The beauty of using chalk paint on furniture is its soft, smooth, matte finish. When I first started using chalk paint, I found it difficult to recreate what I’d seen on Pinterest – this was because I wasn’t using the right brush. It’s hard to know which are the best brushes for chalk paint, without spending heaps of money testing them out.
Eventually, I found a chalk brush that suits me and learnt along the way that each project requires a certain type, and each person will have a different preference.
In this review, we go through the reasons behind buying proper chalk brushes and the best features to look out for. Ensuring you don’t waste money on poor quality brushes, that won’t work for your specific DIY project.
So firstly, let’s look into the importance of finding the best brush for chalk paint.
Why Buy Proper Chalk Paint Brushes?
Chalk paint has a distinctively smooth appearance when used correctly. When using chalk paint natural bristles are used as they deliver a smooth application of paint. The hair fibres have greater flexibility and softness, reducing the number of streaks left behind.
DIY-ers will know the suffering of painting furniture and leaving small hairs behind in the paint. This ruins the overall look of the piece as you’re forced to either remove the bristles and risk smudge or leave them and your piece is spoilt. To protect you from this, many chalk brushes are designed with anti-shed technology.
Without using proper chalk paint brushes you’ll find that the paint doesn’t apply evenly to the surface. This can cause pools of dried paint to gather on your piece which doesn’t give off a smooth, silky appearance as chalk paint should.
Best Brushes for Chalk Paint
Featherline Series Advanced Chalked Paint & Waxing Set
Firstly we have an amazing set of 5 chalk paintbrushes, providing everything you would need for an upcycling project. Each one of these brushes is made using high-quality material and designed to be reused multiple times.
The flagship brush handle is over 5.5-inches in length with a 2-inch diameter. This makes it comfortable for all hand sizes and they’re extremely comfortable to hold for long periods of painting.
The bristles are made out of 100% natural boar hair and deliver amazing results with all chalk paints and wax. They’re manufactured to have minimum bristle loss with a custom made ferrule with industry-grade epoxy. That said, they do shed slightly and we recommend hitting the bristles against a firm surface before beginning painting.
If you’re working with a complex DIY project or considering doing multiple different ones, this is a chalk painter’s dream set. It has every style of chalk paintbrush that you’ll need.
1st Place Chalk & Wax Hand Made Pure Bristle 3 Piece Brush Set
This 3-piece set comes with a round, pointed and flat head brush, all of which are perfect for painting with chalk paint. The bristles are high-quality pure White Boar hair which is firmly set into a robust, rust-proof steel ferrule.
The handle is made from maple wood and they come with a handy leather strap. This strap makes it easy to store the brushes and dry them by hanging, this encourages the bristles to dry straight, leaving them in the perfect condition for use again.
Each brush in this set is 1 inch, making them ideal for smaller items such as picture frames, mirrors, or mason jars. That said, there is nothing to stop you using them on a larger project, it will just take slightly longer!
These come in at a very reasonable price, considering they’re made using high-quality bristles, handles and leather strap. They can all be used with wax as a top coat after applying the paint, this dual-use saves you money by not having to purchase a separate wax brush. Finally, they’re designed to be low-shedding, reducing bristle loss on wooden projects.
Infinity Elementz Professional Chalk and Wax Paint Brush Set
The excellent thing about this set is it’s available as a 5-piece master set or 2-piece beginner set. This means you can only spend what you’ll need, for example, a bigger piece with different elements like a bedside table, could require the 5-piece set. You can use the larger brush to do the big sections like the back and top, then use the smaller brushes to paint the inside or any feature sections of the piece.
All of the brushes in each set are made using 100% natural bristles, attached to a strong yet lightweight ergonomic handle with straps. The 2inch big size is a perfect chalk paintbrush for larger projects, it will greatly reduce the amount of time spent on a DIY project. Additionally, the smaller sized brushes are great for getting into tighter spots and ensuring there are no gaps in the paint.
They’re not shed-proof on the third use (or so), so we recommend running your fingers through the bristles and giving the head a little tap on a hard surface before using, this will let loose hairs fall out.
Colorantic Chalk and Milk Paint Brushes for Furniture
Colorantic has come up with a money-saving way to buy chalk paint brushes, rather than buying them in a bundle you can buy individual brushes for your requirements. To do this, they have manufactured every style of chalk paintbrush you could ever need! There are oval, round, angled, X-large and fine chalk paintbrushes to choose from (as well as a couple of bundles if this is what you prefer).
Because there are over 7 different brushes made by this brand, it’s difficult to assess them individually, but overall they share amazing features.
The bristles are premium quality, twice-boiled natural bristles that work with chalk paint or wax and can be used multiple times. Some of the brushes are made using synthetic silk and others using natural silk, many will prefer this when looking for vegan paintbrushes. The handles are made from top-quality wood which ensures they are durable and sturdy, but also lightweight.
Some of the brushes do hold onto a lot of paint and will start to pick up paint if you’re going back and forth. This is easy to avoid and the chalk paint brushes do have wonderful coverage without leaving streaks behind. Each brush is made to be shed-proof and they leave barely any bristles behind in the paint.
Maxman Chalk and Wax Brush Set for Furniture
Maxman has been a professional brush manufacturer for over 20 years and it really shows in these chalk brushes.
