Best Brush for Painting Furniture 

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on the best paint brush for painting furniture. 

There are so many different makers of paint brushes, at a wide range of prices, that it's very hard to know what is the best to go for. How do you know much you should spend and is it worth spending a bit extra to get something that works better?

We have had a look at all the brushes that are used for painting furniture so hopefully this should save you a bit of time making your choice.

A lot of people are using chalk paint to give their furniture a distressed look. We look at that in another article that you can read here, but it's amazing how well a bit of old furniture can come up with some love and attention.

Painting furnitre

LG Harris 13190 Harris Platinum 5 Brush Set, Set of 5 Pieces

92% customer satisfaction based on 6,000+ online buyer reviews

  • This pack contains 5 brushes (2x1", 2x1. 5" And 1x2")
  • Traditional wooden handle
  • Gives a smooth finish
  • Use with all paints
  • Easy to clean
  • The patented No-Loss* technology means no bristle loss
  • This is a high quality set and is the level you need if you want a great finish
  • There are 6,000 online recommendations for this set !

I am very tempted to say look no further. This brush set is designed to make painting as easy as possible and it does that really well. At around £20 it is inexpensive and if you have done much painting then you will know that Harris brushes are excellent quality, even at this great price.

Nicholas Jack Professional Paint Brushes Decorating Set 5

90% customer satisfaction based on 300+ online buyer reviews

  • Professional quality paint brush set
  • Greater paint lift and smoother application
  • Includes 5 brushes and sizes include 1 x 1", 2 x 1.5" and 2 x 2"
  • No filament loss guaranteed
  • Use with water and solvent based coatings, can aslo be used for varnishing
  • Very comfortable to use wooden handle
  • This maker is very well know for their high quality brushes

This more expensive than standard brush set is aimed at the professional painter. Nicholas Jack produce professional painting tools that deliver superior performance and if you do a lot of painting then maybe you could be tempted to spend a bit more on this type of brush.

Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle 4 Box Set

90% customer satisfaction based on 200+ online buyer reviews

  • 1x 1.5", 1x 1" and 2x 2" Perfection Paint Brush
  • This is another high end set that will give great results
  • Ideal for furniture when high quality finish is needed
  • Durable and easy to clean varnished wooden handle
  • Rust resistant stainless steel ferrule
  • Vapour box compatible
  • Expensive but great

Another really good brush set for furniture. You may not have heard of the Hamilton name before but they make quality products in the painting and decorating range. This is a really quality great set of brushes, though its a good bit more expensive than our number one choice set of Harris brushes.

Makaku Studio Set of Paint and Wax Brushes - For Furniture

94%customer satisfaction based on 100+ online buyer reviews

  • Set of six chalk and wax paint brushes
  • This brush set comes with solid wood handles which are well balanced and nice to hold
  • These are a professional level set of brushes as I am sure you can see from the price
  • Made for very fine work and the best possible finish
  • This comes in a really nice presentation box and is great as a present
  • Definitely worth the price if you want the best 

This is one of the most expensive brush sets we found but it's still pretty good value as it is premium quality. I hadn't heard of this maker before but they are getting really good reviews and mostly by professionals.

MAXMAN Paint Brushes Angle Sash Trim Paint Brushes for Furniture

92% customer satisfaction based on 200+ online buyer reviews

  • 3 Piece value pack, includes 1 1.5-inch sash brush +1 1-inch thin angled brush + 1 2-inch flat cut paint brush
  • Soft rubber grip handle for comfort
  • The solid round tapered filament holds a lot of paint and doesnt drip much
  • Very well priced set that should do all jobs and is quite reasonably priced
  • Definitely aimed at beginners or somebody with a quick, one off job

This is a cheap set that gets brilliant reviews. 92% satisfaction is hard to achieve with buyers today so you can be sure this set is up to any painting job. I can recommend these for any beginner or somebody who wants to have a go without spending a lot of money on the best of gear.

A very quick video review

We have looked over all the video reviews and found this great short presentation on how to paint furniture properly. It gives you an instant idea of what to expect as well as telling you all the tips of the trade.

I hope you enjoy watching it as I always think its much better to see a tool in action rather than just reading about it or seeing pictures. This young lady is particularly good at explaining the technique and the results are great.

Painting Furniture FAQ

The key to painting furniture is a little time and patience and some know how. Never be fooled by anyone who says just give it a quick lick of paint. There is a process to creating a great look for your furniture, be that a table, a chair, a bench or a few pegs where you hang up your coat.

In essence the process is clean, sand, prime and paint. However, each of those tasks takes time, usually more than you think, and in reality the better you prepare the surface, the better a finished job you will have.

The beauty however of doing this all by yourself, is you can create the exact look that you want, and the sense of satisfaction you get, when you achieve that look. It will be unique to you.

What Kind of Paint is Best for Furniture?

There are a few different options:

  1. The chalky look is very popular
  2. A satin look is also a popular choice

90% buyer satisfaction based on 8,000 online buyer reviews

It really depends on the look that you want to achieve, and there are plenty of choices.

Chalky look - this is very popular with many people and the Rust-Oleum shown to the left seems to be the one buyers prefer.

This is a water based paint, so not much odour and gives a smooth, chalky matt finish.

This will cover well with one coat - however it is better to sand and prime for the perfect finish.

Alternatively many people prefer no primer but use two coats of paint, this would be my preference. You will also need to wax the piece once the paint is dry.

