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The Best Brushes for Oil-Based Paint for 2023

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

best brush for oil based paint

I always find it inexplicably rewarding when I get to see the hues and strokes coalesce into a stunning project. The entire painting process can be a delightful event; however, it can quickly turn into a disaster when one ends up with the wrong type of brush, even more so when working with oil-based paint.

For that reason, I’ve always thought that brushes can make or break your work. And dealing with paint that has natural oils on it might need more than just any kind of brush. Since then, I’ve been on a hunt for the best brush for oil-based paint that can provide perfect coverage.

So far, here’s what I’ve learned: the bristle type, brush shape, durability, and size are crucial factors that can define the most suitable oil-based paint brush. In this article, I’ll walk you through these aspects as well as the best picks that exhibit outstanding features.


<strong>Top-Rated Products</strong>

Top 1

Pro Grade Paint


Top 2

Great Andrew 43551-117977


Top 3

Bob Ross SG_B013MJ2QWK_US


Best Brush for Oil-Based Paint Reviews

1. Pro Grade Paint Brush Set

When repainting cabinets or revamping fences call for versatile applications, I always make sure to get different paint brushes for smooth and efficient coverage. That’s why this 5-piece set of Pro Grade paint brush has been one of my favorite picks.

This set includes a 1 and 2-inch flat brushes, a 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 angled brushes, and a 2-inch stubby angled brush. I love the fact that there’s a brush variety. As a result, it can provide a suitable shape and size for every painting job.

For example, the angled brushes work great for producing crisp lines, while the large flat brushes are reliable for covering large areas.

Mind you, the brushes are made of thick synthetic bristles for seamless applications. I was skeptical about the bristle design at first, but I’m surprised that it can hold more paint; thus, it saves time and effort.

Although this brush type works better with water-based paints, it can also handle oil-based paints very well. I initially thought they would be disposable after several uses; however, it turns out that these brushes look sturdier than I thought.

Aside from their durability, the stiff filaments can render effortless strokes and create a variety of finishes.

I always aim for a sleek and neat appearance when working on repainting tasks, and this brush doesn’t disappoint. Therefore, I recommend this one if you need a paint brush for a smooth finish.

Furthermore, the stainless steel ferrules ramp up the aesthetic features and ensure long-lasting quality at the same time. The wood handles feel sturdy as well.

On the other hand, I think it’s a bummer that some bristles come off while painting. That’s why I prefer using it for minor painting projects.
  • Various sizes and shapes for flexible applications
  • Designed with synthetic bristles that can hold paint well
  • Helps you achieve smooth finishes
  • Delivers effortless strokes
  • Features stainless steel ferrules for enhanced durability
  • Some bristles come off
Needless to say, these synthetic brushes are reliable for various painting jobs. The bristle design might not be the best for oil-based paint but it holds up well and wraps up the tasks quickly.

2. Great Andrew 43551-117977 Paint Brush

I sometimes opt for extensive brush sets to have spare paint brushes, in case one of the brushes breaks or I need one for a particular paint type or color. Speaking of quantity, this Great Andrew brush set has a lot to offer with its 30-piece brush set.

The brush sizes range from 1 to 3 inches, providing a vast array of brushes for various applications. Although I don’t think I can use them all at once, I find their variety quite convenient for multiple painting projects and when dealing with different oil-based paint colors.

Moreover, the flat and angled brushes render diverse consistencies and line appearances. Impressively, these brushes are reliable whether you’re painting for quick touch-ups or refurbishing furniture.

When it comes to its bristle design, this brush boasts 100% sable tone polyester filaments that can provide a smooth finish and ample coverage.

As I sift through its structure, I notice that the bristles are thicker than the Pro Grade paint brushes. Thus, they absorb paint efficiently without messy spills or pooling.

Aside from that, the density of the bristles does a great job picking up oil-based paint. As a result, it gives off a solid color with a smooth finish.

I also like the ergonomically designed plastic handles that make them lightweight; thus, they’re a lot easier to hold.

Furthermore, the black color complements the golden ferrules, giving off an elegant and stylish appearance.

