Best Brushes For Staining Wood

Staining wood can be a tricky process, but with one of these best brushes for staining wood, and the right techniques you can achieve beautiful results. There are many different types of brushes available, from budget-friendly chip brushes to specialty triangle paintbrushes that help you get into details.

In this article, we will explore some of the best brushes for refinishing furniture so you can find one that fits your needs perfectly. Also check out our refinishing furniture tips in this post for more ideas for your project.

a handful of brushes for staining furniture

Staining wood can be a great way to give new life to an old piece of furniture or enhance the beauty of a freshly-built project.

Click here for the stain removal guide and checklist

Choosing a brush that works well for staining requires considering factors such as size, bristle material, shape, and budget.

In this article we will look at some of the best brushes available so you can find one that fits your needs perfectly.

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Best Brushes for Staining Wood

There are many different types of brushes available, and it can be challenging to choose the right one for your specific project.

So let’s look at the top picks for the best brushes for staining wood, and why each type is best suited for a specific task.

Best Brush for Large Projects

Linzer 5” Brush

Linzer 5” Brush

The Linzer 5” brush is the perfect choice for large staining projects, offering maximum coverage and easy handling.

The brush is designed with a comfortable grip to make staining easier, allowing you to hold it for long periods of time without fatigue.

Its 5” size also allows it to hold more stain, so you can cover more area in less time. This size of brush is overkill for staining furniture, but it is perfect for staining large projects like fences and decks.

Pros of Linzer 5” brush:

  • Comfortable grip for easy handling
  • Large size covers more area in less time
  • Holds more stain than smaller brushes

Cons of Linzer 5” brush:

  • Too large for staining furniture and small projects

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Best Budget Friendly Brush

3" chip brush

3” Chip Brush

The 3″ chip brush is a great option for those on a budget, as it is one of the most affordable options available.

The smaller size makes it perfect for reaching into tight corners and crevices, making it ideal for detailed work.

It is also best suited for smaller projects, such as refinishing furniture or staining trim. It’s not as thick as the 5″ brush, above, so it won’t hold as much stain though.

Pros of the 3″ chip brush:

  • Affordable
  • Perfect for detailed work
  • Ideal for small projects like refinishing furniture or staining trim

Cons of the 3″ chip brush:

  • Not as thick as larger brushes, so it holds less stain

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Best for Cheapest Option

2 inch foam brush

2” Foam Brush

The 2” foam brush is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable option when it comes to staining wood. Its foam material makes it perfect for staining smooth.

Additionally, its small size allows you to get into tight corners and crevices that larger brushes may not be able to reach.

Since it is made of foam, it will easily fall apart if you stain rough wood, or use it a lot. But these foam brushes are great for one use, small projects.

Pros of the 2″ foam brush:

  • Affordable
  • Great for staining smooth surfaces
  • Small size allows you to get into tight corners and crevices

Cons of the 2″ foam brush:

  • Will easily fall apart if used on rough wood or with heavy use

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Best for Getting Into Details

zibra fan paint brush

Zibra Paint Brush

The Zibra paint brush is perfect for getting into details. Its uniquely shaped head has bristles angled into the shape of a triangle, allowing it to fit into corners.

The high-quality bristles also ensure a smooth and even finish, making it perfect for staining intricate details on furniture and other woodworking projects. It also does not shed bristles like the other brushes do.

It is more expensive than the chip brush or foam brush, but its superior design makes it worth the cost for detailed work.

Check out how to refinish wood furniture with Zibra paint brush and gel stain here.

Pros of the Zibra brush:

  • Uniquely shaped head with bristles angled into a triangle for getting into details.
  • High-quality bristles ensure a smooth, even finish.
  • Does not shed bristles like other brushes do.

Cons of the Zibra brush:

  • More expensive than chip brush or foam brush.

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Is it better to stain wood with a brush or a rag?

Both brushes and rags can be used to stain wood, and each method has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the project and personal preferences.

Brushes are ideal for applying a consistent coat of stain to a large surface area. The bristles can help spread the stain evenly and can reach tight corners and rough areas that a rag might not.

Remember to clean your brush after each use so you can keep using them for future projects. Here’s how to clean paint brushes.

Rags can be a good option for smaller surfaces, or quick projects if you don’t have an extra brush lying around. It’s easier to throw a rag out after staining too.

Note: When using oil based stain, let your rag or brush dry outside in a safe area, laying flat, to dry to avoid combustion.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference, project scope, and the desired finish. Some people prefer brushes for larger projects, while others prefer rags.

Check our blog post to learn how to stain wood with a rag. I also used this method in this farmhouse cabinet makeover.

If you’re working with a larger area and wondering if can you spray wood stain with a paint sprayer, read through this post to learn more.

Tips for Staining Wood

It is important to take the time to stain wood correctly in order to achieve the desired result. Check out the best wood stains for refinishing furniture here.

Check out my step-by-step guide on how to stain wood furniture to learn more.

Here are some tips for staining wood that will help you get the best possible finish:

Prepare your surface

Sand the wood with sandpaper (150 grit to 220 grit sandpaper) to create a smooth surface before you stain.

Be sure to sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid leaving unsightly scratches in the wood. Learn more about the best sandpaper for furniture painting here.

Choose the right brush for your project

Different brushes are best for different jobs. Select a brush that is sized appropriately for your project and suited to the type of finish you’re aiming for.

Apply the stain evenly

Avoid applying too little pressure when staining the wood. Make sure you apply enough stain to soak into the wood.

Then wipe off the stain in the direction of the wood grain to prevent unwanted streaks going in different directions.

Let the stain dry completely

Allow the stain to dry completely before you apply a top coat or sealer. This will ensure that you don’t have issues with the stain or topcoat drying.

Learn more about topcoats for painting furniture here.

Follow these tips for staining wood to get a beautiful, professional finish on your project! Staining wood can be a complicated process, but it is worth taking the time to do it right! Best of luck!

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