A stained wooden fence

Those with stained wood know how great it looks in and around their home. Wooden railings, fences, decks, and more can add to the look of a room or the backyard. If you’re in the process of renovations, you might want to try staining around the house yourself.

For staining wood D.I.Y. style, it’s important to invest in the best types of tools – such as brushes – for applying stain. This article will help you find the best brush for staining wood by covering the following topics:

Before we get into the best ways to stain wood, let’s have a look at the best brushes for staining wood. If you’re going to be working on spindles, also check out our guide to the best brushes for painting spindles.

 

10 best paint brushes for staining wood

Once you begin shopping for the best brush for stain, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of options there are. If you need a place to start, here are our 10 recommendations for the best brush to apply stain.

1. Wooster Bravo Stainer

Wooster Bravo Stainer
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $20

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 4-inch

Material: White bristle and polyester blend

Best Feature: Versatility

For those looking for a multi-purpose brush, you should opt for the Wooster Bravo Stainer. This brush is a great size, and is made of quality material that is perfect for working on various internal and external wood projects. It also allows for an extension pole to be attached, which can help with larger projects such as fences.

2. Linzer Stain Waterproofing Brush

Linzer Stain Waterproofing Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $18.63

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 4-inch

Material: Polyester

Best Feature: Quality

Another great brush for your standard stain work is the Linzer Stain Waterproofing Brush. This brush has a quality make, helping you get the most out of your project. Its beaver-tail handle also makes it easier to maintain comfort while holding it.

3. Perdura DECK BOSS Stain Brush

Perdura DECK BOSS Stain Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $63.50

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 7-inch

Material: Filament

Best Feature: Efficiency

The Perdura DECK BOSS Stain Brush is a top-quality option for those staining their deck. The brush is made of durable materials to help you complete multiple staining and painting projects over time. Its size and design also help you to complete your projects faster.

4. KingOrigin Heavy Duty Professional Stain Brush 3-Pack

KingOrigin Heavy Duty Professional Stain Brush 3-Pack
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $58.57

Type: Brush

Quantity: 3

Size: 4-inch to 6-inch

Material: Polyester

Best Feature: Quality

For those in need of variety, this KingOrigin Heavy Duty Professional Stain Brush 3-Pack will do the trick. This set contains a 4-inch, a 5-inch, and a 6-inch block brush to help you apply stain on various wood projects. They’re also high quality brushes, helping you achieve ideal results for staining or painting projects.

5. Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paint Brush

Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $13.09

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Nylon-polyester blend

Best Feature: Short handle

If you’re working on a project that requires detailing, try the Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paint Brush. This brush is one of the best paint brushes for stain, as it helps achieve a smooth, beautiful finish on all kinds of projects. It also has a short, flexible handle that will help you paint in tight spaces – and at tricky angles – while maintaining comfort.

6. Linzer Satin and Stain Block Brush

Linzer Satin and Stain Block Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $18.19

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 5-inch

Material: Polyester and bristle filament blend

Best Feature: Coverage

The Linzer Satin and Stain Block Brush is ideal for staining decks and other large wood projects. It’s made of quality material that will leave your stain looking great. This brush also allows for an extension pole to be attached, helping you stay comfortable while staining.

7. Perdura Rapid Stain Deck Stain Brush

Perdura Rapid Stain Deck Stain Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $36.58

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 5-inch

Material: Filament

Best Feature: Quality

Also from Perdura, the Rapid Stain Deck Stain Brush is perfect for those that want fast results. The brush is designed to help you achieve a beautiful finish in less time, regardless of whether you’re working with stain or paint. It also comes with a bonus paint can opener.

8. Loew-Cornell Foam Brush Set

Loew-Cornell Foam Brush Set
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $15.30

Type: Brush

Quantity: 25

Size: 1-inch

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Value

If you’re just looking to apply touch-ups or stain smaller surfaces, this Loew-Cornell Foam Brush Set is great. The foam brushes absorb and release stain flawlessly, helping you achieve your ideal results. This 25-pack is also a great value, and will last you through multiple stain or paint projects.

