Top 5 Best Paint Brushes For Oil Based Paint (2020 Review)

Are you looking for the perfect paintbrush to use for oil-based paint?

You've come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:

  • What the different types of paint brushes are
  • What to look for in high-quality brushes
  • Supplies you'll need for your particular paint job

And much more!

Top 5 Best Paint Brushes For Oil Based Paint (2020 Review)

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use these paintbrushes!

Image Product

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Wooster Z1120-3 Paintbrush, 3 inch
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Made with White China Bristles
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Made with White China Bristles
View on Amazon

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Wooster Brush Shortcut White Bristle Angle Sash Brush
  • Super flexible grip
  • Great for detail work
  • Specifically made for oil-based paints
  • Super flexible grip
  • Great for detail work
  • Specifically made for oil-based paints
View on Amazon

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Purdy Ox-Hair Ox-O-Thin Flat Trim Paint Brush
  • Made of ox-hair
  • Super soft
  • Comes in multiple styles
  • Made of ox-hair
  • Super soft
  • Comes in multiple styles
View on Amazon

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Wooster Paint Brush 2-Softip 2-inch
  • Works with all paints
  • Inexpensive
  • Nylon-polyester blend
  • Works with all paints
  • Inexpensive
  • Nylon-polyester blend
View on Amazon

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Purdy XL Brush 3-Pack
  • An XL 3 Pack
  • Nylon/Polyester Blend
  • Comes with multiple sizes
  • An XL 3 Pack
  • Nylon/Polyester Blend
  • Comes with multiple sizes
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated 9/21/2020)

Our top choice has to be this epic Wooster 3-inch paintbrush.

This brush is a fantastic all-around option for a variety of DIY paint jobs, particularly when working with oil paint.

It's made from White China Bristles with a super-strong ferrule (the metal part that holds the bristles in place) which makes it a great choice when working with more viscous oil-based solvents.

Top 5 Best Paintbrushes For Oil Paints

In a hurry? Check out our top 5 paint brushes for oil-based paint! Keep reading to discover more about our top picks.

  1. Wooster Z1120-3 Paintbrush, 3 inch
  2. Wooster Brush Shortcut White Bristle Angle Sash Brush
  3. Purdy Ox-Hair Ox-O-Thin Flat Trim Paint Brush
  4. Wooster Paint Brush 2-Softip 2-inch
  5. Purdy XL Brush 3-Pack

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

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What Are The Different Types of Paint Brushes To Choose From?

Ultimately there are only two types of paintbrushes to choose from, natural bristle brushes and synthetic brushes.

Whether you're a DIY fan or a professional painter, it's good to know the difference between the two and when you should reach for one vs. the other.

What Are Natural Hair Paint Brushes?

Natural hair brushes are made from natural animal hairs and often those hairs come from hog bristles or ox hairs.

For a long time these were the only types of brushes available, but thanks to technology they're no longer the only quality brushes available. 

And now they serve a much more specific purpose.

What Are Natural Hair Paint Brushes Best At?

Natural hair brushes are best at furniture and flat surface painting. That's because their bristles tend to swell when exposed to paints and solvents which makes them less precise and can make those fine details much harder to achieve. 

They might leave behind more brush marks because of this. 

However, when used for oil painting this is not as big of an issue because it takes much longer for oils to penetrate the fibers of the brush compared to water molecules in water-based paints.

Which is why we'll be recommending a lot of natural bristle brushes on this list because they make it much easier to work with oil-based paints.

What Are Synthetic Bristle Brushes?

Synthetic bristle brushes are paintbrushes that have bristles that are made from materials other than hog bristle or animal hair.

Often they're made from nylon bristles or polyester bristles or a nylon/polyester blend, which creates a smooth finish on whatever surface you're working with.

However, a polyester brush or a nylon brush is probably not going to yield the best results when working with oil paint.

What Are The Different Styles Of Brushes?

There are several different styles of brushes (and obviously brush sizes) you can choose from when working with oil-based paint types as well.

For example, there are angle sash brushes that offer more precision and control for detail work.

​Then there are flat brushes which are great for creating crisp lines and laying down long, bold strokes.

Ultimately, the type of brush that you choose should come down to the types of painting you'll be doing the most.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Brushes Out There?

What Should You Look For In A High-Quality Brush?

So now you might be wondering:

What - specifically - should you be looking for in a high-quality paintbrush for oil-based paint?

Well, before you decide on a brush, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What does the surface I'm painting call for? (Are there corners to cut in, what types of brush strokes do you need to create, etc.)
  2. What type of paint or solvent am I using? (Polyurethane, other oil-based solvents)

When you answer these 2 questions, it's going to make it much easier to find the best brush for your paint job.

For instance, if you need to cover some stains and kill some mold, you'll want to choose something like #5 on this list to kill off that growth and block out the stains so they don't show up on your topcoat.