92% buyer satisfaction based on 5,000 online buyer reviews

Satin look - this is very popular with many people and the Johnstone's quick dry satin to the left seems to be the one buyers prefer.

This is a water based paint, so not much odour and gives a soft satin sheen when finished

This will not yellow over time- You will need to sand and prime for the perfect finish.

In almost all cases this will also need a couple of coats but it's pretty cheap and is very easy to use, even for a beginner.

Johnstones make a lot of paint for the professionals and personally I think they are one of the best manufacturers

What Supplies do you need to paint furniture?

You can get away with just a brush, but below we have included a list of painting products that we know will help make the task a great deal easier.

  • Drop cloths to stop any splashing and capture any drips
  • Rollers and roller covers
  • Painter's tape
  • Sandpaper in various grit sizes - best to use a sand block and/or a palm sander
  • A selection of paint brushes
  • Primer ideally for wood
  • Your chosen paint

Can You Just Paint over Wood Furniture?

The quick answer is no, that would be a really bad idea. The key to a successful painting job on any type of furniture is to clean it thoroughly, sand it down, 2 coats of primer, sand that down, a coat of paint, sand that down and then a finish coat of paint.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it will last for ages and look great. We do find with chalk paint though, that you can do without the primer and use two coats of paint instead. I think that gives a better finish.

Can You Paint Furniture without Sanding?

The quick answer is no, that would be a really bad idea. Just like the answer above, the key to a successful painting job on any type of furniture is to clean it thoroughly, sand it down, 2 coats of primer, sand that down, a coat of paint, sand that down and then a finish coat of paint.

The reason you sand is to get a really smooth finish and eliminate brush strokes. Sanding the furniture ensures that will happen on the surface. Brushing out, known as feathering, will ensure that there are no brush marks.

How do you paint wooden Furniture?

If you have had the time to read through this article, then you may already know the answer to this. We have provided our recommended process just below

  1. Preparation - If you prepare properly you will get a fantastic finish. It takes a little time but it is worth the effort. Clean the furniture with some type of degreaser or sugar soap. Then sand the piece of furniture with a 120-180 grit sandpaper. Then make sure all the dust has gone and the surfaces are smooth
  2. Prime the furniture - Some people skip this step and many of the paint manufacturers may claim that their paint does not need a primer. Our advice is to prime it anyway. The reason for this is that putting paint directly on to wood will soak into the wood and you get patches and lines. If the paint doesn't take then it can start to fall off or chip. A good primer ensures that the paint will stick to the primer and stay in place
  3. Sanding - We mentioned that you should sand at the start. We would also recommend sanding between coats. Once you prime the furniture then use a 180 grit sandpaper to smooth out any spots or imperfections on the surface. This is a light sanding and helps ensure a smooth finish
  4. Painting - Apply your first coat of paint, then sand with a 180 grit sandpaper and apply a second coat. This will give you a smooth beautiful finish.

Some experts say that they use 2 coats or prime and 2 coats of paint. Others prefer to use one coat of prime and 3 coats of paint.

In reality it almost always depends on the condition of the furniture.

What is the best paint for upcycling furniture?

These days most people are going for the "shabby chic" look when they are upcycling their old furniture. Have a look at our article on Chalk painting furniture to give you some ideas.

There are several good makers of this type of paint and Hemway is one of the most popular at the minute.

This is a fairly straightforward technique and even beginners should be able to get a good finish.

Can you spray paint Furniture?

Really you can spray anything but it's likely that this technique is not so well suited to intricate pieces of furniture that have hard to reach areas. 

I have seen it done on plain items but usually they have to be totally stripped and it's not something I would do myself if I didn't have to. 

I especially hate any job like this if it involves a lot of masking up or disassembling. I just don't have the patience for that.

If I can't talk you out of it then these mini sprayers are actually quite good. I have used them frequently for smaller projects like kitchen panel doors and cabinets, but really, if you are careful, you can paint plain furniture with them as well.

What is the best roller for painting furniture?

90% buyer satisfaction based on 1,500+ online buyer reviews

Most buyers will opt for a 4" (100mm) roller along with a small roller tray. These usually come with some sleeves, and you can then buy compatible sleeves as these get used up.

These will do a faster and better job for larger furniture such as table tops, shelves, cabinets etc.

Ideally you want a short pile for a smooth even finish which can be quickly feathered out using a larger brush.

I alway find that a roller gives a better finish and is much less likely to show any marks than a brush.

The type of roller sleeve dictates the type of finish that you can get.

  • Polyester - general purpose and used for emulsion on walls, ceilings etc
  • Velour - It is for smooth surfaces and ideal for stain, varnish and gloss
  • Foam - Good for undercoats, eggshell paint and a high gloss finish


Line your roller tray with tin foil and when finished simply throw away the tin foil. It saves you having to clean the tray and keeps it nice and clean and saves you having to buy a replacement.

Can you repaint painted furniture?

Yes you can. The most important thing is to try and remove any flaking paint that exists. The easiest way of doing that is by sanding. You could use something like an 80-120 grit if there is a lot of flaking paint.

If the flaking is patchy, then use a 120 grit to remove it. The idea is to get as smooth a surface as you can. Then follow our instructions above for painting. 

Thanks for reading our article on the best paint brush for painting furniture and I hope that it will be some help to you in making your choice. If you are still not sure then don't forget our number one pick was the LG Harris 13190 Harris Platinum 5 Brush Set.

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