9. Linzer Foam Paint Roller Cover

Linzer Foam Paint Roller Cover
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $8.27

Type: Roller

Quantity: 1

Size: ⅜-inch nap, 9-inch length

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Coverage

If you’d like to try staining with a roller brush, the Linzer Foam Paint Roller Cover is your best option. The foam nap is ideal for the absorption and application of your stain. The size of this roller will also help you stain more wood in less time.

10. Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer

Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP sprayer
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $201.72

Type: Spray

Quantity: 1

Size: 5.08 kg

Best Feature: Versatility

For those wanting to invest in a sprayer, the Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer is a great choice. This sprayer applies lots of stain with little pressure, helping you achieve even coverage. It’s also easy to hold and approved for use with multiple types of stain and paint projects.

 

What’s the best type of brush for staining wood?

When looking for a brush for staining wood, it’s important to know what qualities the best brush will have. These are the main things to keep in mind when choosing a brush, roller, or sprayer to use with your stain:

  • Material — Synthetic materials, such as nylon-polyester and foam, are your best options for brushes and rollers.
  • Size — The size of your paint brush or roller length is dependent on the type of work you’re doing. For roller naps, you should opt for ⅜-inch or less, depending on the texture of the wood.
  • Comfort — Anything you work with should have a comfortable handle. Brushes and rollers should allow for an extension pole to be attached, while sprayers should be lightweight and easy to move around.
  • Approved for stain — Not all brushes, rollers, and sprayers work well with stains. Make sure that whatever you choose is specifically made to work with different types of stains.

 

Best way to stain wood: brush, roller, or spray?

The best way to stain wood depends entirely on what type of project you’re working on and what your preferences are. Brushes are the ideal choice for smaller projects and touch-ups, as they’re the best at getting full and consistent coverage.

A close-up of a man applying stain to a wooden surface with a paint brush

Rollers offer many of the same benefits as brushes, but also speed up the staining process by achieving greater coverage in less time. You should opt for a roller if you’re working on a larger project with a flat surface. However, be aware that you might still miss a couple of spots that you’ll have to go back over with a brush.

Using a sprayer is the fastest and easiest method for staining wood. However, it is also the most expensive option by far. It can also create a big mess if you’re not careful.

Choose a brush if…

  • You’re working on touch-ups or an overall smaller project.
  • You’re focused on achieving good coverage.
  • You have the time to ensure that you do a quality job.

Choose a roller if…

  • You’re working on a larger project with flat surfaces.
  • You want to speed up the process.
  • You want to be more cautious with your coverage.

Choose a sprayer if…

  • You want the process to be as fast and easy as possible.
  • You can afford to rent or buy one.
  • You’re okay with potentially making a mess.

 

Best ways to stain wood with consistency

With any staining project, you want to make sure that your results will be as good as they can be. Here are some tips to help you stain wood with consistency:

  • Clean the wood beforehand — Spray down the wood or dampen a cloth, and then wipe away dirt and debris that could get caught in your stain.
  • Complete repairs first — Any holes, cracks, or jagged edges  should be repaired to prevent unwanted hiccups in your stain.
  • Sand away old coverings — Use sandpaper to remove old layers of stain or paint to improve the appearance of the new stain.
  • Protect the surrounding area — Use painter’s tape (if indoors) and/or sheets to protect anything that you don’t want stain to get on. This will help you focus on the task at hand.
  • Check the weather — If you’re working outdoors, make sure that the forecast isn’t calling for rain or humidity. Stain applies best to dry wood.
  • Use only as much stain as you need — Don’t apply too much stain to your brush, or you could end up with unnecessary blotches and uneven coverage.
  • Hold your brush properly — Hold your brush at the proper angle, and stand close enough to the surface you’re staining. This will allow for full control and comfort.
  • Finish while it’s still wet — Make sure to completely finish staining each surface you’re working on before the stain dries. This will help to prevent any overlapping lines from appearing in your stain.

 

Now that you’ve got a grasp on the fundamentals of applying stain to wood, it’s time to get started on your project. If you think you might prefer to hire a professional, the City Painters are here to help. Contact us here or give us a call for a quote.

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