Whether you’re an accomplished upcycler or novice DIYer, when it comes to chalk paint, you’re only as good as your tools.
If you’re looking to ensure a flawless finish every time, the best thing you can do is invest in your brushes.
Read on to discover our pick of the best chalk paint brushes on the market, plus everything you need to know about achieving a smooth finish.
What kind of brush is best for chalk paint?
When working with chalk paint, it’s best to opt for brushes with natural bristles instead of synthetic ones. This is because synthetic bristles are less flexible, and can therefore leave brush marks in the chalk paint.
How do you get a smooth finish with chalk paint?
The key to achieving a smooth finish with chalk paint is all in the preparation. Make sure you wipe away any dust or dirt before you apply your first coat, and if required, lightly sand the surface of the furniture before you start. If you’re working in a space with lots of dust, put the vacuum cleaner around the area before opening your paint, as this can stick and prevent a smooth application.
Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent brush marks, the best way to avoid them is making sure your paint is the right consistency. Chalk paint can thicken when it comes into contact with the air, so try thinning it with a small amount of water to achieve a smoother application.
If you’re not sure what consistency it should be, we recommend mixing a small amount of paint with water in a separate tray before testing it on a hidden area of your furniture. This way, you won’t ruin a whole tin of paint.
Some upcyclers also suggest that using a damp brush to apply chalk paint will stop brush strokes appearing. To dampen your brush, mist it with water before dipping it in the paint, and repeat as needed.
As with all paints, remember that you can always add more, but never take away. Apply two thin coats instead of one thick one, leaving adequate time for the first coat to dry. If it still has strokes in it, gently sand and hoover before applying the next one.
Should I use a brush or roller for chalk paint?
You can use a roller to apply chalk paint, but you’ll likely need to water down the paint by 10%. A velour roller is the best option as it’ll create a smooth finish. If you do choose to use a roller, you might want to do the first coat with a paintbrush anyway, as this will create a better surface for the second roller coat to adhere to.
Best chalk paint brushes
Dreamtop 4 Piece Natural Bristle Chalk Paint Set
Dreamtop’s chalk paint brush set contains four small brushes that all double up as wax applicators, so you’ll have everything you need for your project from start to finish. The oval shaped brush is great for evenly distributing paint in the contours of tricky shaped pieces, while the flat brush is great for applying paint on, you guessed it, flat surfaces such as table tops.
One of our favourite features of this brush set is the leather straps – it means you can hang the brushes up to dry after you’ve washed them, and store them conveniently for your next project. The bristles are made from natural boar hair, so they’ll leave minimal marks when you apply the paint.
Chalk Paint Wax Brush Set
These handmade brushes feature ergonomic handles with a thumb point, so you can be extremely precise with your paint and wax application. The bristles are natural, and have a specially designed round edge that allows you to paint hard-to-reach crevices with ease.
The pack contains four different sized brushes – the large is ideal for covering normal surfaces, while the smallest one can be used for stencilling. To achieve a flawless application, it’s recommended that you tap them several times before usage, in order to remove floating hairs.
Pure Bristle Flat Mottler Brushes
These mottler brushes can hold large amounts of paint at a time, making them ideal for any large upcycle projects that you might be working on. They feature short flat wooden handles that make them easy to hold, and they’re also great for creating decorative effects.
Both the 3” and 5.5” brush provide high coverage thanks to their shape, and the pure bristle mix means that they’re great for applying wood stain and varnish as well as chalk paint.
Frenchic 50mm Flat Brush
If you’re not keen on the idea of natural bristles, Frenchic’s Flat Brushes are vegan friendly, made of quality synthetic fibre. As the brand specialises in chalk paint, the synthetic bristles have been specially designed to create a smooth and even finish with minimal brush marks.
This particular flat brush is great for neat cutting in when you’re painting skirting boards or hard-to-reach areas.
Frenchic detailing brushes
If you’re looking to add a decorative element to your chalk paint project, you can’t go wrong with these detailing brushes from Frenchic. Featuring two different sized flat brushes, an angled brush and a fine point brush, the set is handcrafted in Italy out of a soft, synthetic fibre, and ideal for using on ornate carving.