Best Brush for Chalk Paint

10+ Top-Rated Brushes for Chalk Paint (2023 Guide)

Are you looking to add some color to your next project? Chalk paint can be an excellent option to give a unique style to your masterpiece.

Whether you’re making a bench for your front porch, or a headboard for your bed – chalk paint can a fantastic addition.

But finding a quality brush for chalk paint can be challenging!

In this post, I’ll explore the best brush for chalk paint, some things to watch out for, and the differences between brushes for chalk paint vs other paint brushes. Let’s get started!

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What is Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is a unique type of decorative paint.

Just like chalkboard chalk, it is made of ingredients like pigment, chalk, water, and occasionally different additives depending on the brand.

Regardless, chalk paint – a water-based paint – is prized because of the way it looks when it dries out. It produces a quality matte finish, and it bestows the painted surface with a very unique, natural-looking chalky texture.


Because of chalk paint’s material composition, it can be used on many different surfaces and materials, ranging from metal to concrete to glass to fabric to wood and more. Due to this versatility, chalk paint is perfect for both interior and exterior projects that you want to add some color to.

The first chalk paint was made in 1990 by Annie Sloan, but these days, many different brands create their own chalk paint formulas.

What Are Chalk Paint Brushes?

Chalk paint brushes are brushes specifically designed to work with the uniquely thick texture of chalk paint.

Just like some paint brushes are meant for oil-based or water-based paints, chalk paint brushes are meant to be used with chalk or occasionally wax paint due to their shapes, bristle materials, and other factors.

Most chalk paint brushes are large, round, and feature pliable, longer than average bristles.

Because of this shape, chalk paint brushes have a high “load capacity.” That means they can hold a lot of paint with each dunk into a bucket. With each stroke, you can apply a lot of chalk paint to the surface you’re painting.

Can You Use a Regular Paint Brush with Chalk Paint?

While you technically can use a regular brush, it’s not recommended.

Most paint brushes are meant to be used with acrylic paint. If you try to use an acrylic paint brush on chalk paint, your results will be less than stellar.

Chalk paint brush bristles are usually stiffer compared to acrylic paint brush bristles. Therefore, they are best for applying thick, heavy chalk paint compared to acrylic materials. This is even more true if you need to paint furniture or walls.

Chalk paint brushes are also advantageous since they are usually created in round or flat shapes. This gives you greater control over how and where you apply your paint for maximum results.

That said, any large or flat brush can technically work with chalk paint. Just ensure that your chosen brush doesn’t have bristles that are too stiff, as this will reduce the quality of each stroke of your brush.

3 Common Types of Chalk Paint Brushes
3 Common Types of Chalk Paint Brushes

Chalk Paint Brush Shapes

Chalk paint brushes come in a variety of shapes and types. The shape of the paint brush you choose will affect its overall versatility and what jobs you can use it for.

Oval Brushes

Oval brushes are one of the most common shapes you can find chalk paint brushes.

Oval is a popular shape because oval brushes feature long bristles, enabling them to hold a lot of paint with each stroke. They are also popular since they apply chalk paint in desirable patterns, resulting in the excellent, weathered texture many artists and woodworkers want for their projects.

Round Brushes

Another popular choice among DIYers are round brushes.

Brushes with rounded shapes feature curved handles in many cases to assist with ergonomics. Regardless, round brushes are usually made with pure hair bristles from animals like boars. Round brushes are available in both small and large sizes alike, so you can find the right brush for any project.

Flat Brushes

Then there are flat chalk paint brushes. Flat brushes are perfect for applying paint to small nooks or corners on projects, or for applying paint in straight lines. Many prefer flat chalk paint brushes when they need to apply chalk paint to flat surfaces like tabletops or walls inside a home.

Chip Brushes

Chip chalk paint brushes are versatile and flexible. They are oftentimes used for feathering or dry brushing, enhancing or changing the end result texture of a layer of chalk paint. Chip brushes are also advantageous since their bristles don’t usually fall out as easily or commonly as other shapes of brushes.

