A paintbrush is the epitome of every successful stain project. Though finding a quality brush can be an uphill task, it is not impossible.

So, if you are almost going bald due to pulling your hair when shopping for the best brush for staining wood, relax. We have left no stone unturned in our quest to help you choose a top-quality wood staining brush.

We have burned our midnight oil, compiling a comprehensive list to help you pick only the best paint brushes that are worth their salt. Using the right brush makes your staining project easy and fun.

Our Top Picks

Best Brush for Staining Wood – Product Reviews

We’ve created a comprehensive list of the nine best brushes for staining wood furniture or deck based on our research.

1. Deck Stain Brush Applicator by Perdura

Deck Stain Brush Applicator - Deck BOSS by Perdura - 7 inch...
1,111 Reviews
Deck Stain Brush Applicator - Deck BOSS by Perdura - 7 inch...
  • ✅ USE the BEST - Stain your deck in HALF the TIME and SAVE YOUR BACK in the process - The DECK BOSS is FUN to use and the PROVEN PERFORMER in the U.S. professional deck staining market. - Load up, back brush and coat between cracks in the one action - SUPER FAST application of all paints, stains, sealers to rough or smooth surfaces. (pole not included)
  • ✅ PROFESSIONAL MONEY MAKING MACHINE - In the hands of a Professional, the DECK BOSS will save lots of time while providing a higher level of finish. This means more money in your pocket and is an absolute weapon that all Professionals and DIY's should have at home or in the work van.
  • ✅ #1 RATED DECK STAIN/PAINT BRUSH ON THE MARKET - A must have coating tool for any professional or DIY - See what our Professional and DIY customers are saying about DECK BOSS from the reviews.

This paint brush is making your wood staining job easy and fun. You do not have to worry about back pains when you use the product in your project.

The multi purpose brush allows you to finish your project in half the usual time so that you do not have to get bored and begin cursing at every turn.

So, you’ll have time to focus on other things that scream for your attention. You can use it to apply all types of wood stains and paints. Also, it is applicable to both smooth and rough surfaces.

Painters and amateurs prefer to use it because it is reliable and delivers every time you use it. Once you use this staining brush, you’ll sing its praises more than a bird to everyone who cares to listen.

This deck stain applicator comes in a sturdy, attractive box that you can use to store the items after every use. The package also includes a brush comb and a bottle opener keyring as a bonus.

The Deck boss is the Supreme tool for quickly coating or staining vast areas! The seven by 2 -inch style with a three-inch filament length can hold loads of paint and oil-based stain.

What We Liked More About The Product

  • It is durable
  • It helps save time and energy 
  • It is best for big projects
  • It holds a reasonable amount of stain and applies quickly and smoothly.
  • It is effortless to clean the bristles.

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s not suitable for smaller projects

2. Wooster Bravo Stainer Brush F5116-4 Stainer Stain Brush, 4-Inch

Wooster Brush F5116-4 Stainer Stain Brush, 4-Inch
  • Excellent results with all oil-based stains sealers wood toners
  • White China bristle with square construction
  • Nickel-plated steel ferrule

If you are looking for a stain brush that can work on your bare wood, your search ends with this item. Even more good news is that you can use it several times.

Just be sure to thoroughly clean it with whichever solvent you were using before the stain dries after each use.

You keep it in the box it came from and suspend it to prevent the bristles from getting damaged. Then wait for your next paint job.

This stain brush is exceptional for deck staining as it soaks up a considerable amount of paint and holds on to it, letting up apply quite a lot of wood stain uniformly across the boards.

Its handle is easily removable, so you can fix it in a standard extension pole to save your fragile back from all that bending. In addition, you can use it to stain both horizontal and vertical surfaces. It is also ideal for staining decks.

Always remember that when it comes to buying a paintbrush, you get what you pay for. So, invest in a good quality brush such as this wooster brush to enjoy the fruits of your hard staining job.

This stain brush works perfectly and helps you apply a uniform coat on a regular with deck boards and even gets between the board gaps as well. If you thought you would use this brush once and throw it away, think again. 