Just some heads up, the bristles tend to come off and split after a few uses.
  • Offers an extensive brush set for multiple painting jobs
  • Designed with synthetic bristles for efficient applications
  • Can provide a smooth finish
  • Has thick bristles that pick up paint well
  • Ergonomic plastic handles for a comfortable grip
  • Bristles fall off over time
Still, you can use these paint brushes for oil-based paint to work on different painting tasks. It offers a wide range of brush sizes that can get the job done in no time.

3. Bob Ross SG_B013MJ2QWK_US Brush

Of all the best paint brushes for oil-based paint that I’ve tried, this brush set is probably the fanciest. Aside from the fact that it’s from a popular American painter, Bob Ross, this set offers exceptional quality natural brushes that can achieve amazing results.

Like many of the natural bristle brushes I’ve used before, these brushes excel in absorbing oil-based paint and rendering smooth and even flow. This is no surprise since they are specifically designed for oil-based paints only.

Other than that, this complete set feels like a sweet treat for both professional and beginner artists who love using oil-based paints as their primary medium.

It includes 10 different brush types: #3 and #6 fan blender, a half size round, 1-inch round foliage, 2-inch blender, 2-inch background, #2 script liner, #6 Filbert brush, 1-inch oval bristle brush, and a landscape brush. It also has a #5 detail and #10 painting knives for flourishing strokes and details.

I love the variety in this set because it allows you to execute and practice multiple painting techniques. Luckily, all the brushes are easy to use since they come in different sizes and shapes.

I think this is an impressive set, but the hefty price tag seems to be its main drawback. Moreover, I noticed that some bristles easily fall out.
  • Offers a variety of brushes and palette knives for precise painting
  • Natural bristle brushes for maximum absorption and performance
  • Specifically designed for oil-based paint
  • Allows you to practice various painting techniques
  • Delivers effortless and even flow
  • Some bristles fall out
  • Expensive
Despite that, it is one of the amazing sets out there that are worth a try. Aside from the fact that it’s specially designed for oil-based paints, this natural bristle brush set delivers versatile performance and precise applications.

4. Perdura Pro Series Rapid Stain Brush

One of the tips for painting with oil-based paint that I’ve learned is to settle for premium quality bristles and assure its compatibility with the type of paint. And when it comes to large decks and spacious areas, I knew I found the perfect pick with this Perduro Pro Series Rapid Stain brush.

Besides the large size, the highlight of this brush is the heavy-duty synthetic bristle design that feels stiff and slightly soft at the same time.

These bristles provide fast and optimum coverage, especially when working decks, fences, railings, and other surfaces that require extensive paint jobs. That’s why I consider this the best brush for oil-based paint on wood decks or benches.

While it lives up to its name with its swift and hassle-free performance, it also deals nicely with oil-based paints.

Since most of the house projects I’ve dealt with demand faster applications of oil-based paint and stains, I know it’ll be easier to accomplish amazing results with the right brush, and this one didn’t fail to impress.

When I tested it on oil-based paints, it absorbed the paint nicely and released it to the surface with an even flow. Thus, it gives off a steady and easy glide in every stroke.

Aside from that, the customizable handle is one of its useful features, especially if you need to extend the length to paint floors or reach further areas on your deck. Plus, the brush features a sturdy stainless steel ferrule that holds the bristles tightly.

This design makes the brush much easier to use. However, I wish the handle was sturdier and steadier as it sometimes wobbles and falls off.
  • Features a 5-inch brush size for covering large areas
  • Has durable synthetic bristles that work well with oil-based paint
  • Lends a smooth glide in every stroke
  • Has a sturdy stainless steel ferrule that holds the bristles tightly
  • Releases an even flow of paint for polished finishes
  • The handle feels wobbly sometimes
I recommend this brush for quick and hassle-free paint jobs. With its durable bristle design, painting vast spaces with oil-based paint can be trouble-free.

5. Bates Choice Paint Brush

I’ve always fancied brush sets because of the convenience of having various sizes and shapes to work with. I think it handles the job effectively and gets it done in no time. Much better when a brush set comes at an affordable cost, just like these Bates Choice paint brushes.

First of all, this brush set consists of 4 different brush sizes and shapes that are suitable for every kind of painting job: a 1.5 angle sash brush and 3 flat brushes in sizes 3, 2.5, and 2 inches.

When painting edges, window frames, moldings, or other furniture pieces that require consistent and careful painting, the angle sash brush is the ideal design to use.

