10 Best Paintbrushes for Exterior House Painting + How to Choose

Last updated: February 5, 2021


A tiny home with white siding and red details

Your home’s exterior can say a lot about you. That’s why it’s important to keep it looking beautiful. If any part of the outside of your home is in need of a makeover, you might be thinking of painting it yourself.

If you’re going to take on the challenge of painting anything outside, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. This article will help you find the best paintbrush for exterior house painting by covering the following:

Before we get into the best outdoor paintbrushes, let’s dive into how to paint the exterior of your home. If you’re specifically working with exterior doors, check out the best brushes to paint exterior doors.

How to paint exterior surfaces

Painting the exterior of your home can come with its own challenges. Follow these guidelines to make the most of your work and make the outside of your home look great.

Purchase high-quality painting tools

When purchasing new painting tools, you want to find the best options. Low quality tools could cause various mishaps, including bristles and lint getting caught in your paint and messes being created.

Check the weather

Before you set out to work, check the forecast and plan accordingly. You want to avoid your unfinished project getting caught in rain or humidity as this can cause the paint to run and even lead to issues applying the paint in the first place.

Prep the area

Painting can get messy. To allow yourself to focus on the task at hand, make sure to use drapes, covers, and painter’s tape where applicable.

Clean the surface

Use a hose or a damp rag to cleanse the exterior of your home. This will remove any dirt or debris that could otherwise appear in your paint.

Use the right amount of paint

To eliminate blotches, drips, and uneven coverage, dip your brush’s bristles ⅓ of the way into your paint can and wipe the excess paint off both sides. For rollers, use a paint tray or screen to remove excess paint before you begin rolling.

Hand-paint the more vulnerable surfaces

If you’re painting any exterior surfaces that are more exposed to the elements, you’ll want to hand-paint them and give them a thicker coat. You’ll have better control of coverage and can ensure that your work will last much longer.

Finish each section before it dries

You’ll want to plan ahead to complete your project before it dries, or divide the various surfaces that can each be easily completed in one go. Applying wet paint next to dry paint can cause visible layering. Painting over still wet paint will give you the best results.

How to choose the best brush for painting outdoors

Purchasing high-quality painting tools should be the first item on your to do list. Whether you’d prefer a brush, roller, or sprayer, you shouldn’t buy the first thing you find. Here are the characteristics to keep in mind to find the best paintbrush for exterior house painting.

What’s the best paintbrush material for painting outside?

Oftentimes, the exterior of your home is made of different materials than what’s inside. This means your painting tools need to be made of a compatible material. Here are some of the best outdoor paintbrush materials:

  • Synthetic: Ideal for semi-smooth surfaces, such as siding.
  • Lambswool: Best used on rough surfaces, such as brick or textured concrete.
  • Foam: Works great on the smoothest surfaces for painting and staining, like wooden decks and trim.

What’s the best paintbrush size for exterior painting?

Using a brush that is either too big or too small can poorly impact a project. These are the different sizes you should look for when working on various exterior projects:

  • 1-inch to 2.5-inch brush: Great for touch-ups, small details, and cutting-in edges.
  • 3-inch brush: Works best on smaller, flat surfaces like door panels and cabinets.
  • 4-inch brush: Most ideal for large, flat surfaces.
  • 4-inch mini roller: For those wanting to roll smaller surfaces.
  • 6-inch roller: Great size for quickly painting mid-sized surfaces, like flat doors.
  • 9-inch roller: Best size for painting larger projects without losing control of your roller.

What’s the best paintbrush style for outdoor painting?

Brushes come in a variety of styles, so it’s important you find ones that best suit your needs. Here are the different types of brush styles you should consider:

  • Angle sash: Uses slanted bristles to help painters cut in edges or paint thinner surfaces.
  • Trim: Bristles have a flat appearance that helps to paint large, flat surfaces like exterior siding.
  • Flat wall: A thick brush that is perfect for painting the largest, flat surfaces outside your house.

What’s the best paintbrush end type for painting exteriors?

In addition to the style, lots of brushes also have different ends that can impact your painting. These are some of the end types for you to choose from:

  • Angled: Paintbrushes with bristles that are designed to cut in and paint trim.
  • Square trim: Brushes with bristles that are square shaped for flat surfaces.
  • Rounded: Rollers with rounded ends to allow for easy feathering while you paint.

Best way to paint exteriors: brush, roller, or spray?

The best way to paint the exterior of your home depends on the specifics of your project. Brushes and rollers are likely to be your best bet. Paintbrushes give you full control of your work, build coverage, and allow you to focus on smaller and/or more detailed areas. They’re also ideal for cutting-in and painting any edges. Rollers are great for painting large, flat surfaces quickly. When paired with a brush, you’re more likely to get quality results.

A closeup of a paintbrush placed on a partially wanted wooden surface

You might be tempted to use a sprayer instead if your main focus is to deliver a full coat of paint at top speed. However, you might get less coverage than desired and make a huge mess in the process. They’re also the priciest painting tool to use.

Choose a brush if…

  • You want more control while painting.
  • You’re working with smaller, more detailed surfaces.
  • You need to cut in or paint the edges of a surface.