You’ll only need to thoroughly clean it with mineral spirits, and it will be good to go again for a couple of wood projects. 

What We Liked More About The Product

  • It is cheap but still does a good job.
  • You can remove the handle and fix a standard mop or broom pole to save your back.
  • It is ideal for staining decks.

What Could Be Improved

  • Some people misjudge it due to its price and think it is inferior.

3. Linzer 0600 Project Select Premium Stain’N 3550 Paint Brush

Linzer 0600 Project Select Premium Stain'N 3550 Paint Width,...
  • Specialty Brush with polyester & bristle filament blend paint, stain and waterproofing Brush
  • Plastic handle with threaded grip for extension pole use
  • Stainless steel Ferrule

This is a phenomenal brush as you can simply extend the molded plastic handle to make your job a bit easier. 

Even if you have an extensive history of back problems, you can use this brush with a standard extension pole to stain your wood, and your back won’t hurt.

You can find a light wooden extension pole affordably at your local paint store to use with this stain block brush.

Apart from requiring a small brush for some difficult-to-reach areas, this wood stain brush works like a dream.

You might think that this brush is somewhat pricey, but the truth is it is worth every penny. You get what you pay for most of the time, and cheap is expensive in the long run.

You do not want to do the heart-wrenching work of prepping your wood and then staining it only to get shoddy results just because you couldn’t invest in a quality paintbrush.

Once you finish, stuff this linzer brush in a Ziploc bag and toss it in your refrigerator until you need to use it over and over again.

You’ll have no issues with bristles falling out thanks to the stainless steel ferrule. Using this brush enables you to cover a large area in the shortest time possible.

What We Liked More About The Product

  • It is affordable
  • You can use a readily available regular extension pole to save your back
  • It is re-usable
  • It saves you time and money

What Could Be Improved

  • Some people feel it is expensive though it makes it up for it in quality and functionality.

4. Wooster Brush Q3211-2 Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush

This brush stains evenly whether you are using water-based stains, oil-based, latex, or acrylic stains.

It has been in the market for more than three decades doing what it does best- enabling you to get world-class results in your painting job.

The brush is just great on your walls or trim, and you can use it in most of your paint jobs around your house. You’ll love the brush because it is agronomical and will make your wood staining a walk in the park. 

Your hands will not ache or blister as a result of its clever design. Unlike its wood-handled trim brush counterparts, this brush’s threaded hardwood handle is flexible and has that “give” to it feeling.  

You just clean this brush with a special brush cleanse. Its bristles are inch thick and silky. Even with just slightly dipping in the tips of the bristles, it scoops up a fair amount of stain.

The bristles splay evenly and smoothly, giving you enviable smooth surfaces. It’s an excellent brush for those who don’t have the patience or time for bullshit. 

You need this brush if you want to paint your wall quickly with minimal stress. In addition, this brush gives you better control when staining/ painting a straight part, such as when cutting in along your trim. 

You have so much control that you might even avoid taping off your room, which would save you a lot of time. The rubberized handle feels good in the hand and makes cleaning the brush a breeze.

What We Liked More About The Product

  • It is cheap but also gets the job done excellently and quickly.
  • It is durable. Just clean it thoroughly after each use and keep it safe.

What Could Be Improved

  • Some people feel that the handle is somewhat short. 

5. Best Brushes For Smooth Finish – Presa Premium Paint Brushes

Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set, 5 Piece
  • PREMIUM: Increase your productivity with thoughtfully constructed premium paint brushes for pros
  • MORE PAINT: Blending the finest SRT filaments gives brushes up to 30% more paint holding capacity
  • SMOOTH: The premium filaments provide a smooth, even release: more finesse and precision

This brush boosts your productivity as it is thoroughly built just for that. It can hold up to thirty percent more stain than its regular counterparts.

It is very durable. So, you can use it for a couple of projects in the years ahead. You can use it even on the roughest surfaces without destroying it. The brush is easy to clean after every use.

The premium filaments in these natural bristle brushes offer you a smoother finish and a more uniform release. This allows you to paint with more outstanding expertise and precision.

