"As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that we have tried!"

Chalk paint differs from regular paint in various ways. It adheres to various surfaces without extensive prep work like sanding or priming. If it is different, it requires a specifically designed brush, i.e., chalk paint brush. I’ve been working as a furniture painter and refinisher for many years.

I’ve learned that having the right brush is super important for getting that perfect hand-painted finish we all want. Today, I’m excited to talk about the best brushes for chalk paint.

My Top pick on the list is Jolie Signature Paint Brush. It doesn’t leave brush strokes and has a nice design.

 Top 5 Chalk Paint Brushes in 2023

1. Jolie Signature Paint Brush (Best for No brush strokes)

2. Dixie Belle Synthetic Mini Paint Brush (Best for smoother finish)

3. Jolie Wax Paint Brush (Best for applying wax)

4.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Brushes (Best for various textures)

5.  Zebra Palm Pro Chalk Paint brush (Best for intricate details)

 5 Best Chalk Paint Brushes For Smooth Finish

Here is a list of my favorite chalk paint brushes that stay with me for a long time and deliver amazing results.

1. Jolie Signature-Best Chalk Paint brush for furniture

I prefer using a natural bristle brush for chalk paint, like for Annie Sloan, Jolie, Waverly, or other chalk paints. My favorite natural bristle brush right now is Jolie’s signature small brush.

This brush is small enough for detailed work yet large enough to efficiently cover larger areas. It provides a great range for creating textures while also allowing for a smooth finish. This versatility makes it suitable for painting items such as dressers and tables.

Jolie Signature-Best Chalk Paint brush for furniture

What’s also great about this brush is its design. It’s comfortable to hold because of its slightly flattened sides, which is important when I paint for a long time. Plus, it doesn’t cause much hand and arm tiredness.

I really like that this brush doesn’t shed any loose bristles while I’m painting. To ensure it stays that way, I lightly dampen the bristles with water before I start and shake off any loose ones. Additionally, the brush’s metal parts don’t rust. So, it keeps its shape and works consistently well.

What really matters to me is how easy the brush is to clean. This brush is easy to clean and retains softness and flexibility. I was so impressed with its performance that I bought a second one. It’s definitely my top choice for chalk painting.

2. Dixie Belle Synthetic Brush-Best brush for chalk paint smooth finish

When working with chalk paint or other furniture paint to achieve a smooth finish, my preferred choice of brush is the synthetic brush from Dixie Belle. They offer two options that I particularly love: the mini and the mini angle brush.

Dixie Belle Synthetic Brush-best brush for chalk paint smooth finish

While both brushes serve the same purpose, I personally prefer the angle brush because it functions like a sash brush, which makes it easier to reach intricate details on the furniture. Both of these brushes perform exceptionally well.

The short handle design makes them very user-friendly. I used the Dixie Belle synthetic brush on a recent dresser project.

I experienced shedding while painting, but it happened with all the brushes. So, you can simply remove the loose bristles and smooth the surface again.

Helpful Resource: Learn more about the differences between regular and chalk paints.

3. Jolie Wax Paint Brush-Best brushes for Finishing wax

Jolie Wax-best brushes for Finishing wax

Now, if I share something from my wax brush collection, Jolie Regular wax brush. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s worth it. I’ve used it to refinish three dressers, and it’s still in great shape. The brush has a comfortable handle, but you need to hold it a certain way because of its design.

It makes applying wax to large, flat surfaces like tabletops or headboards easy. I also appreciate their pointed brush, perfect for those detailed, intricate tasks. If I had to choose just one, I’d choose the larger brush because of its versatility and efficiency.

Another thing to note is that these brushes are built with stainless steel (INOX) ferrules. So there’s no concern about rust.

Useful Resource: You can find comprehensive information about spray paint and brush paint here.

4. Annie Sloan-Best brush for chalk paint on wood

Now, you may have heard about Annie Sloan brushes. They are among the leaders in the paint brushes market.

As someone who has been chalk painting for several years, these brushes are best for anyone undertaking DIY projects. These brushes come in three sizes – small, medium, and large.

These brushes have a unique design. They are slightly tapered at the edges but primarily flat. They are different from wax brushes, which are tapered on the sides and almost reach a point in the middle. Its bristles are flexible enough to create various textures and effects, which can be challenging with other brushes.