Whenever I need to cover vast areas, I switch between the flat brushes, depending on the structure or intricacy of the surface. Each brush is designed with thick synthetic bristles that can hold more oil-based paint and achieve flawless finishes without any streaks or messy spills.

I don’t find anything special about the filaments besides the white tips and blue-dyed bristles; however, these brushes have lived up to their standard performance and delivered decent results.

In addition to that, this set provides a comfortable grip because all the brushes are innovatively designed with ergonomic lightweight handles. Thus, you can work with the brushes with better precision and control. Whether you’re a professional or a first-time painter, I don’t think you’ll find this brush set difficult to use.

Although there’s excellent variation among the brushes, I think it falls short of their longevity; they wear out over time. Hence, they work great on short or minor paint jobs. Cleaning the brushes is also a headache.
  • Consists of a variety of brush sizes and shapes for hassle-free painting
  • Can hold more oil-based paint
  • Can cover vast areas and produce consistent strokes
  • Has comfortable handles for trouble-free painting
  • Ideal for short painting jobs
  • Not long-lasting
  • Hard to clean
Overall, this set offers a variety of brushes that you can use to accomplish short but quality paint jobs. Designed with thick synthetic bristles, the brushes can hold more paint and wrap up the job effortlessly.

6. Wooster Brush Q3108-2 Paint Brush

The main advantage of using soft brush tips is their ability to provide impeccably smooth and even finish, particularly when working with oil-based paints. With this in mind, the Wooster Brush Softip is a synthetic bristle paint brush that carries out these merits due to its soft and flexible brush tips.

The bristles exhibit a unique blend of white nylon and gold polyester along with chisel trim. In fact, the magic lies within these synthetic bristles that paint surfaces without any brush marks.

If you try it with oil-based paint, you’ll see how it picks up paint efficiently. The bristles are very absorbent and can leave polished finishes, just like when using a foam brush for oil-based paint.

Another benefit is its versatility when dealing with paint projects that require some delicate repainting, like in a bedroom, bathroom, and other indoor painting. I think it would be quite useful for trimming work and getting into corners or narrow spots.

I also like the comfortable grip of the handle, which allows hassle-free applications. It lends a lightweight feel that allows convenient brushing and minimizes hand fatigue even when working for hours.

One of the challenges I encounter with brushes and oil-based paints is the cleaning process. Luckily, this isn’t an issue with this brush because cleaning has been breezy.

Unfortunately, it seems that the brush size and tip design aren’t suitable for woodwork or heavy paint jobs.
  • Designed with brush tips for effortless applications and a clean finish
  • Features a lightweight handle for a comfortable grip
  • Easy to use and control
  • Ideal for trim work and indoor painting
  • Offers hassle-free cleaning
  • Not ideal to use for woodwork or heavy paint tasks
This unit is an excellent brush for oil-based paint that targets trim work and indoor painting. It has soft brush tips that provide smooth finishes and even applications that can refine detailed painting projects.

7. POL BRUSH Natural Brush Set

Due to the compatibility of oil-based paints with natural bristles brushes, I’ve looked up different types of brushes and finally came across this POL BRUSH brush set.

At a first glance, the bristles are nicely trimmed, but they look coarser than I thought. Compared to other natural brushes and China bristle brushes obtained from animal hairs like hogs, these brushes feature pork hairs splitting brush tips.

Honestly, the bristle design isn’t what I want for a brush for oil-based paint, and I might as well not expect it to provide a neat finish.

Surprisingly, this brush does what it is meant for and holds a good amount of oil-based paint. Although it isn’t very absorbent, it can pick up paint and deliver standard paint quality.

The coarse or split brush bristles don’t seem bad at all. As a matter of fact, such features can be useful for painting large areas and rendering smooth finishes.

When it comes to its finish, it isn’t the best but not terrible either. So I think you can use it for minor paint projects, whether indoor or outdoor surfaces.

Furthermore, the 2-inch size can cover a relatively bigger area like decks or fences; however, you can give it a shot if you don’t mind a few brush streaks.

It may not look as polished as I want it to be but multiple strokes can remedy these minor issues.

The brush handle has an ergonomic shape and length that can provide a good grip. This also allows you to accomplish paint tasks for hours with minimized hand fatigue.