Foam Brushes

Last are foam brushes, which are recommended for milk paint in addition to chalk paint. Foam brushes can help to create interesting-looking textures when using chalk paint. If you purchase a set of chalk paint brushes, there’s a good chance you’ll find a phone brush included in the set.

Chalk Paint Brush Bristle Types

Generally speaking, chalk paint brushes are available with two different types of bristles: natural and synthetic.

Natural paint brush bristles (for any type of paint brush) are made from real animal hair. These are frequently harvested from boars or other animals with relatively flexible yet stiff hair. Natural paint brushes are preferred by many artists because they result in a more organic feel when the paint is applied.

On top of that, natural paint brush bristles produce more sophisticated brush marks compared to synthetic bristles. For many, this is a mark of authenticity when applying paint, and it’s a big point in natural hair’s favor.

But don’t overlook synthetic brushes.

Synthetic bristles are more often used for acrylic and latex paint. Chalk paint always has a latex base, so they can be perfect brush choices when using this material.

Synthetic bristles have an advantage over natural bristles in that they provide a smoother, more even finish in most cases. Thus, they can be perfect options if you want a less weathered or organic-looking finish for your project.

The other big benefit of synthetic bristles is that brushes made with them are vegan. If animal cruelty is an important concern for you, you’ll want to go with synthetic bristle brushes.

Ultimately, however, both natural and synthetic bristles can work for any chalk paint brush. It all depends on your preferences, your style, and what type of finish you want to see in your projects.

Chalk Paint Brush vs. Wax Paint Brush

Fortunately, the majority of chalk paint brushes are universal.

That means they can be used for chalk paint, wax paint, and even other paint types depending on their materials.

That said, it’s still a good idea to use a separate wax paint brush if you are using both types of paint in the same area.

If you use a chalk paint brush and fail to clean it properly, for example, some of that chalk paint can end up in your wax paint layer, compromising the texture and end look you are targeting. Furthermore, chalk paint brushes and wax brushes oftentimes have different handles. This may make it easier or harder to apply a final wax layer of paint to your project.

Try to get separate brushes for each type of paint you plan to apply but in a pinch, you can rely on a chalk paint brush to apply wax paint properly.

What to Consider Before Purchasing

Before you make your purchase, it’s important to consider a few things.

  • Type of brush – do you want a natural brush or synthetic?
  • Quality – are you searching for a brush to get a single job done, or will you be using the brush for years?
  • Affordability – are you looking for a cheaper option, or more expensive?

Best Brushes for Chalk Paint

When the time comes to put together a work of art with chalk paint, you need a stellar brush. Fortunately, there are lots of different options to consider. Let’s break down 10 of the best brushes for chalk paint one by one.

Chalk and Wax Paint Brush Furniture Set- Painting or Waxing - Milk Paint -...
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Modern Art Chalk Paint Brushes

Arguably the best chalk paint brushes overall are brushes from Modern Art.

You can purchase their brushes in a set of two, in which case you’ll receive a small round brush and a large round brush. Both brushes are perfect for use with chalk paint or wax, depending on your preferences.

More importantly, these paint brushes are very affordable. You can usually get them for less than $20 as a set. Despite this low price, you’ll find that Modern Art’s chalk paint brushes are durable and flexible, even compared to pricier options on the market.

Each brush comes with high-quality and soft natural bristles. They’re perfectly compatible with most popular chalk paint brands, like Annie Sloan (see more below).

Bottom line: pick these up if you need something high-quality that won’t break the bank for your next art project.

What I Liked:

  • The bristles are very high quality
  • The set of two brushes is very affordable
  • Works with practically any chalk paint brand
  • Has an excellent reputation for long-term quality and performance

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The handle isn’t the best overall, but your mileage may vary on this aspect
  • May start to lose bristles relatively quickly

My Thoughts

The Modern Art Chalk Paint Brushes are the perfect blend of quality and affordability when it comes to picking the perfect brush. It’s hard to go wrong with this choice. When painting, you can tell the bristles are great quality through each stroke. I highly recommend this brand and brush!

