A close-up of a stained wooden table

Stained wood can add a beautiful, elegant look to the interior or exterior of your home. If part of your home is in need of a new stain, you might be tempted to do it yourself. The first step is knowing what you need to get the job done.

Foam brushes are a great option for staining wood. There are many advantages to using them, and plenty of choices available. This article will help you learn about using a foam brush for stain by covering the following:

Before we get into what to look for in a foam brush, let’s go over some examples of the best foam brushes for staining. If you want to see what foam brushes we recommend for painting, check out the best foam brushes for painting walls.

 

10 best foam brushes for staining

There are many foam brushes on the market, but you need to know which ones are going to help you achieve the stain you desire. Here are our recommendations for the best foam brushes for staining.

1. Loew-Cornell Foam Brush Set

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

Price: $15.27

Type: Brush

Quantity: 25

Size: 1-inch

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Value

The Loew-Cornell Foam Brush Set is the perfect option in those who want a multi-set of foam brushes that are a great value. The brushes in this 25-pack are super absorbent and can help you achieve smooth, full coverage on your more detailed wooden projects. They also work well with all stains and paints.

2. Wooster Foam King Paint Brush

Wooster Foam King Paint Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $7.96

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Polyurethane foam

Best Feature: Quality

For the best quality for the price, check out the Wooster Foam King Paint Brush. This brush is designed to help you smoothly apply stain for an even finish. Its handle is also specially designed to help you maintain better control while using this brush.

3. FoamPRO Foam Brush & 4 Refills

FoamPRO Foam Brush & 4 refills
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $7.78

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Value

The FoamPRO Foam Brush is another great option for quality and value. This foam brush is ideal for achieving a consistent stain that is mark-free. It also comes with four refills, so you’ll easily be able to use this brush for multiple projects.

4. Royal Brush Foam Brush 4-Pack

Royal Brush Foam Brush 4-Pack
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $5.84

Type: Brush

Quantity: 4

Size: 1-inch

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Popular choice

For those looking for a set of foam brushes that can be counted on, you’ll want the Royal Brush Foam Brush 4-Pack. These brushes help you easily apply stain to your more intricate wooden projects. They also work well with multiple types of stain and paint.

5. Jen Manufacturing Poly Foam Brush

Jen Manufacturing Poly Foam Brush
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $7.08

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 1-inch

Material: Polyurethane foam

Best Feature: Versatility

The Jen Manufacturing Poly Foam Brush is the perfect little brush for working in tight spaces. The brush’s quality foam is designed with angle to help you beautifully apply your stain. This brush also works great with all stains, paints, and varnishes.

6. Pro Grade Foam Brush Set

Pro Grade Foam Brush Set
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $21.52

Type: Brush

Quantity: 48

Size: 1-inch

Material: Polyurethane foam

Best Feature: Affordable

If you’re planning on doing a lot of stain projects that require foam brushes, this Pro Grade Foam Brush Set is for you. These brushes are perfect for detailing and touch-ups when staining. They’re also disposable and a great value for the price.

7. Vanitek Poly Foam Brush Set

Vanitek Poly Foam Brush Set
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $10.99

Type: Brush

Quantity: 10

Size: 1-inch to 4-inch

Material: Polyurethane foam

Best Feature: Variety

If you need multiple foam brushes that are different sizes, check out the Vanitek Poly Foam Brush Set. The various brush sizes help you stain wooden projects of all shapes and magnitudes. These brushes are also super durable and comfortable to hold, letting you stain for longer periods of time without getting tired.

8. Mr. Long Arm Woodmates Stain Applicator

Mr. Long Arm Woodmates Stain Applicator
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $27.99

Type: Brush

Quantity: 1

Size: 12-inch

Material: Flextech foam

Best Feature: Quick use

For those specifically looking to stain their deck, the Mr. Long Arm Woodmates Stain Applicator is one of the best tools around. The foam pad is perfect for helping you apply a smooth and consistent stain to your deck. The larger applicator size will also help you stain more in less time.

