverage
  • Limited use compared to other brush types

Consider the size of the area you’re working on, the level of precision required, and your particular preferences when selecting brushes for dyeing or painting leather. Because synthetic bristles, such as nylon or taklon, are resistant to chemicals and solvents in dyes and paints, they are chosen for leather tasks. Natural hair brushes, such as sable or hog, may be harmed by these compounds, making them unsuitable for leather work.

Finally, the best brushes for dyeing or painting leather products are flat, round, angle, filbert, and stippling brushes, each with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. You can choose the best brush for your leather job and achieve professional-looking results by learning the qualities and materials of each brush type.

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