How to use a brush in Minecraft

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With the addition of archeology coming in 1.20, you might be wondering how to use a brush in Minecraft. This new tool is set to be a crucial part of interacting with the new archeology mechanics in the Trails and Tales update, allowing players the chance to, quite literally, unearth treasures and trinkets.

In this guide we’ll cover how to use a brush in Minecraft, how to get it, and what sort of things you can expect to find with it. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive Minecraft archeology guide though, we’ve got you covered for that too.

How to use a brush in Minecraft: The brush item on display.

How to get a brush in Minecraft

Like many other items in the game, the brush is going to be a craftable tool. To craft a brush, you’ll first need to gather the following ingredients:

  • One copper ingot – which you can smelt in a furnace from raw copper ore mined with a pickaxe.
  • One feather – which you can collect from slain chickens.
  • One stick – which can be crafted by placing two wooden plank blocks vertically in a crafting table or the crafting menu.

From here the recipe is simple. Place your stick in the bottom centre square of your crafting table, your copper ingot just above it, and your feather above the ingot. We’ve illustrated it below to help.

How to use a brush in Minecraft: The crafting recipe for the brush.

Keep in mind though that like most tools in-game, the brush has limited durability, and will eventually break after extended use.

How to use a brush in Minecraft

Now that you’ve got your brush in hand, it’s time to put it to use. To use the brush, you’ll need to find suspicious sand or suspicious gravel blocks, two new block variations also coming in 1.20 and available in the snapshot beta..

These two blocks have slightly rougher textures than their ordinary counterparts. From a distance, these will be difficult to spot, but side-by-side as shown below, a keen eye will be able to make out the differences.

How to use a brush in Minecraft: A side-by-side comparison of regular sand and gravel, and their new suspicious variants.

To use the brush, simply right click on one of these blocks. An animation will play, and your character will slowly brush away the years of accumulated sediments, revealing an item inside.

How to use a brush in Minecraft: A player using a brush to excavate a block of suspicious sand.

Though additional items may be added in the future, here is a list of all the things we currently know you can get from excavating a block of suspicious sand or suspicious gravel with the brush:

  • Armour trim
  • Brick
  • Beetroot seeds
  • Clay
  • Coal
  • Dead bush
  • Diamond
  • Dyes
  • Dyed candle
  • Emerald
  • Flower pot
  • Golden nugget
  • Gunpowder
  • Hanging sign
  • Iron axe
  • Lead
  • Pottery shards
  • Stained glass pane
  • Stick
  • Sniffer egg
  • String
  • Suspicious stew
  • TNT
  • Wheat
  • Wooden hoe

Some of these are of course more exciting than others, with a few coming in 1.20 alongside the brush. Sniffer eggs will be your key to bringing the sniffer into your worlds, so be sure to check our Minecraft sniffer guide if you want more information on that. If you’re excited about Minecraft armor trimming or the new Minecraft pottery feature and decorative pots, we’ve got guides exploring both of those as well.

How do I get a brush in Minecraft?

The brush can be crafted in Minecraft by placing a stick, copper ingot and feather from bottom to top in a crafting table.

About the Author

Finlay Cattanach

Fin is a Guides and Reviews writer for He's worked previously with Startmenu, The Loadout, and more. He plays everything from strategy and sandbox titles to FPS and souls-likes.


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