Even if you are not a professional painter, this brush has all it needs to help you do a magnificent job.

Most homeowners and DIYers use this paint brush for trim because it enables them to control the application significantly and clean up real good.

This high quality brush set is superb for exterior and interior painting, even if you are picky about brush quality. Even though the hair is better for oil-based stains, these natural bristle brushes still do a better job.

You can use them for your front door, walls, porch, and trim and not get disappointed. They give you real value for your money.

You’ll edge quickly, and you’ll feel like buying an additional set to keep in your toolbox. And for that price, nothing can beat their quality.

What We Liked More About The Product

  • The brushes are cheap, but their quality is unmatched
  • They give you better control of paint application
  • The handle is very comfortable

What Could Be Improved

  • They might not load a lot of paint.

6. Best Acrylic Paint Brushes  – Loew-Cornell 841 20-Piece Foam Brush Set, 1-Pack, Black 

These foam brushes have a short wooden handle and are two inches long. You can use them for acrylics, whether a beginner, intermediary or expert craft painter.

Their quality is reasonably good and works well for a series of varnishing projects. They’ll hold up well and probably much better than the stain brushes you can get locally.

The price is very reasonable considering that you get twenty fantastic pieces. These foam brushes will apply paint to your wood and do not run on any vertical surface.

Though you may not need the twenty brushes initially, you’ll need a brush every four to six months for applying another touch-up coat on surfaces.

And if your foam brush starts to harden, you remove the next brush and continue with your paint job as nothing happened. These foam brushes are good and can last for a couple of years.

You’ll love them particularly for staining for varnish as they leave no paint brush marks. They shed little foam, and their handles hold on incredibly.

What We Liked More About The Product

  • They are excellent for crafting
  • The quality is reasonable for the price.
  • They are better than most similar-looking products
  • The brushes are cheaper since you buy them in bulk. So, even if some may have issues, you won’t even feel it.

What Could Be Improved

  • You can not use them on shellac or lacquer. 
  • They are not that good for Polyurethane application.

7. Best Polyurethane Brush – Minwax Manway 427320008 Polycyclic 2″ Trim

Minwax 427320008 Polycrylic Wood Stain Brush, 2”, White
694 Reviews
Minwax 427320008 Polycrylic Wood Stain Brush, 2”, White
  • WOOD STAIN BRUSH – This 2” wood staining brush is a fine craft, blend of nylon and polyester designed for water-based stains and finishes. Using this high-quality synthetic bristle brush provides a beautiful, even finish.
  • SMOOTH, EVEN FINISH – The soft application design and synthetic bristles promote a smooth finish of wood stain and protective or clear finishes for your wood projects.
  • USE WITH – This 2” wood stain brush is for use for quart size cans of water-based stains and finishes. Rinse well after use, and clean with soap and water.

You can use this product for finishing or staining your wood, whether indoors or outdoor. The brush is durable, and you can use it repeatedly.

Just be sure to clean it after each use, following the manufacturer’s safety instructions. And then keep it in its cardboard package between applications.

This brush is ideal for staining, varnishing, and applying water-based media. It is long-lasting and simple to clean. Also, it does not shed even after heavy washing.

The brush puts on the poly uniformly, and you can use it for five different projects and still be standing. This paintbrush is phenomenal.

Though polyacrylic paint can wash off even after several days on the brush, do not take the risk. Instead, wash it thoroughly after each use and store it accordingly.

Suppose you wash it in warm water and let it dry completely. It will be as good as new and ready to use for the next project.   

What We Liked More About The Product

  • It indeed is good quality material, great price, and gives you a smooth application.
  • It does not leave brush marks or lose its bristles. 
  • You can use it to mix acrylic paints, and it works awesomely.
  • It is a superb brush for the price 
  • It is straightforward to clean
  • It also works best with water-based acrylic paint and does not dry up.

What Could Be Improved

  • Some people feel it’s a bit difficult to use.

