Staining is the most delightful stage of woodworking. Not only does it give your old and faded or completely bare surface a brand new look, but it also protects it from the elements.
To perfect your staining game, you need the right staining brush. Finding one, however, is not the easiest job, thanks to the tons of brushes available in various shapes, sizes, and materials.
So, what is the best brush for staining? The best brush for staining depends on the kind of stain and the surface. Synthetic brushes are the best for water-based stains, while their natural counterparts are the best for oil-based stains.
There are a couple more considerations to make before settling for the one suitable brush for the job, and if you read a little further along with this buyer’s guide, you’ll get the guidance you need for your purchase.
We also review the 7 best brushes for staining in different categories. Let’s get staining.
Selecting Brushes For Staining
Choosing a staining brush is not as straightforward as most folks like to think. If you’ve ever been to the brush section of any hardware or home improvement store, you will agree that the choices are overwhelming.
So what makes one brush better for a particular staining job than another? The following factors will guide you on that.
1. Type Of Brush
There are three types of staining brushes: natural bristle brushes, synthetic bristle brushes, and foam brushes. Each of these brushes is good for a particular task.
Like we mentioned before, synthetic bristle brushes are the best brushes for staining wood with water-based stains. Synthetic bristles are made from nylon or polyester, which are prone to damage by the chemical solvents in oil-based stains.
On the contrary, natural bristle brushes, popularly known as white china brushes, are pretty resilient and unwavering when immersed in oil-based stains.
What about foam brushes? Well, foam brushes are good for any kind of stain. They are especially loved for absorbing lots of stain in one go. You can accomplish a staining job much faster using a foam brush than a bristled brush of the same size.
The only downside of foam brushes is the learning curve. The amount of stain is not consistent as you move it along, creating unevenness in the coating and leaving marks. But you can go back and wipe down the excess before it dries.
2. The Project
While there are many brushes for general staining of wood, other jobs require a specific type of brush. That is why they come in various sizes and shapes.
Large brushes are ideal for quick coverage of expansive surfaces or large jobs. If you want the best brush for staining wood fences or decks, aim for at least 4-7 inch wide brushes with synthetic bristles.
They should be comfortable and have a pole extension or an attachment to fix one. The small brush varieties are suitable for touching up and staining tight spaces, trims, and precise and detailed work.
You can opt for a general-purpose brush for all your staining needs or go specifically for the size and nature of the job. If your budget allows, then the best way to go about it is to invest in a set of different size brushes.
3. Brush Quality
A good brush is an investment. So if you are buying a dedicated brush for all your current and future staining needs, then the craftsmanship is of utmost importance.
The brush must be high quality, and everything from the stability of the handle to the metal used on the ferrule and the attachment of the bristles must be top-notch to avoid mistakes in your stain.
Low-quality brushes will quickly shed the bristles, leaving them on your stain job, and trying to remove them mars the perfection you are trying to achieve. Ferrules may also exhibit rustiness and wood warping within a short time.
With that said, cleaning brushes is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are disposable options as well if that is your preference. Foam brushes not only eliminate the risk of runaway bristles but are also disposable or reusable, depending on your preference.
They are inexpensive, but they are costly in the long run if you plan to do many different projects and are not ideal for anyone who stains wood frequently.
The 7 Best Brushes For Staining
Selecting one among hundreds, if not thousands, of brushes is downright exhausting. So, we already sought some of the 7 best staining brushes in the industry. You’ll get to choose from a small pool of the best of the best. Happy staining!
|1.||Wooster Bravo Brush - Universal||Pole compatible, for all types of stains|
|2.||Wooster Bravo Brush For Oil-Based Stains||For oil-based stains, pole compatible|
|3.||Perdura Deck Boss Brush||Sturdy, brush comb and storage box|
|4.||KingOrigin Professional Stain Brush||Heavy-duty, 3 pack, pole compatible|
|5.||Linzer Stain Waterproofing Brush||Works with all stains, durable|
|6.||Bates Foam Paint Brushes||20 pcs, foam, reusable and disposable|
|7.||Pro Grade Paint Brush Set||5 pcs, flat and angled, polyester|
1. Wooster Bravo Brush – Universal
Wooster is a centuries-old brand that many veteran painters swear by. Indeed, it performs exceedingly well on all types of staining jobs, big and small, interior and exterior.
The brush works perfectly with both water and oil-based stains. It is made from a blend of polyester and sable hair with nickel-plated steel ferrules and threaded hardwood handles.
You can use it handheld or unscrew the handle and replace it with the standard Acme threaded pole for extended length.
The brush is available in various widths and has excellent stain-wicking abilities with no drips and an even coating. It is ideal for decks, spindles, poles, furniture; you name it.
It delivers a clean job as no fibers come out along the way, and it cleans up very well too. With proper maintenance, it will last through several uses with nothing short of beautiful results.
2. Wooster Bravo Brush For Oil-Based Stains
A natural bristle brush yields the best results when staining wood with an oil-based stain. This Wooster white China model is precisely designed for that.
Like its predecessor, it is constructed with an ergonomic hardwood handle that is detachable to insert a pole. The nickel-plated stainless steel ferrules are strong and firmly grip the white China bristles.
Its stain holding capacity is top-notch, spreading stain evenly across every stroke. It is available in a couple of sizes, and you can go wider than the 4 inch to complete the job faster.
