10 Best Paintbrushes for Trim: What to Look for Before You DIY

Last updated: November 3, 2020

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A room with white trim along the floor and window

Repainting parts of your home might be something you’ve considered as it endures typical wear-and-tear. One of the most common areas for touch-ups is the interior trim around windows and doors. If you’re thinking that painting your trim might be part of your next renovation but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

There’s lots of things to consider before you begin. If you’re stuck on the best paintbrush for trim work, whether to use a brush or roller, or what to do to avoid brush marks, this article will cover the following:

Before we get into the best way to paint your trim, let’s dive into the best paintbrushes for painting trim. If you’re planning on collecting multiple paintbrushes for multiple projects, don’t forget to also check out the best brushes for cabinets.

Top 10 best paintbrushes for trim (windows, doors, + baseboards)

If you’re new to household painting projects, you might feel stuck when deciding on what types of paintbrushes to use. Here are our top recommendations for the best paintbrushes for trim and baseboards.

1. Purdy Clearcut Glide Brush

Purdy Clearcut Glide Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: Nylon/Polyester

Best Feature: Angled bristles

The Purdy Clearcut Glide brush is a great brush for helping you achieve precision when painting your trim. The nylon-polyester bristles will help you achieve a shiny, high-quality finish while also allowing for easy cleanup. The 2-inch width will also help make the job even more efficient.

2. Wooster Silver Tip Angle Sash Brush

Wooster Silver Tip Angle Sash Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: CT Polyester

Best Feature: Soft application

The Wooster Silver Tip Angle Sash brush is another perfect option for painting your trim. The width and angled cut of the bristles allow for a precise job. The white and silver polyester bristles also allow for a soft and easy application of your paint, keeping your trim looking smooth.

3. Jen Manufacturing Inc. Poly Foam Brush

Jen Manufacturing Inc. Poly Foam Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 48

Size: 2 inches

Material: Poly foam

Best Feature: Sponge applicator

The Jen Poly Foam brush is a great option for those looking to do a touch-up of their trim. The sponge applicator, composed of poly foam, allows for great quality paint application to keep your trim looking new. This multi-pack will also help you stay prepared for touch-ups to come.

4. Richard Elegance Trim Brush

Richard Elegance Trim Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 5/8 inch

Material: Polyester

Best Feature: Tapered fibers

The Richard Elegance Trim brush is perfect for when you’re looking to paint smaller details on your trim with precision. The tapered fibers are designed to leave clean edges, which helps you maintain a high-quality finish. The brush also has great pick-up and release, and is comfortable to hold.

5. Purdy XL Dale Brush

Purdy XL Dale

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: Nylon/Polyester

Best Feature: Angled bristles

The Purdy XL Dale angled brush is another great choice from the Purdy family. The design of the brush helps painters work precisely on smaller-area projects, such as trim. The brush also works great with all types of paint.

6. Wooster Ultra/Pro Extra-Firm Lindbeck Angle Sash Brush

Wooster Ultra/Pro Extra-Firm Lindbeck brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: Nylon-Plus and Nylon

Best Feature: Easy to control

Another from the Wooster family, the Ultra/Pro Extra-Firm Lindbeck brush is specifically designed for edges and trim. The bristles and shape of the brush are specially designed to help you maintain control while painting. The blend of the bristles also allows for a high-quality application.

7. Zibra Grip-n-Glide Brush

Zibra Grip-n-Glide Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: White filament hair

Best Feature: Short handle

The Zibra Grip-n-Glide brush is another great brush that will help you paint your trim efficiently. The short handle allows for comfort and ease while attempting to paint tough edges. It is also a much more cost-effective option.

8. Pro Grade Paintbrush Set

Pro Grade Paintbrush Set

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 5

Size: 1-2.5 inches

Material: SRT filaments

Best Feature: Affordable quality finish

This Pro Grade 5-brush set comes with a variety of paintbrushes with the goal of helping you achieve a high-quality finish on your trim. The different sizes and cuts of the bristles will help you apply paint regardless of the design of your trim. The bristles are also designed to help you paint more efficiently. Another very cost-effective option.