8. Best Professional Grade Paint Bushes – Pro Grade – Paint Brushes – 5 Ea – Paint Brush Set

Pro Grade - Paint Brushes - 5 Ea - Paint Brush Set
  • Paint Brush Set Includes 1 Ea of 1" Flat, 1-1/2" Angle, 2" Stubby Angle, 2" Flat & 2-1/2" Angle
  • Paint Brushes For Interior Or Exterior Projects. Use Angle Sash Paint Brush For Cutting Crisp Lines.
  • Professional Results On Walls, Trim, Cabinets, Doors, Fences, Decks, Touch Ups, Arts And Crafts.

This is the best brush for a premium professional-grade set suitable for use on both exterior and interior projects.

Use it and get those elusive professional results on your decks, fences, doors, walls, art & craft, and all the touch-ups. This fence applicator brush comes at such an affordable price that you can’t miss out on them.

These hold a considerable amount of paint at once so that you do not have to keep going back and forth to get more color. As a result, you save time with each application and get the finish you have been dreaming about for years.

These brushes are indeed good for the price. Even if you are used to buying the cheapest brushes to toss them away after using because you do not want to clean them, you’ll gladly clean up these.

And then happily re-use them several times. Like with almost all brushes, a few bristles may come out and get a little creamy if you are edging out an entire room.

But come on, this set gives you five unique brushes. If this happens, you just grab the next brush and forget the misery.

It is relatively easy to clean these stain brushes after multiple with soap and water, and they will still be in great shape. 

What We Liked More About The Product

  • Durable, affordable, and give you value for your cash
  • Their quality is good for the price

What Could Be Improved

  • Some bristles can come out when washing.

9. Value For Money – Bates Paint Brushes – 4 Pack

Bates- Paint Brushes, 4 Pack, Treated Wood Handle, Paint...
  • PROFESSIONAL QUALITY: 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, Trim Paint Brush is Premium; intended to be long lasting and easy to clean. Exceptional ability to get the job done quickly with a superior finish.
  • FIT FOR COMFORT: Treated wood handle brushes are lightweight and easy to hold. A comfort that last for long tedious jobs. Handle allows for the best quality control with exceptional results.
  • THICK FILAMENTS: These synthetic filaments are designed hold more paint to save you time and give you the finish you are looking for. Filaments are durable and long-lasting.

Looking for the best brushes for the budget? These brushes have the superb capability to get your paint job done quickly and efficiently. They are feathery, durable, and easy to clean. These brushes offer you a superior finish for every project.

The brushes are comfortable even for monotonous jobs. In addition, the handle enables you to have exceptional control of the paint.

They hold a reasonable amount of paint to save you lots of time and still offer you the finish you have searched for decades. The brushes are suitable for beginners, intermediaries, and professional painters.

 Even if you have been painting for a living for more than thirty years and have never bought these brushes, you need to give it a try, and you’ll be grateful that you did.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality of these brushes. They are far much better than most big-brand brushes. Do not brush them aside due to their low prices. 

The brushes rock because they make your tasks easier without breaking your bank. Undoubtedly, their quality is phenomenal for the price. The set consists of four different brushes that will not shed.

Even if you prefer throwing away the stain brush after finishing the project, buying these brushes is still a great deal. You can change from one color to another and wash the brush. It’ll clean easily and won’t transfer the paint.

What We Liked More About The Product

  • It is affordable
  • They are reusable and easy to clean
  • They give you a superior finish

What Could Be Improved

  • Some people may dismiss them as low-quality brushes due to price.

Best brushes for staining wood Comparison Table

Education: How to Pick the Best Brush for Stain

If you have ever shopped for a paintbrush for staining wood at a home improvement store, you know how confusing it can be.

Your local hardware or home improvement center stocks an infinite variety of paint brushes, and they differ in lengths, sizes, shapes, materials, bristle types, and prices.

Sometimes picking the correct type of paintbrush is almost as challenging as selecting the proper paint color.

Luckily, you only need a few brushes to get your paint job done.  So, here are the things you need to consider when buying a suitable brush.

Types of Brushes for Staining Wood

The type of brush you use in your painting job determines the results you get. It can either make you stand in awe of your job or curse the day you laid your hand on a paintbrush.