In terms of price, these are some of the best chalk and wax brushes on the market. They’re both relatively small in size at 1inch, meaning you won’t choose these to paint a garden furniture set! But they are perfect for smaller projects, nooks and crannies.
The handles are made from varnished sycamore wood, this is durable and lightweight and is comfortable to hold for a while. The bristles are all-natural and twice boiled, firmly set into a stainless steel ferrule which is easy to clean. It’s important that the brush hairs be soft so that they create a streakless finish, and these are perfect. These chalk brushes can be reused once properly cleaned, and the bristles won’t start to shed.
FolkArt Home Decor Chalk and Wax Brushes
This 2-brush set can be used for chalk paint and wax and both produce a professional finish. One of the chalk paint brushes is perfect for flat surfaces and the other can be used on intricately detailed parts. That said, both brushes are relatively small and we wouldn’t recommend purchasing these for a large scale DIY project.
As with the other brushes in our review, both these can be reused as long as they are cleaned thoroughly and left to dry. The bristles are designed to hold onto a lot of paint, making application easy and fast. Another benefit of this set is the price, you are getting 2 for the price of 1 here, amazing value.
The brushes are good quality for the price and have very little shed, the handle is sturdy and feels like good quality.
Stay Fine Round Paint and Wax Brush for Furniture
This stand-alone brush is excellent for a medium-to-large size upcycle project. It’s made using top-quality materials including 100% twice-boiled boar bristles, these deliver a smooth paint finish.
They’ve designed the chalk and wax brush to be anti-shed and even provide instructions on how to properly condition and care for it. The brush can easily be cleaned following the instruction and left to dry using the leather strap.
It’s made with a 5-inch handle which is extremely comfortable and 1.5-inch brush diameter. Compared to other brushes on the market this delivers excellent quality for a great price.
Overall we think this is one of the best chalk paintbrushes, as it has everything you could want, we only wish they made more in different sizes!
New Renaissance Professional Chalk Painting and Wax Brush
Finally, on our list, we have the New Renaissance professional chalk paintbrush. Similar to the previous brush this is also sold on its own and is good for medium-to-large projects. It can be used as a wax brush or chalk paintbrush and is made using top-quality materials.
The bristles are natural and provide a soft and smooth finish, with no visible brush strokes left behind. As with others in our review, it’s recommended that you hit the head before dipping it in the paint, otherwise, it may shed hairs.
It can be used multiple times so long as you take good care of it and has a very durable handle and ferrule. This is an excellent chalk paintbrush for those who prefer a skinny and lightweight handle.
What to Look for in Chalk Paint Brushes
Oval/ Round brushes enable you to paint quickly over large surfaces, reducing the time and effort spent on a DIY project.
Angle brushes are great for reaching into tighter spots, usually good for when you’re painting box-shaped materials, as they fit perfectly into 90-degree angles.
Natural fibres are normally used for chalk paint brushes. Sometimes animal hair such as boar is used as they deliver a smooth paint finish. The important factor with bristles is that they are soft on your first use, and stay that way for as long as possible.
The handles must be comfortable to hold for long periods, be careful to check the sizes on the website before placing an order. It’s important that the handles made with a sturdy material that is durable yet lightweight, solid wood usually.
You’ll really want to buy a size brush that is suitable for your project, bigger brushes will help to reduce the amount of time and effort spent painting. Yet too big and you’ll struggle to accentuate delicate features of a project or get into the nooks of a smaller project.
We would never recommend brushes that have a single-use as we’re all looking to buy less and keep more. Good chalk paintbrushes should be able to last plenty of uses, so long as you look after them. Wash them straight after using, ensure all paint is removed from the bristles and leave to dry.
How to Reduce Paint Brush Hairs Shedding?
Although chalk paint brushes are specifically designed to reduce the number of hairs you get from it, unfortunately, it does still happen. To reduce this, hit the brush head against a firm surface. Hitting the bristles will encourage the loose hairs to fall out before you dip them in the chalk paint and leave them on your project.
How to Clean Chalk Paint Brushes?
Once you’ve finished painting, squeeze as much excess paint off the brush as you can and wash them under a warm tap until the water runs clear. Some DIY-ers swear by Pumice soap to clean chalk paint brushes, but if you don’t have this, water will be just fine.
Because chalk paint brushes have natural bristles, it’s recommended that you condition the hair (just like your own) once the paint is removed. They can then be hung and left to dry, you’ll find they’re silky soft and ready for use again in a few hours.
Check out this video on YouTube which shows you how to paint with chalk paint, and also how to properly clean your brushes
A Beginners Guide to Using Chalk Paint Brushes
A Round-up: The Best Brushes for Chalk Paint
If you’re looking to buy one chalk paintbrush we recommend the Stay Fine Round Paint and Wax Brush for Furniture. It’s a great size for different projects, can be reused and has excellent anti-shed. They’re so confident in the product that they’ll buy it back off for you if you’re not happy with it!
If you’re looking for a chalk paintbrush set, we love the Infinity Elementz Professional Chalk and Wax Paint Brush Set, the 5-piece set has everything you could want for your upcycling project and they’re amazing quality.
Thank you for reading our review of the best brushes for chalk paint, we’ve tried to include a good range of sizes, styles and sets. If you enjoyed this, check out our review of the Best Chalk Paint for Furniture.
Please leave us a comment below if you have a favourite chalk paintbrush that hasn’t been mentioned. Or, with any questions, you have about painting with chalk paint or wax.