However, if you're working with some fresh drywall, you can probably save your cash and go with #1 or #2 on this list and still get an amazing paint job out of it.

Read More >> How Do You Get Polyurethane (Or Oil-Based Solvents) Off A Paint Brush?

Did you know: The first known origin of paintbrushes was in 300 B.C. in the Qin dynasty of China. However, the first mention of a paintbrush in history didn't happen until Tuscan painter Cennino Cennini documented it.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

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Supplies You'll Need For Painting With Oil-Based Paint

Before you get started painting with oil-based paints, there are a few things you should gather and have on hand.

And one thing to note here is that handling and disposing of any oil-based substance is a bit more complicated than working with latex paints.

You need to make sure you look into local paint disposal centers and don't wash any of it down the drain as it can corrode pipes and enter the water system.

This is why paint thinner is on the list below because that's the only way to clean off your brushes when you're done without allowing the caustic substances to enter the water system.

  • Drop cloths - these are absolutely essential to avoid paint splatter
  • Paint thinner - this will help you clean brushes and dispose of paint
  • Paint tray - this will come in handy no matter what you're painting
  • Painter's tape - always make sure to use tape to make it easier to cut in without making messes
  • A respirator - avoid inhaling any of the fumes from oil-based paints as these can be harmful to your health

Now that you've got a good idea of what you'll need to get started, let's talk about the best paint primer for walls!

Read More >> What Are The Best Respirators For Painting?

Our Reviews Of The Top Paint Brushes For Oil-Based Paints

This Wooster Paintbrush is an excellent choice when doing detailed work because it's small and easy to work with corners and finer details.

If you're looking for a stellar all-around brush to keep in your arsenal whenever you need to work with oil paint or other oil-based solvents.

Not only that, but it comes in at a great price for a high-quality brush, even for the larger versions of the brush it's somewhere between $10 and $15.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Made with White China Bristles

Cons

  • Doesn't come in multi-packs (just one brush)
  • Some users had shedding issues when working with certain solvents

Our best budget option is this amazing angle sash brush by Wooster called the Shortcut.

This brush is amazing at working with oil paints and other oil-based solvents because it's made with White China bristles and it has that angled sash that makes it much easier to maneuver.

If you're looking for an inexpensive brush to use for all sorts of detailed painting work, this is a fantastic choice!

Pros

  • Super flexible grip
  • Great for detail work
  • Specifically made for oil-based paints

Cons

  • Doesn't come in bigger sizes
  • Some users didn't care for this brush as much as the Chinex brush for detail work

Our best high-end choice is this amazing Ox-Hair brush by Purdy that comes in a flat trim brush and an angular trim style.

This makes it incredibly versatile while working with oil-based paints and stains.

The bristles are incredibly (almost impossibly) soft and it also comes in multiple sizes ranging from 1.5 inches to 3 inches.

If you're looking to spend a bit more on a super high-quality brush, this is the one for you!

Pros

  • Made of ox-hair
  • Super soft
  • Comes in multiple styles

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Sheds when working with more viscous solvents

Our next option is this amazing and inexpensive Softip brush by Wooster.

While this isn't a natural bristle brush, it's a nylon/polyester blend and it's still capable of working with oil-based paints and stains.

If you're looking to save some money while still getting a versatile brush this is a great choice.

Pros

  • Works with all paints
  • Inexpensive
  • Nylon-polyester blend

Cons

  • Not natural bristles
  • Not the highest quality

Our final choice is this amazing Purdy 3-pack that is an amazing option if you're looking for a more versatile set of brushes to keep in your toolkit.

While again, these aren't natural bristle brushes, these nylon/polyester blends are still capable of handling oil-based paints and they can also lay down latex paints too.

So, if you're looking for more bang for your buck, this is a fantastic choice!

Pros

  • An XL 3 Pack
  • Nylon/Polyester Blend
  • Comes with multiple sizes

Cons

  • Not natural brushes
  • A bit on the expensive size

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Our Top Choice: Wooster Z1120-3 Paintbrush, 3 inch

Our top choice still has to be this epic Wooster 3-inch Paintbrush that is just so versatile and fantastic for working with oil paints.

If you're looking for a good place to start (that won't break the bank) this brush is perfect for a whole variety of projects.

It'll help you work around fine details but it will also work for larger surfaces.

Overall, this is a fantastic option for DIY fans.

Plus, it's an excellent value for the money. Find the lowest price on Amazon right now!

Final Thoughts On Choosing A Good Paint Brush For Oil-Based Paint 

Depending on the paint jobs you have coming up and what you're planning to paint with this brush, pretty much any brush on this list will help you get the job done.

Ultimately it comes down to your comfort level when working with oil-based paints and your familiarity when working with paintbrushes.

As long as you choose the right brush for the particular job and you follow proper technique, you should be able to create some beautiful results.

As always, happy painting!

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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