Unlike other brushes that cannot handle a second use after a dip in oil-based stains, this one washes well with appropriate cleaners without losing its spring. The Wooster brush stainer is simply outstanding and will likely be your forever brush.
3. Perdura Deck Boss Brush
Staining a deck DIY style always leaves every part of you sore, from your muscles to your mood.
But not with this Perdura deck stain brush. It is hands down the best brush for staining wood decks. Even professionals recommend it.
The 7-inch big block brush gets the work done in a jiffy. It is fast-loading, back brushes, and reaches all nooks and crannies in one stroke.
The construction is fantastic. Everything from the handle to the ferrule and the bristles is sturdily built with screws for reinforcement. You can stain your deck for days without it falling apart.
This brush is ideal for all deck types of rough and smooth surfaces, oil-based as well as water-based stains. With this brush, you can only expect professional results regardless of your brushing skills.
The package comes with some goodies like a brush comb and a protective storage box for the brush. It cleans up surprisingly well, primarily when you use the brush comb.
If DIY deck staining has always been a horrendous nightmare for you, this Perdura deck stainer brush is the game-changer you’ve been looking for.
4. KingOrigin Professional Stain Brush
A heavy-duty job like staining a wide wooden fence needs a tough-duty brush, and KingOrigin brushes fit the profile.
The 3-pack brush set features 4, 5, and 6 inch wide brushes. Each is half an inch thick and contains ample stain for a speedier application.
The bristles are made from polyester and are firmly fixed. They hold up well to a variety of fence textures. These filaments are restricted in a copper ferrule with an industrial-grade plastic handle.
At the top of the handle is a universal screw-on attachment that is compatible with various poles. This only means you can paint your fence standing up and not have to keep switching between squatting and standing back up.
KingOrigin brushes work great for post fences as well as decks, ceilings, and other broad surface areas. They are flexible enough to get in between posts, planks, and slats with ease.
5. Linzer Stain Waterproofing Brush
Linzer is a well-known brand of brushes. This particular one is adequate for all your everyday staining needs.
The 4-inch wide stain brush is ideal for general purpose wood staining, be it crafts, small-sized furniture, planks, rails, or even touching up the deck or fence.
It is really versatile and works well with both water-based stains and oil-based stains without showing signs of stress like stiffness.
This is not a cheap use-and-toss kind of brush. When meticulously cleaned, it is pretty durable.
This is a decent brush that is solidly built and doesn’t lose the filaments as you go. It has sufficient paint holding and releasing ability and also comes in an affordable price range.
6. Bates Foam Paint Brushes
If you’re looking for inexpensive foam brushes for small jobs like touching up some faded spots here and there, this set of Bates foam brushes is the deal.
You get so many foam brushes for an excellent price. You can choose to toss them after one time use or wash them in warm soapy water and reuse them. They are sturdy enough for an extra round or two of service.
There are 20 pieces in the pack, in assorted sizes; ten 1-inch, 6-inch, 2-inch, two 3-inch, and two 4-inch. That’s enough variety for narrow and wide applications.
The Bates foam brushes are lightweight and comfortable to use. The foam is of high quality and does not shred like other low-quality foams that leave bits stuck to your work. It is high in absorbency, low on drips, and even on coverage.
7. Pro Grade Paint Brush Set
Last but not least is this Pro Grade brush set. It has a little bit of everything, including both flat and angled brushes in a variety of widths between 1 and 3 inches.
The five-piece variety makes this set versatile for a range of staining jobs. Whether you’ll be doing trimming or you want something angular to penetrate the cracks of your deck, this set has you sorted.
It is a synthetic bristle brush made from polyester, and natural wood. The handles are ergonomically curved for maximum comfort.
How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use?
Unlike stained wood that will stay indoors under the protection of a roof and walls, it’s different for stained wood for outdoor use. Most newbies do not know this, but stained wood for outdoors needs the extra protection of a sealer.
The stain on its own doesn’t do much to protect the wood. In fact, it can bleed and be washed out and fade from moisture and UV exposure. Sealers enhance the stain’s pristine state and protect the wood from deterioration when outdoors.
In addition, a clear sealer transforms the dead flat appearance of stain into a nice glossy sheen which makes the true color of the stain also pop.
So if you’ve been hesitant about the process, the following tips should help:
- For bare wood, begin by sanding with medium-grit sandpaper. Sand in the same direction of the grain and then finish with a fine-grit sandpaper.
- Apply stain as directed by the manufacturer. Use a clean good bristle brush, applying a reasonable amount for it to soak in well.
- Wipe away any excess stain that doesn’t soak into the wood; these are usually visible as extremely wet patches. Use a clean cloth.
- Once dry, seal the wood with a sealer of choice. It could be polyurethane or lacquer. Generally, you can use an oil-based sealer over water-based paint, and the opposite is also true.But always check compatibility.
- Finish with light fine grit paper sanding and remove debris with a tack cloth.
Should I Use A Roller Or A Brush To Stain My Deck?
A roller will get you there faster, but a brush will give you the perfection you desire. Brushes can maneuver in tricky spaces that rollers could never. With the best brush for staining decks like the 7-inch Perdura, you can cut the time spent by two-thirds and achieve amazing results.