On the other hand, the drawback is its flimsy quality. It isn’t very durable and some of the bristles fall out over time. Therefore, I think it’s more of a disposable natural brush.
  • Provides good quality paint applications
  • Features pork hair bristles that can pick up oil-based paint
  • A 2-inch brush that can cover large areas
  • Features split brush tips that can provide refined finishes
  • Ergonomic handle for convenient painting
  • Not durable
It may not be the best natural brush out there, but you can rely on this brush for basic and minor indoor and outdoor paint tasks.

8. Pro Grade Paint Brush Set

It’s a lot easier to wrap up a paint project when you’re equipped with the right paint brushes. With that in mind, this 2-piece brush set might not have an extensive variety, but I believe the shapes and sizes make a huge difference.

This Pro Grade brush set includes two brush types: a 3-inch flat brush and a 2 1/2 angled brush. The former is relatively larger and wider, which I find suitable for covering spacious areas.

On the other hand, the latter showcases an angular shape that works great on trim work and getting into tight spaces or producing clean and intricate strokes.

Impressively, each works as a decent brush for oil-based stain and paint. The thick and quality synthetic filaments are not the best ones I’ve tried; however, these bristles can pick up oil paint and render effortless applications with fewer streaks.

Another thing I like is the convenience of use due to its ergonomic handles. They are made of solid wood that provides ample comfort and control.

As a result, it becomes easier to work on multiple surfaces and furniture pieces like doors, cabinets, fences, and decks. Aside from that, the angled brush with smaller bristles is useful for quick touch-ups and concealing minor damages.

In terms of the price range, I’d say this set is a steal for good quality brushes. They aren’t cheap and flimsy, but they aren’t the best either. However, these brushes do what they’re supposed to do.

Moreover, the stainless steel ferrules add a stylish touch to the brushes. Still, I’m a little disappointed in its durability. After multiple uses, I noticed that the ferrules started falling apart.
  • The ferrules are slightly flimsy
To sum up, this set offers decent brushes that won’t break your budget. The sizes, shapes, and bristle design allow you to handle minor touch-ups and multiple painting tasks.

9. Purdy 144080310 Paint Brush

Right before I check the bristles, the very first thing that caught my attention is the long and sleek handle. I’d say it’s a distinct feature that makes this brush versatile and handy, especially when revamping exterior and interior painting projects.

It has an ergonomic length and shape that makes it comfortable to hold. Plus, this sturdy handle allows you to accomplish various trim work on walls, ceilings, thereby allowing you to spruce up your home with decorative details and colors.

Although the handle presents a significant effect on its performance, this Purdy brush stands out with its high-quality synthetic bristles.

The bristles exhibit a unique blend of tapered Satin-Edge nylon or Tynex and Orel polyester filaments. I like the stiffness of the bristles that aren’t overly tough but rather flexible.

Upon testing it on oil-based paint, the bristles lifted a great amount of paint without splitting or fraying. That’s pretty impressive since the brush uses synthetic bristles.

Therefore, I think it lends an advantage when producing consistent and clean strokes. It can also provide effortless finishes without spills or uneven touch-ups.

One more thing I love about it is that it reverts to its shape in every stroke. It features a carefully trimmed angular brush shape that offers optimum flexibility.

That’s why covering both narrow and wide areas is a no-brainer. And I found this quite convenient and useful when repainting window panes and walls with beveled edges.

However, the only downside I found is that the bristles are not very thick. Although it depends on the project or personal preferences, I think it’ll be better if the bristles were thicker for better absorption. Thus it can hold more paint.
  • Offers a unique blend of synthetic filaments for maximum absorption
  • Able to lift oil-based paint and deliver a smooth flow
  • Sturdy and flexible bristles for ample paint coverage
  • Designed with a long and sleek handle for optimum comfort
  • Comes in an angular shape for versatile applications
  • The bristles aren’t very thick
Nonetheless, this brush offers excellent synthetic bristles that you can use for trim work and repainting projects.

10. Wooster Brush Z1101-3 Paintbrush

It isn’t always easy to find a suitable natural paint brush for oil-based paint without spending a massive outlay. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this Wooster Brush paint brush; it is a budget-friendly China bristle brush that provides even and fast results.

Just so you know, this one doesn’t compete with high-end brushes; thus, you can’t expect it to be like one. Instead, it has a decent quality that you can use a couple of uses and toss in the bin eventually. But it does what every brush is supposed to do. Plus, it’s nice to use a natural but low-cost brush.