Annie Sloan-best brush for chalk paint on wood

The reason why I like these brushes the most is because of their ability to load and apply paint efficiently. The brushes grab the paint well, particularly on the tip, and you don’t need to load the brush too far up. So, it saves time dipping into the paint can and more time painting.

I used these brushes to repurpose old dresser drawers into shelves for our kids’ rooms, and the results were impressive. You can also buy at Annie Sloan shop.

5. Zebra Palm Pro-Best Angled Chalk Paint Brush for Walls and Trim

The last chalk paint brush on this list is Zebra Palm paintbrush. Lately, I have been a fan of Zebra brushes. While they aren’t exclusively designed for furniture painting, they offer many great options in this field.

Zebra brushes are synthetic, which means they’re made from man-made materials. They give an even coat of paint. One Zebra brush that I used a lot is the Palm Pro brush. I used it with milk paint, and it gave me a really nice effect. It was easy to use and left minimal brush strokes.

Zebra Palm Pro-Best Angled Chalk Paint Brush for Walls and Trim

I also like short brushes and sash brushes. They’re great for getting into corners and details. They help you get a smooth finish. My favorite Zebra brush is the square one. It’s angled, and it has soft synthetic bristles. I used it to paint on a chippy barn hutch.

synthetic bristles to paint on a chippy barn hutch

It’s perfect for getting into the small details without using too much paint.

Guide to Buying Right Brush for A Chalk Paint

When you are selecting the chalk paint brush, you have to pay attention to various factors.

Benefits of Using a Chalk Paint Brush

Before I guide you on how you can choose the best brush for chalk paint, let’s first discuss its benefits:

  • Chalk paint brushes have unique bristles and shapes that give a rustic, vintage, hand-painted look.
  • These brushes often have thick, densely packed bristles that can hold more paint.
  • Chalk paint brushes are often round or oval with a flat tip that allows them to reach into nooks and crannies.
  • High-quality chalk paint brushes are sturdy and can withstand the thicker consistency of chalk paint. With proper care, they can be used for multiple projects over time.
  • The main reason why I prefer chalk paint brushes is that they give a smoother finish compared to regular brushes. So little to no brush strokes.

How Can You Select the Right Brush for Chalk Paint

There are many chalk paint brushes in the market, and you cannot buy just anyone. When choosing a paintbrush, consider the following factors before making your purchase.

1. Brush Shape

The first factor to consider is brush shape. Chalk paint brushes come in various shapes like round, flat or Tapered bristles.

  • Round shape brushes are my personal favorite for chalk paint projects. They give precise control and help to give that flawless hand-painted matte finish. Round brushes are great to use for intricate work on cabinet hardware, doors, or art pieces without any streaks.
  • Flat brushes are best to use when you’re dealing with wide, flat surfaces like walls. It swiftly covers large areas with a smooth touch.
  • Tapered Bristle Brushes are like my secret weapon when I’m painting hard-to-reach corners and delicate molding work. They are best to use for intricate details and waxing chalk-painted pieces.
  • Angled Brushes are designed for precision work and cutting in edges.
  • Filbert Brushes have the combining characteristics of both flat and round brushes. These are versatile and suitable for a variety of tasks.

2. Brush Type

Type of BrushMaterialProsCons
Wax BrushNatural boarIdeal for wax applicationRequire great Maintenance
Sponge BrushFoam/SpongeProvides a smooth finishDeteriorate quickly with use
Chip BrushNatural hogAffordable, textured finishTends to shed bristles
Foam BrushFoamSmooth finish/for small projectsNot durable, limited size options
Synthetic BrushNylon/PolyesterSuitable for various paintsMay not hold much paint

3. Bristle Material

We mostly encounter two types of brushes based on bristle materials.

  • Natural Bristle Brushes: These are often made from animal hair like hog or ox hair. They give a velvety, smooth finish with very few visible brush strokes. These brushes are compatible with a wide range of paints, including both oil and water-based options like chalk paints.
  • Synthetic Brushes: If you’re looking for budget-friendly option, synthetic brushes are the way to go. Usually made from materials like nylon or polyester, synthetic bristles excel with water-based paints. They are durable, maintain their shape well. They offer a smooth application process, ensuring excellent coverage. Learn more!

4. Pricing

While we all have a budget, remember that investing in a quality brush can transform your painting experience. A high-quality brush can significantly improve the outcome of your project and last longer.

5. Maintenance:

Assess the ease of cleaning for the brush. Some brushes are designed for effortless cleaning, which can extend their lifespan.