Choose a roller if…

  • You want a balance of quality and speed.
  • You’re working with a large, flat surface.
  • You want to pair it with a brush for the best results.

Choose a spray if…

  • You prioritize speed over quality.
  • You have the money to spend.
  • You don’t mind potentially making a mess or wasting paint.

Best way to paint outside without marks

If you’re painting the exterior of your home by yourself for the first time, you’re probably nervous about how everything will turn out. Here are some tips on how to paint outside without marks:

  • Clean your brushes properly — Learn how to care for your brushes so you can properly clean and store them. This will ensure that you don’t end up with old paint and dirt in your new paint.
  • Apply primer before you paint — This will help your paint look its best and apply smoothly. Make sure the primer you choose is compatible with both your paint and the exterior surface you intend to cover.
  • Use the right techniques — If you’re using a brush, hold it at an angle and apply long strokes while being sure to feather your brush. Rollers should be used with an up and down motion that uses the M technique to avoid marks.
  • Paint in the right order — To eliminate lines and layering, you’ll want to divide your project into sections according to type. Start by cutting-in any edges, then paint the larger surfaces, and end with the minor details.

10 best paintbrushes for exterior painting

Once you start narrowing down your options for exterior paint tools, you’ll find that not all brushes, rollers, and sprayers were created equal. If you want to make sure you’re using only the best, here are our recommendations for the best exterior paintbrushes.

1. Pro Grade Paintbrush Set

Pro Grade Paintbrush Set

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $26.49

Type: Brush

Quantity: 5

Size: 1-inch to 2.5-inch

Material: SRT filament blend

Best Feature: Variety

If you need multiple brushes for a variety of outdoor projects, this Pro Grade Paintbrush Set is for you. This set comes with 5 different brushes that are various sizes and styles. You’ll be all set to do tiny touch-ups and larger-scale painting.

2. Wooster Lambswool/100 Roller Cover

Wooster Lambswool/100 Roller Cover

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $12.27

Type: Roller

Quantity: 1

Size: ¾-inch nap, 9-inch length

Material: Natural lambswool

Best Feature: Quality

For a roller that will give you consistency, try the Wooster Lambswool/100 Roller Cover. This roller is made with 100% lambswool to help you achieve a quick, even coverage on textured surfaces. It works well with all stains and paints.

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

Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $200.77

Type: Spray

Quantity: 1

Size: 5.08 kg

Best Feature: Multi-usage

If you want to use a spray instead, try the Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer. This sprayer allows you to easily achieve a smooth finish on any of your exterior projects. It can be used with all primers, paints, and stains.

4. Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush

Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $9.97

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Nylon-Polyester

Best Feature: Comfortable handle

For those looking to maintain comfort while they paint, opt for the Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush. The brush is made of quality materials that will help you obtain a smooth finish. It is also made with a short, flexible handle that will help you paint for longer and in tight spaces.

5. Wooster Golden Flo Roller Cover

Wooster Golden Flo Roller Cover

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $9.97

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Nylon-Polyester

Best Feature: Comfortable handle

The Wooster Golden Flo Roller Cover is your best option if you're working with rough surfaces. This roller is made with quality fabric designed to help you achieve full coverage. It's resistant to matting and works with all paints and stains.

6. HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer

HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $125.02

Type: Spray

Quantity: 1

Size: 1.5 kg

Best Feature: Versatility

For a spray that can be used on anything, opt for the HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer. The sprayer can be adjusted to give you your desired paint flow. It sprays evenly and can be used with a variety of paints, stains, and other coatings.

7. Purdy XL Swan Flat Wall Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $38.99

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2.5-inch

Material: Nylon-Polyester

Best Feature: Versatility

The Purdy XL Swan Flat Wall Brush is perfect for those working on large, flat exterior surfaces. This brush is super durable, allowing you to use it time and time again. It’s designed to work with a variety of paints on all types of surfaces.

8. Wooster Super/Fab Roller Cover

Wooster Super/Fab Roller Cover

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $8.91

Type: Roller

Quantity: 1

Size: ⅜-inch nap, 4-inch length

Material: Yellow fabric

Best Feature: Smooth coverage

If you want to paint surfaces smoothly and quickly, check out the Wooster Super/Fab Roller Cover. This roller cover is designed to give surfaces with minimum texture a beautiful finish. It works with all paints and stains to give your exterior surfaces full coverage.

9. Graco Magnum X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $654

Type: Spray

Quantity: 1

Size: 11.8 kg

Best Feature: Easy to use

For a high quality spray with added features, the Graco Magnum X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer is your ideal choice. This sprayer makes it easy to control the paint flow and has a hose that allows you to spray directly from the bucket. It can be easily moved around your home and is easy to clean up.

10. Purdy XL Elite Glide Angular Trim Paintbrush

Purdy XL Elite Glide Angular Trim Paintbrush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $22.99

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Chinex/Polyester

Best Feature: Quality

For a brush you can trust to leave you with a smooth finish, choose the Purdy XL Elite Glide Angular Trim Paintbrush. This brush uses bristles that are specially designed to help you apply even the toughest of paints for beautiful coverage. It also works great with all paints and stains.


Now that you know everything about how to paint your exterior projects, it’s time to get started. 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.