Although the handle is very crucial in a  paintbrush, What matters most is the bristles. And the bristles, also knowns as filaments, can either be natural or synthetic.

The Synthetic Bristle Brush 

Synthetic bristles are mostly made of nylon or polyester bristles or a mixture of the two.

You use the synthetic polyester bristles brush to apply water-based stains and clear finishes. Contrary to mineral spirits, water causes your natural bristles to swell, making them lose their shape.

Synthetic hairs do not absorb moisture and will not lose their form in the process, therefore, giving you a smooth finish.  Also, cleaning them up is such a breeze. You only need soap and water, and that’s it.

Natural Bristle Brush

A natural bristle brush, also referred to as white china bristle brush, is manufactured from animal hair or fur. Some are suitable to use with both water-based stains and oil-based stains.

5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Wood Stain Brush

Staining using paint brush

As you already know, the brush you use for painting can significantly affect the results you get. So, it would be best if you never shopped for a meeting blindly.

It would help if you understood the qualities to look for in a brush. Here’s what you should consider;

Brush Type

Paintbrushes are produced from stiff or soft hairs that can be natural or synthetic filaments. Soft brushes are excellent for light paint such as watercolor coats/ stains as they spread quickly.

Stiff/ hard brushes are ideal for applying thick paint.

Note: The way you use your brush determines its durability. You should always use the right brush to conserve your brush and get the results you are looking for. 

Bristle Size and Shape

The majority of paintbrushes on the market today are square-cut brushes. They’re ideal for holding and applying paint to almost every surface.

On the other hand, Square-cut brushes offer limited control when painting along narrow edges or tight spaces.

Use a sash brush with bristles cut at an angle for additional control. Sash brushes are handy for cutting in around the circumference of a room.

Strength of the Bristle

Brush hairs sticking to a newly painted surface is a no-no for each paint job. You will completely ruin your paint job when you attempt to remove brush bristles from a freshly stained surface.

As a result, buy a brush with bristles that seldom fall out. A brush with bristles that are tightly connected to the mandrel is appropriate.

Ability to Contain Paint

If you are a beginner, go for a brush that can hold a lot of paint in the very first dip.  That way, you won’t have to use a wood stain remover in the future.

If your paint job ends in undesired drips, cleaning them up can be a difficult task. As a result, you’ll want to make sure that the brush you pick produces fewer runs and drips.

If your brush can paint a more extensive surface area, such as fences, you’ll use less energy in one stroke. Higher-quality brushes have split or flagged ends. Drooped bristles hold more paint and distribute it more evenly.

Wear And Tear

You can re-use certain types of staining brushes, and others you can just discard after a single-use.  When selecting a meeting, the goal is to make a wise investment.

Throwaway brushes may be less expensive at first, but you should go for a brush that you can use to apply stain coats yearly. Choose a brush that can be re-used and cleaned easily.

Better still, you can invest in a brush set to cushion yourself from imminent stress if a meeting wears out before completing your paint job. If this happens, you grab a new brush and move on unabated.

How to Stain Wood (Step-by-Step Process of Applying Stain)

Before you stain your wood,  know that you’ll have to refinish your wood regularly, even if you pick the best paint you can find.

To keep your wood stunning for ages, refinish it as you notice the first signs of deterioration. Even so, here’s you go about it.

What You Need

  • Paint/ Stain 
  • painter’s tape
  • Broom.
  • Dropcloth.
  • paintbrush 
  • paint stirrer

Step 1- Clean the wood thoroughly

Clean the wooden surface to remove all manner of dirt, do it on a sunny day, and see that there’s no rain on the horizon for a couple of days.

Step 2- Tape off areas you do not need stained

Using painter’s tape or a drop cloth to cover the surfaces, you don’t need to catch the paint.

Step 3- Apply the Paint

Using a paintbrush, apply the paint to the wood.

Use a one-inch paintbrush to cover the interior spaces between boards for better coverage. Though you can use a cloth to apply wood stain, use a paintbrush or a foam brush to highly porous surfaces.

Step 4- Wipe off any Excess paint

Wipe away all the excess paint and let the wood dry. 