Chalk Paint Brush Care & Maintenance

If you’ve just spent quality time with your chalk paint brushes, it’s equally important to show them some TLC for cleaning and Maintenance. Here’s a guide to help you achieve that.

1. Warm water is best for clean water-based paints, like chalk paint from brushes.

2. Begin by running warm water over the brush while gently squeezing out as much paint as possible.

3. If you find that the water isn’t running clear or there’s a stubborn bit of paint hanging on, take a dab of Dawn dish detergent.

4. Rub the detergent gently on your hand and then work the brush through it with light, swirling motions.

5. During the cleaning process, apply very gentle pressure.

6. Once the brush is clean, gently smooth out all the bristles and wrap a paper towel around them to help it maintain its shape as it dries.

7. You can lay the brush flat or hang it upside down to dry like I do. Also I have taken picture for you;

hang brush upside down to dry

Cleaning Wax brushes

  • When cleaning wax brushes, lye soap is the recommended choice. It is highly effective at breaking down waxy residue.
  • Take a small amount of lye soap and use it to rub the brush gently.
  • Squeeze out the lather from the bristles and rinse.
  • After cleaning, smooth out the bristles, wrap them in a paper towel and dry it.

Top Tip: If your brushes come with cases, always use them after the brushes have dried.

Taking proper care is essential to ensure that the bristles maintain their shape and remain in excellent condition. Here, in the image below, I preserve my Zehra brush in its case.

preserve my Zehra brush in its case.

Should I wet my brush for chalk paint?

To achieve the best results with chalk paint, it’s essential to know how to prep your brush. Adding a bit of moisture to your brush can be quite helpful. This can be done by lightly dampening the bristles with water, but be cautious not to make the brush too wet. The idea is not to soak the brush but to slightly moisten it. This can make the chalk paint go on smoother and more evenly, which is especially beneficial for creating that signature chalky finish.

By lightly dampening your brush, you can prevent the paint from becoming too thick or clumpy, allowing for better coverage. This simple technique can make your painting project more efficient and ensure that your chalk paint adheres well to the surface. Remember, the key is moderation – just a little moisture on the brush can go a long way in improving your chalk paint application.

Why do we use different paint brushes?

We utilize various paint brushes for a variety of purposes. Distinct brushes come in different shapes and have different bristle types, which influence how paint is applied. For example, a flat paintbrush is highly effective for covering extensive surfaces, while a round paintbrush is particularly adept at handling intricate details.The choice of the appropriate brush is crucial in achieving the desired outcome in your artwork.

Does it matter what paint brush you use?

Absolutely, the selection of the paint brush you use matters. The type of brush has a direct impact on the texture, precision, and overall appearance of your art. Using an inappropriate brush can complicate your efforts to realize your artistic vision, making it essential to choose the right brush.

Can I use the same brush for different paints?

While it is possible to use a single brush for various paints, it may not always be ideal. If you switch between different types of paint, such as watercolors and acrylics, it’s advisable to thoroughly clean the brush to prevent color contamination. Some artists opt for separate brushes for different paint types to maintain color integrity.

Do quality paint brushes make a difference?

Certainly, the quality of your paint brushes can have a substantial impact on your work. High-quality brushes tend to maintain their shape, have a longer lifespan, and offer superior control over paint application. They can enhance your painting experience, enabling you to achieve finer details. Investing in premium brushes is often a prudent choice for serious artists.


Now, we have come to an end. Today, we discussed everything about best brushes for chalk paint . The right brush can make your chalk paint projects easier and give them a professional touch. Whether you prioritize quality, affordability, or precision, these brushes have you covered.

FAQs On Best Brushes for Chalk Paint 

1.  What’s the best brush or roller for applying chalk paint?

The ideal brush for chalk paint is typically a round, oval-shaped brush with natural, densely packed bristles. It will hold the paint well. Alternatively, a short-nap roller can be used for larger surfaces to achieve a smoother finish.

2. Can chalk paint be applied using a foam brush?

Yes, you can also use foam brushes for applying chalk paint, providing an alternative approach for your painting projects. Foam brushes can provide a smooth finish with minimal brush marks. However, they are less durable than other brushes.

3. Which brush is best for applying Rust-Oleum chalk paint?

The best brush to use with Rust-Oleum chalk paint is a high-quality natural bristle brush or a specialized chalk paint brush. These brushes will hold the paint well and give a consistent and textured finish.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

Similar Posts