How To Install Paint Tool SAI Brushes

Are you bored with all the brushes that you have been using? We know. It can get redundant and repetitive. Installing the brushes can be daunting, but we will walk you through the process to make it easier. 

To install the paint tool brushes, locate the Paint Tool SAI files, locate The Brushes, unzip The Files, find the corresponding Conf Files, and edit the conf files to add the brush. 

To learn the process in detail, continue reading. 

How To Install The Brushes In Paint Tool SAI? 

To install brushes in Paint Tool SAI, there are multiple steps involved. We will walk you through the steps in detail, as they may be confusing. 

A Youtube video that may help in this process is:

How To Locate The Paint Tool SAI Files On Your Computer?

The first step is to locate the files on your computer. The Paint Tool SAI files can be located on your computer by going to the directory where the program was installed. 

Generally, the files are located in C:/Program Files/PaintTool SAI or C:/Program Files (x86)/PaintTool SAI. 

Another way to access the directory is to right-click on the Paint Tool SAI icon on the desktop and select “Properties.” In the “General” tab, you will find the “Location” field, which will list the directory where the program files are stored.

How To Locate The Brushes In Paint Tool SAI Files Directory?

When you open the SAI files, you will see multiple folders. The folders that contain the brushes are labeled as “blotmap,” “elemap,” and “brushtex.” Map refers to brush shape. Let us discuss what the three folders contain. 

  • Blotmap – Blotmap contains different brush shapes. An “elemap” contains brush shapes too, but they are categorized separately because of their properties. Blotmap contains brush shapes which are thicker and contain texture. They can be coarse and grainy. 
  • Elemap – An “elemap” also contains brush shapes. However, these brush strokes are thinner and more delicate. These are also smoother and more refined than those in blotmap. 
  • Brushtex – This folder contains the different textures of brushes. Textures add detail to the swatches. For example a splatter texture may be used. 

All of these folders contain files in the .BMP format. These are like .JPG files and contain images. 

How To Copy The Images Of The Brush Set We Want?

Once you have located the folders, you need to pick out the brushes you want to install in Paint Tool SAI. Open and unzip the folders. You will need to come back to this step later. 

What Are Conf Files?

A conf file is a text file that contains configuration information for a program. It typically contains options that control how the program behaves.

Each folder has conf files: brushform.conf and brushtex.conf. Brushform.conf contains all the brush shapes, while brushtex.conf contains all the brush textures. These files need to be edited and configured so they can perform the tasks we want them to do. 

How To Configure Conf Files?

This part may seem too tech savvy, but we will pull it together. Do not sweat it. Let’s go. 

  1. Double-click on the conf file of your choice, like brushtex.conf or brushform.conf. 
  2. This will open Notepad. If the notepad does not open directly, try to right-click and click edit or open from the options given. 
  3. The text on the notepad will show you all the brushes the file contains. Each line will have the text for a new brush and end in .bmp. For example, 2,elemap/flat bristle.bmp is one line. 
  4. If you want to add more brushes or brush textures, here is what to do:
    1. Go back to the file you unzipped. Look at the name of the file. If it is a brushtex folder, you will add this when configuring the brushtex.conf file. If it is an elemap or blotmap, you will be adding this to the brushform.conf file. 
    2. The text that you will add to the Notepad will have numbering. For brushtex.conf, each line will start with 1. For brushform.conf, elemaps will start with 2, and blotmaps will start with 1. 
    3. For example, you want to add the Fly brush. This is from the elemap folder. You will write “2, elemap/Fly.bmp”. You will follow this format for all brushes that you add. 

Quick Recap Of The Process

Let us simplify now. 

  1. Locate the Paint Tool SAI files. 
  2. Locate The Brushes.
  3. Unzip The Files.
  4. Find the corresponding Conf Files.
  5. Edit the conf files to add the brush. 


We know this can be overwhelming, but be patient and pay attention to each step. You can always go back and forth and learn from your mistakes. Do not give up.