Colorantic | Large Furniture Round Oval Soft Wax Waxes Brush Brushes |...
  • ALL PURPOSE PAINT PROJECTS – These chalk and wax paint brushes work with paint or wax and brush on smoothly...
  • PREMIUM NATURAL SILK BRISTLES - Made of twice-boiled natural bristles, they work great with all paint colors...
  • VERY LARGE ROUND OVAL BRUSH – The round or oval chalk paint brush tip lets you paint faster and more...

Colorantic Chalk & Wax Brush

Colorantic’s chalk and wax brush is an extra large, round, and oval-shaped brush that’s appropriate for both wax and chalk paint.

Because it is made of twice-boiled, natural silk bristles, you’ll find that it lasts a long time and it retains liquid pretty well. The double boiling method is oftentimes used to ensure high-quality, durable, and flexible bristles in all types of paint brushes.

On the downside, this Colorantic paint brush is only purchasable individually, and each buy will run you about 20 bucks. Still, it’s hard to argue with the overall quality of this paint brush. The handle boasts an overall ergonomic design that doesn’t tire out your hand muscles.

On top of that, this brush features a smooth coating, so it’s ideal for applying a second or third layer of chalk paint. This brush can work on practically any surface and with many other paint types aside from chalk or wax.

What I Liked:

  • Does an excellent job at retaining paint or liquid
  • Can be used for chalk or wax paint
  • Made with high-quality and natural silk bristles
  • Ideal for applying a second or third layer of paint
  • Handle is very ergonomic and comfortable

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The brush is a little more expensive than average
  • Can only purchase the brush individually
  • The load capacity can sometimes be too big

My Thoughts

The Colorantic Chalk Paint Brushes are among the top quality brushes you can find. While these are slightly more expensive than others, if you use them often, it’s worth the money.

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  • All-Purpose Chalk Painting – These chalk paint brushes work with paint or wax and brush on smoothly on a...
  • Premium Natural Bristles – Superior to synthetic bristles, our 100% natural brush bristles create a more...
  • Larger, Round Head – The round chalk paint brush tip lets you paint faster and more efficiently, helping to...

Infiniti Elementz Chalk Paint Brush

Infiniti Elementz offers a set of three paint brushes or a set of seven chalk brushes and wax brushes depending on how many tools you need. Alternatively, you can purchase chalk paint brushes from this brand individually: an important option for artists who are only missing one brush type from their collection.

Regardless, purchasing the brushes in the set will allow you to save money and benefit from the 100% natural hair bristles. This design ensures excellent control and top-tier outcomes.

While the brush sets come with tools for both chalk and wax paint, the brushes are each designed for either chalk or wax paint (i.e., you should not mix and match the brushes and paint types).

These brushes are supremely easy to clean and hold, and they’re not too expensive, either. Therefore, this can be another good budget-minded choice for artists who need decent chalk paint brushes that won’t cost them an arm and a leg.

What I Liked:

  • Very high-quality natural hair bristles
  • Very easy to hold
  • Easy to clean
  • Relatively affordable, whether you choose to purchase the brushes individually or in sets

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Some brushes shed bristles more frequently than others.

My Thoughts

The Infiniti Elementz Chalk Paint Brush set contains quality brushes that features natural hair bristles, which some people my prefer. I did notice that the bristles tended to be more fragile and come out easier on this brush – which is never ideal when painting.

Annie Sloan Brushes

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Brush

Next up is a quality chalk paint brush from Annie Sloan.

Not only is this brand one of the best overall for finding excellent paint brushes, but they also make some of the best chalk paint brushes specifically.

Unfortunately, you have to be in one of the 50 countries where you can purchase Annie Sloan brushes to take advantage of this option (don’t worry – the US is included in that list!). If you can buy these brushes, you’ll find them available in three sizes. The small brushes are 22 x 4.5 cm. The medium brushes and large brushes, respectively, are 25 x 5 cm and 26.5 x 6.5 cm.

Regardless of the size of brush you choose, you’ll immediately notice the vintage and flexible feel the brushes provide. These brushes use very strong bristles that enable you to manipulate and texture eyes your favorite chalk paint quite easily.