9. FoamPRO Fine Finisher Roller

FoamPRO Fine Finish Roller
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $10.39

Type: Roller

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch length

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Smooth finish

If you think you’d like to try staining with a roller instead, the FoamPRO Fine Finisher Roller is perfect for your smaller wooden projects. This roller is designed to help you apply a smooth finish that is free of lint. It really helps make any stain or paint look great.

10. 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

The Linzer Foam Paint Roller Cover is an ideal choice if you want to use a roller to stain larger wooden areas. This roller is designed to help you achieve a quality finish in less time. It has also been approved for use with all latex-based and enamel-based stains and paints.

 

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

When it comes to shopping for a foam brush for stain, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Otherwise, you could end up with less-than-favourable results. In order to get the most out of your stain project, you should look for the following characteristics:

  • Intended for stain — Many foam brushes are manufactured simply for use with arts and crafts. Make sure what you buy has been approved for use on interior paint and stain projects.
  • Has an angled foam tip — Using a foam brush with an angled tip will help you apply your stain smoothly and comfortably while maintaining control.
  • Made of quality materials — Opt for brushes that emphasize the make of their brushes. Brushes that are made with quality materials will last longer and be more comfortable to use.

Many people tend to believe that a bristled brush will always be a better choice than a foam brush. If you’re one of those people, here are some reasons why you should consider using a foam brush instead:

  • Smooth finish — Foam brushes are great at helping you easily apply stain and getting a beautiful, flawless finish.
  • Disposable and inexpensive — Foam brushes are available for great prices and can be tossed away after you’re done, which is great for those doing one-time D.I.Y. projects.
  • Super-absorbent — Foam brushes are known to absorb and release both paints and stains well, allowing you to achieve great coverage of your wood.

 

Best way to stain wood: brush or roller?

Whether to use a foam brush or a foam roller to stain your wood is largely dependent on the type of project you’re working on. In most cases, you’ll find that foam brushes are the better choice. These brushes are often small enough to help you stain wooden surfaces with intricate details and/or a small surface area. Plus, they’ll help you maintain the most control and achieve the best coverage.

A close-up of a foam roller placed on paper

Foam rollers are great if you’re working on projects with large, flat surfaces, and you want to speed up the staining process. However, be aware that you might have to go over some spots that your roller missed with a brush anyway.

Choose a brush if…

  • Your project is small and/or has intricate details.
  • You want more control over the quality of your stain.
  • You have time to dedicate to staining.

Choose a roller if…

  • Your project is on a larger and/or flatter surface.
  • You want to speed up the process.
  • You don’t mind possibly having to do touch-ups later.

 

Best way to stain wood without marks

When setting out to stain wood yourself, it’s completely normal to be concerned with how it will turn out. If you want to be sure that your project will turn out great, follow these tips for staining wood without marks.

  • Clean the wood — Wipe down the surface you’ll be staining with a damp cloth first. This will remove any dirt and debris that could appear in your stain.
  • Complete any repairs — Repairing the surface before you stain it will ensure that your efforts aren’t jeopardized by a crack or broken piece in your wood.
  • Sand away the old — Sanding away the old stain will help your new stain stick to the surface and have a more even coverage.
  • Protect the surrounding area — Use painter’s tape or put down sheets/plastic wherever you don’t want your stain to end up. This will allow you to better focus on the task at hand.
  • Check the weather — If you’re working outside, make sure you can complete your project during a time where there’s no rain or humidity. Stain works best with dry wood.
  • Use only what you need — Apply a minimal amount of stain to your brushes. This will help you avoid unnecessary blotches and uneven coverage.
  • Hold your brush properly — Hold your brush on an angle, and stand close to your project. Doing so will help you maintain comfort and control.
  • Finish while it’s still wet — A single wooden surface should be completed in its entirety while the stain is still wet. This will prevent any overlap lines from appearing in your stain.

 

Now that you’re in the know about using foam brushes to stain wood, it’s time to get started on your project. If you think you might prefer to go the professional route, the City Painters is here to help. Contact us here or give us a call for a quote.

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