9. Purdy Pro-Extra Glide Angle Brush

Purdy Pro-Extra Glide brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: Nylon/Polyester/Chinex

Best Feature: High-quality bristles

Also from Purdy, the Pro-Extra Glide brush is guaranteed to give your trim a high-quality finish. The nylon/polyester/chinex composition of the bristles allows the brush to easily hold and apply the paint for ideal results. The width and angle of the brush also ensures great precision while using.

10. Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Brush

Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Brush

Image Credit: Amazon.ca

Quantity: 1

Size: 2 inches

Material: Nylon/Polyester

Best Feature: Short, flexible handle

Another addition from Wooster, the Shortcut brush is an ideal option for painting with precision and comfort. This brush has a short, flexible handle that allows for proper handling and easy application. The angled bristles are made of nylon and polyester, making it a great option for all paints.

What’s the best type of paintbrush for trim?

The best type of paintbrush for trim is one that allows for precision, control, and variety. Your main goal when painting your trim is to keep your work clean, cover all your edges, and (possibly) fit into smaller spaces. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind what brushes work best with different types of paint. For a one-brush-does-all experience, your ideal paintbrush is one with a short handle, angled bristles, flexibility, and a 2-inch width.

A flat-edged paintbrush on a wooden floor
  • Short handle – Smaller handles allow you to fit into more complicated spaces and maintain better control of the brush.
  • Angled bristles – These allow for better coverage across your trim’s details and help you make clean lines while painting.
  • Flexible bristles and/or handle – If you’re working with limited space, this will help you maintain control while covering all of your corners and edges.
  • 2-inch width – This is your best size paintbrush for trim as it’s not too big and not too small, helping you to avoid making mistakes while covering more in less time.

Best way to paint trim: brush or roller?

When trying to decide on whether to use a brush or a roller to paint your trim, you need to consider what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re looking for a quick and easy application process, you can opt to use a roller to get the job done. However, if you want to achieve a high-quality final product, you’ll want to use a brush instead. It will take more time to finish, but you’ll be able to guarantee complete and smooth coverage of your trim.

A closeup of a white roller on a white wall

Some DIYers have opted to use both a roller and brush. You can start by applying your main coat with a roller, then switch to a brush to cover any missed spots and eliminate any lines or smudges. This, of course, depends on what you’re working with and hoping to achieve (as mentioned above).

Choose a brush if…

  • Your trim has complex detailing.
  • You’re working with a smaller-sized project.
  • You have more time to spend painting.
  • You want to ensure a high-quality finish.

Choose a roller if…

  • You’re working with a predominantly flat trim or baseboard.
  • You have a lot of trim to paint.
  • You want the painting to be quick and easy.
  • You’re just looking to freshen up your trim.

Best way to paint trim without brush marks

Whatever you decide to use to paint with, you’ll want to try your best to leave your trim looking great. Here are some tips on the best ways to paint trim without brush marks:

  • Clean your trim – Removing any dust and debris from your trim before painting will help the paint to better stick to the trim.
  • Use long, continuous paint strokes – Limiting the number of times you stop painting helps keep the paint smooth and even.
  • Use smaller amounts of paint – Dipping your bristles in halfway, rather than dunking your whole brush, ensures you have a manageable amount of paint to work with. It also helps prevent messes.
  • Sand your trim – This will smooth the wood of your trim and better prepare it for new coats of paint.
  • Use a primer firstPrimer helps your paint stick better to your trim, and will help give it a smoother finish.
  • Hold your brush properly – Make sure you’re holding your brush in a way that makes the best use of its design. Usually, that won’t be straight up and down.

Now that you know all about your options for painting your trim, it’s time to ask yourself if you’re up to the task. If you’d like to take the professional route instead, the City Painters are here for you. Contact us here or give us a call to get a quote for your project!