Even better, you can use these paint brushes with chalk or wax paint, as the bristles hold enough liquid no matter what. The hairs are made of pure bristle so they have split ends naturally. But as many artists can attest, this just makes them more expressive compared to some of the more synthetic brushes you can find at modern retailers.

What I Liked:

  • Very professionally crafted paint brushes
  • Ideal for craft, furniture, and other projects
  • Fantastic paint and liquid capacity
  • Bristles are durable yet pliable and flexible
  • Available in three sizes

What I Didn’t Like:

  •  Only available in 50 countries, not worldwide
  • Cannot purchase directly online or through Amazon
  • Can be expensive, and each brush is sold individually so you can’t purchase a set

My Thoughts:

The Annie Sloan brushes are the classic, original brush that were developed when she created the paint style. These are high quality, but VERY expensive and only available to purchase directly through her store. I recommend other options, unless the brand name is what you’re going after.

Lowe's Chalky Paint Brush

Lowe’s Chalky Paint and Wax Brush

Lowe’s offers a wide range of paint supplies, including a dedicated Chalky Paint and Wax Brush.

This brush comes made with an ergonomic wood handle, which allows you to grip it easily and use it for hours on end without causing a cramp in your hands.

It can be used with either oil-based or latex-based paints. The handle is bolstered by stainless steel ferrule, which resists corrosion quite well. Since the bristles are made with natural materials as well as polyester blended filaments, they are designed to last for a very long time, even under heavy use.

You can easily wash this brush with soap without having to worry about the bristles falling out. So it’s very reusable. It’s a little pricey, as you can only buy the brushes individually. But it’s still a good overall choice for chalk painting projects where performance really matters.

What I Liked:

  • Has a versatile oval shape
  • Can be used with almost any paint type
  • Very durable thanks to rust resistance and sturdy bristles
  • Bristles perform well due to their polyester blends and natural materials
  • Has an ergonomic wooden handle

What I Didn’t Like:

  • A little more expensive
  • Can only buy brushes individually

My Thoughts:

If you’re looking for a brush you can find at your local Lowe’s store, this is just about your only option in a hurry. It’s a decent brush, at a decent price, but I’d look elsewhere if you can wait.

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Maxman Chalk Paint Brush Set

Maxman’s set of two chalk paint brushes could be a great choice if you need several brushes right now and don’t want to break the bank.

This brush set includes two brushes of the same rough size, but they come with different shapes. One brush is round, while the other is oval. This combination allows you to apply chalk paint evenly throughout your project surface, no matter what it may look like.

You can use this brush set with wax paint as well, though it is designed for chalk paint. Both brushes boast natural bristles without a very high asking price. On top of that, you’ll benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try them out risk-free.

On the downside, the brushes are liable to lose bristles. Furthermore, the smaller of the two brushes has a fairly non-ergonomic handle, so I wouldn’t recommend it for large projects or for repeated use.

What I Liked:

  • Comes with stainless steel for rust resistance
  • Both are made of high-quality natural bristles
  • The set is fairly affordable
  • Brushes are in different shapes so you can apply paint to different areas
  • Both brushes come with holes for hanging them up to dry

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The bristles sometimes fall out
  • One of the brushes doesn’t have an ergonomic handle

My Thoughts

The MaxMan Chalk Paint Brush is a decent brush for chalk paint that won’t break the bank. The natural bristles left unique brush marks which I felt gave my piece a more distinct look. These are some of the best brushes for chalk paint available but compared to the Modern Art and Colorantic brushes, the quality is just slightly lower. This is my pick for the best value given it’s low price.

New Renaissance Professional Chalk Brush

The New Renaissance Professional Chalk Brush is large and round shaped by default (though the brand offers other chalk paint brushes should you desire). No matter which brush you choose to purchase, New Renaissance’s brushes are compatible with practically any brand of wax or chalk paint.

Perhaps more importantly, these chalk brushes are very affordable compared to their more expensive alternatives. You can usually get a single large brush for less than $15. Each brush is made with natural bristles and is very easy to use and clean. The brushes come with ties at the end so you can hang them to air dry them.