Tips to Master When Staining for Professional Results

Whether you are painting your walls for the first time or have done it several times, follow the tips below to make your next paint job a glowing success. 

 1. Do an exhaustive visual inspection and preparation

Thinly sand down all the peeling, cracking, and flacking surfaces before applying the primer and paint as the weight of a fresh coat will loosen the old paint.

Wash the greasy areas with warm soapy water and wipe with a damp cloth to ensure that your paint will stick to a clean wood surface for that professional look.

2  Make use of tinted paint

Go for a tinted primer in place of a regular white primer. Compared to plain white primer, it does a more competent job concealing the existing or old stain color.

The finish coat will be a little more vivid as well, requiring fewer coats. Tinted primer works best with existing colors such as red or orange, which typically need three coats without a primer.

3 Start Painting From Top to Bottom

Experts recommend painting from top to bottom to keep drips and spatters at bay. If you do this, you get a more compatible paint job, plus it’s easier and comfortable to do.

4  Await Dry Weather

 Avoid painting during the wet season. A wet season means that there’s much humidity in the air, slowing down the drying time. 

If you have to stain in humid conditions, take time between coat applications. Take advantage of the slow drying time to rectify any mistakes before applying the next coat. 

Also, avoid painting under direct sunlight as it might cause the paint to dry before the wood absorbs it to the maximum.

 5 Use A Painter’s tape with a Flexible Knife

To avoid unwanted paint on the edges of the ceiling or walls, seal off the edges with painter’s tape as it won’t leave any sticky remains even if you leave it for some days. 

Furthermore, to have a great seal and certify that no paint bleeds through, use a flexible knife over the top to hold down the tape.

Read also: Top finish for table stain


What is the Best Brush for Staining Wood?

The best brush for staining wood is Natural bristle brush. This is because you can clean and reuse Natural bristle brushes for more than one project. Alternatively, you can also stain wood using Synthetic bristle brushes. Ensure the syntenic brushes are 100 % acrylic. The good thing about synthetic bristle brushes is that they don’t get limp like natural brushes.

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

You can use both a rag and brush to stain wood and still get excellent results. It depends on the type of brush you are using, size,  and type of wood. However, using lint-free rags for staining allows you to control the amount of stain you apply and remove any excess paint hassle-free.  Furthermore, the rag produces a beautiful, uniform, and brush stroke-free finish.  You also discard it once you complete it.

Bristles of low-quality staining brushes can come out and ruin your finish, and also you can struggle with brush strokes when using a brush.  

Can I apply oil-based paint using brushes?

Yes. You can use a natural white china-bristles paintbrush with oil-based paints. A natural White china bristles paintbrush is a good option for painting a smooth surface with oil-based paint as it is soft and flexible.

On the flip side, a sturdy synthetic bristle brushes is still a better choice for staining a rough surface using oil-based stains.

It’s more durable and will resist wear and tear.  Synthetic brushes are ideal for acrylic,  latex, and water-based wood stains.

How do you clean a brush after staining?

After drying the brush with a clean rag, apply dish soap to the bristles and comb the brush while rinsing it with warm water.

Shake off excess water and dry it again with a rag. Allow it to dry overnight by laying it flat with a paper bag wrapped around it.

Can you re-use a brush after application?

It depends on the quality of the brush, how you maintain it, and how you store it. You can re-use a good well kept brush many times for a couple of years. 

Do unwiped stains spoil the look of my wood finish?

Yes, they can affect the results. But, remember, the stain works maximally when pigments and dyes penetrate the wood. So, the stain is not meant to sit on top of the wood.

That’s why you have to wipe off excess stain a few minutes after application. Moreover, failure to wipe off extra stains may fail to give you a desirable smooth finish.

Best brush for wood stain Summary

Wooster brush is our top choice for staining wood. This brush allows you to paint smoothly, quickly, and efficiently.  It’s also reusable, durable, affordable,  low-maintenance, and suitable for all paint DIY projects.

Another striking phenomenon about this brush is you can use it with all types of stains without damaging it.

That said, the best brush for staining wood shouldn’t be the cheapest nor the most expensive.