As I look closely at the features, the bristles are thick, sturdy, and styled in a square trim that renders smooth finishes and consistent strokes. Since they are natural filaments, the brush picks up oil paint effortlessly while maintaining its shape.

I’m impressed that the brush doesn’t leave messy spills or streaks. Amazingly, it performs with ample absorption and releases a seamless flow.

Aside from that, this one features black bristles, which are usually coarser than a natural white bristle paint brush or the white China bristles. This one’s not inferior to that but rather reliable for producing clean finishes as well.

In terms of its size, 3 inches are relatively larger than usual brushes, and I think this one’s quite a game-changer for particular paint jobs.

The thick and long bristles work great on painting benches, walls, and other areas that require quick but evenly distributed paint. This brush can even reach narrow or small areas, thereby providing optimum coverage.

Other than that, I want to highlight the brass-plated steel ferrule that holds the bristles in place. Moreover, the black plastic handle doesn’t look flimsy as it looks, but it is surprisingly durable and comfortable to hold.

On the other hand, there’s a minor issue with the quality of the bristles; I noticed that they slightly fray after multiple uses.
  • Has long and thick bristles that can cover large areas
  • A natural China bristle brush that holds a good amount of paint
  • Delivers a smooth finish and consistent strokes
  • Ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip
  • Releases seamless and even flow
  • Frays over time
Overall, this is a good quality natural brush that won’t break your bank. It stands out with its long and thick bristles that can flourish your work with a beautiful finish.

What to Look for When Buying Brushes for Oil-Based Paint


Bristle Type

The bristle type makes a significant difference to the finish and overall appearance of the paint. With that in mind, the best option for oil-based paint would be natural bristle brushes.

Since they’re derived from animal hairs, they provide excellent absorption and fluid retention. The natural bristles pick up oil-based paints without deforming their shapes. Plus, they offer impeccable longevity and durability.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that synthetic brushes have inferior features and properties. Many brands provide a lineup of premium quality synthetic brushes that imitate and carry out similar features of natural bristle brushes.

Furthermore, take note that any synthetic brush won’t do. Since they aren’t as absorbent as natural bristles, you should look for synthetic brushes with hollow or split bristles for better fluid retention and even finish.

Brush Shape and Size

Aside from bristle type, the brush shapes and sizes are significant factors to consider if you want to achieve smooth and even applications. Due to the thick consistency of oil-based paint, executing specific paint strokes and techniques can sometimes be challenging unless you’re using the right brush size and shape.

As a result, it’ll be a lot easier to carry out various strokes and colors without messy spills or uneven applications. For example, you can use angled brushes to produce sharp and consistent lines. On the other hand, smaller brush sizes will do when painting narrow areas or creating intricate strokes.


Oil-based paints are exceptionally durable compared to water-based paints. They’re thick, long-lasting, and provide remarkable coverage to conceal stains and imperfections. Therefore, investing in sturdy brushes lets you take advantage of these merits and achieve quality and effortless paint jobs.

Price Range

Natural bristle brushes are the best for oil-based paint due to their absorption properties and long-lasting quality. The only caveat is they’re relatively costly than synthetic brushes. Therefore, you may need to consider how much you’re willing to spend on these brushes. Fortunately, some brands offer premium quality natural and synthetic brushes at affordable prices.

Can You Use Synthetic Brushes for Oil-Based Paint

Yes, you can. However, remember that not all synthetic brushes are compatible with oil-based paint. Luckily, many brands indicate whether their synthetic brushes are suitable for oil-based paint or not.

Aside from that, it is imperative to consider the shape and bristle design of the brushes. Those brushes with hollow and split synthetic bristles can pick up paint and provide smooth and even application.


In a nutshell, perfecting a quality paint job isn’t always about the paint alone but also the right kind of paint brushes. When it comes to the best brush for oil-based paint, natural bristle brushes feature remarkable properties that can handle oil-based paint efficiently. You also can refer to other types of brushes such as watercolor brushes or travel watercolor brushes.

On the other hand, synthetic brushes would also work as long as you consider certain features and choose the correct bristle design. It might take some research to find the best brushes, but investing in the right one will help you accomplish various paint jobs.

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