Of particular note is how effective these brushes are for painting furniture. Due to the feel and texture of their bristles, they are perfect for applying chalk paint to dressers, chairs, and any other furniture you may have.

What I Liked:

  • Comes with very high quality and natural bristles
  • Comes with loop so you can hang dry the brush
  • Works with any chalk or wax paint brand
  • Fairly durable
  • Affordable for each purchase
  • Ideal for vintage furniture painting or restoration projects

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The finishing isn’t as smooth as it might be otherwise, so it’s not ideal for modern projects
  • Can sometimes lose bristles
  • Only available on Amazon

My Thoughts

The New Renaissance Professional Chalk Brush is a solid brush that I would recommend to any new chalk brush painter. Because of the natural bristles, it’s one of my favorite brushes if you’re trying to create an eccentric look.

Chalk & Wax Paint Brush (Set of 6) for Waxing & Painting Projects – 100%...
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DIY Artz Chalk and Wax Paint Brush Set of 6

DIY Artz offers tons of different chalk paint brushes that are great quality and affordable.

This set of three brushes is the perfect choice if you are looking to build up a toolset for using chalk paint consistently in the future. Within this set, you’ll find chalk paint brushes made with 100% natural boar bristles. These brushes each come with a leather strap so you can hang them to dry or store them conveniently.

The set includes practically any shape and size of brush you’ll need to complete your project. The boar hair bristles produce an excellent texture on a finished project, and the oval heads for each brush help to distribute paint evenly across many types of surfaces.

The set is even relatively affordable, usually less than 30 bucks depending on where you look.

What I Liked:

  • A perfect choice for getting several brushes at once
  • Each brush has high-quality boar hair bristles
  • Good handles
  • Can be hung to dry them out
  • Excellent shapes
  • Good price for the set

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Bristles are at risk of falling out under heavy use

My Thoughts

The DIY Artz Chalk and Wax Paint Brush Set is one of the more affordable sets on the market. I liked that it features natural boars hair bristles and it comes with several brushes no matter your needs.

Country Chic Chalk Paint Brushes

Country Chic Chalk Style Paint Brush

Country Chic is an ideal choice to pick up some chalk paint brushes if you already use their chalk paint.

This particular brush has an ovular shape but it’s also relatively flat, so you can apply paint to the nooks and corners of project surfaces without too much difficulty.

More importantly, this brush uses synthetic bristles.

It’s perfect for water-based paint so you make a very smooth finish without any visible brushstrokes. Because of the synthetic bristles, this brush is 100% vegan. None of the product’s materials are tested on animals and it contains no animal byproducts.

The densely packed bristles are perfect for holding lots of paint with each stroke, so it’s also a very efficient tool. Many current customers report that the bristles don’t ever fall out: another important benefit that could make this the brush for you if you don’t like to pull bristles out of your paint projects all the time.

What I Liked:

  • Bristles don’t usually fall out
  • 100% vegan
  • Comes with durable synthetic bristles
  • Perfect for water-based paint projects
  • Good shape for applying paint everywhere

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Lacks the textured finish many painters look for
  • Somewhat expensive, as each brush is around $30

My Thoughts

If you’re looking for a vegan chalk paint brush, the ones from Country Chic might be for you thanks to their synthetic bristles. However, I question the quality of these brushes because some of the bristles fell out while painting. Also, you can only purchase through their website.

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US Art Supply Oval Chalk and Wax Brush

US Art Supply is a nationally renowned art supply brand. Its multi-use chalk paint brush works for both chalk and wax style paints. One of the best is their oval chalk brush, which is sized 2-1/8” and which features natural hair bristles.

While this is not the absolute best chalk paint brush you’ll find, it gets the job done with a minimum of fuss or bells and whistles. The handle features a hole at the end so you can hang the brush up and allow it to air dry. The bristles themselves are tightly glued together and made of natural hair, so they should result in excellent paint texture and performance.

More importantly, the brush boasts a rust-resistant ferrule design, as well as low overall weight. Given the fact that these brushes are pretty affordable, they are ideal for beginning artists or those who want to work with chalk paint without having to spend too much money upfront.

What I Liked:

  • Bristles are made with high-quality, natural hair
  • Very lightweight
  • Has a versatile, medium-size and oval-shaped
  • Pretty affordable
  • Rust resistant
  • Can be hung to dry out thanks to the hole on the handle
  • The brand offers a refund

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Glue sometimes dries out

My Thoughts

The US Art Supply Oval Chalk and Wax Brush is a great affordable set of chalk painting brushes. This is one of the most budget-friendly pairs on the market, so if price is important, this could be your best bet. Be sure to soak the brush 24 hours before using to avoid having bristles fall out. I love this brand with a money back guarantee.

How to Use a Chalk Paint Brush

Buying an excellent chalk paint brush is just the start. Even if you have the best paintbrush on the market, you’ll need to know how to use your chosen brush properly for the best results.

Brush Strokes

Practice your brushstrokes with chalk paint before applying it to your project surface. Remember that the type of bristles you choose will impact the look of your brushstrokes.

Natural bristles usually provide a more pronounced brush stroke effect for project surfaces compared to synthetic bristles. Synthetic bristles, on the other hand, usually result in a smooth finish. The organic shape of natural hairs makes any paint applied with them seem more textured by default.

Ensuring a Smooth Finish

What if you want a really smooth finish? Start with a synthetic brush, then dip your brush in warm water. Once the bristles are wet, apply several thin coats of chalk paint. Because chalk paint is thick by default, you don’t need to apply many thick layers to get the desired finish.

If your brush is damp, you will help the finish apply evenly to the surface on both the first coat and any consecutive coats of paint. Naturally, practicing with your brush will also help you master applying a smooth finish.

Applying Multiple Coats

Since chalk paint is so thick, you might wonder whether multiple coats are even necessary. It’s usually a good idea to give your project at least a second coat of chalk paint regardless of the finish you want. Even if you use natural bristle brushes, for instance, applying a second coat should ensure that it has a long-lasting, beautiful finish.

What if you are painting over a large or dark stain or blemish? In that case, use a paint primer before applying chalk paint. The primer will seal up the stain and prevent the blemish from bleeding through your chalk paint layer, preserving the look of the piece when it is complete.

Lastly, remember to decide what you want your finish to look like before deciding whether to apply wax paint. If you want your project to have a natural, weathered texture, do not apply a layer of wax paint. Wax paint will override that texture and make your paint seem much smoother.

However, if you want your finish to last for as long as possible, or if you want to cultivate a more antique appearance, use a dedicated wax paintbrush to apply at least one layer of wax paint.

Want to learn more? Check out this video!

How to Clean a Chalk Paint Brush

Caring for your chalk paintbrush is just as important as using it correctly. Even the best chalk paint brushes can degrade over time if they aren’t taken care of.

To clean out your chalk paintbrush:

  • Rinse it with warm water. Try not to use any soap unless absolutely necessary
  • You can use mild or vegetable-based soap to clean your chalk paintbrush. If you use soap, only apply a small amount of it to avoid wearing down the glue or adhesive used to keep the paintbrush bristles in place
  • Alternatively, use an all-natural cleaner or conditioner for chalk paint brushes. These use organic and natural ingredients to thoroughly clean chalk paint brushes, especially those with natural hair bristles
  • Once your bristles are clean, be sure to wipe away any other paint on the surrounding grip and handle
  • Then either hang up your paintbrush to dry using the hole in the handle or place it somewhere else where it can air dry. Do not let your paintbrush stay wet forever. Mold could form or the glue holding the bristles in place could become weaker with time.

If you ever need to remove chalk paint, check out some of these methods to remove chalk paint from wood!

Final Thoughts on the Best Brush for Chalk Paint

Chalk paint can be an excellent addition to your next project but finding the best brush for chalk paint can be more challenging.

By using a brush not specifically made for chalk paints, you won’t get the finish you want.

Ultimately, my favorite brush is the Modern Art chalk paint brush. It has a great mix of quality and affordability for any DIYer. If you’re looking for something that will last a bit longer, I recommend any of the Colorantic brushes.