What’s Your Favorite Paint Brush?


So many of you have asked about the paint brushes I use in the videos, a blog post seemed in order.

supplies Video Shoot1

As you can see I use many different brushes, depending on the medium, the surface, the style and the paint technique. Some are inexpensive chip brushes designed for a one time use. Some are the small artist brushes for fine lines and detail work.

Brushes Video Shoot 3


Oil based mediums used to be my paint of choice and you are supposed to use a different type of brush for them as opposed to water based latex paints. Since I rarely used latex on furniture, most of my brushes were ones with natural bristles. You can see in the photo, taken before our second video shoot, I only have one latex brush (In the back with dark bristles and white tips. The reason you are supposed to use a different brush with water based paints is that natural bristles swell with water and can affect your ability to lay the paint on smoothly.

When I started using Chalk Paint(Water Based) years ago, I just used the brushes I already had even though they were not designed to be used with water based paints. My painting style is such that I am very hard on my brushes. In addition to layering the paint in a stroke motion, I also work the paint into the wood with a jabbing, up and down, pounce like movement. Latex brushes didn’t stand up, and were so flexible I couldn’t paint the way I wanted. I’ll use them once in a while but they are not my favorites.



That’s a latex brush(I think its made by Wooster I bought at Home Depot). When we shoot the videos, I try to start with a new, or at least clean, brush so you can see the color of the paint, and I go through lots of brushes in the course of shooting. I used that one because I couldn’t find a clean one on my cart of supplies, and since I was already wired (see the microphone cord), I couldn’t go searching.



Annie Sloan makes excellent brushes that are designed specifically for her Chalk Paint. They are wonderful and I love the one I have, but they are also a tad expensive for my budget. I wish I could say that I always took good care of my brushes by washing them when I finish painting, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

Annie Sloan Brush


And nothing ends the life of your brush faster than leaving it unwashed and full of paint. Sometimes they can be resuscitated, but usually you just have to toss them away. So its hard for me to spend too much for a brush no matter how fine the quality.

Brush3 copy


Here is the brush I use in the videos and most of the time. It is available from Lee Valley Tools (www.LeeValley.com). It is a 2″ Double Tapered Finish Brush. It is made of pure hog bristles and imported from France. (MSRP $17.50).  A note of disclaimer, Lee Valley clearly states, “Not for use with water-based finishes.”   However, it is my go to brush for Chalk Paint. As long as I properly clean it after painting, it lasts a long, long time. I also use the 1″ version for smaller areas.

33k6021v1 photo source

If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes of our videos, you will want to see this post from our second shoot in November, Behind The Scenes, and these posts from our most recent group of tutorials,  Behind the Scenes: See how we Prepare for the Shoot,  The Video Shoot: Behind The Scenes II, and More Behind the Scenes Photos.  And if you want to know the story of the garden swing we show at the beginning of each video be sure to check out, The Colorways Swing.


Sheila Falcucci

Leslie, I was wondering about that wonderful brush, thanks for sharing that information with us.
I just bought the 2 and 1 inch brushes.

Paint on!!
Rustic Revival


In hopes that I might be able to replicate your beautiful finishes, I have also purchased the 2″and 1″ brushes. Thank you for sharing your secrets! I can’t wait to get them as I have a secretary dying to be painted…

Louise Santo

Thank you for the information on brushes. Now I know why I don’t like the latex brushes! You’re right, they bend too easily when I try to layer paint. I learned something new! And I love storing my paint in those Paint Eze containers. Wow, this makes painting so easy and less clean up, and less wasted paint. Love your videos too!


I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets distracted and forgets to wash out my brushes! I have to say that may be my favorite thing about chalk paint though, the ability to wash it out after it’s dry. Thanks for the tip – I love love my AS brush but I need more than one but can’t bring myself to buy another!

Kathy Mahoney

What is the best kind of brush to paint kitchen cabinets with AS paint? We want full coverage with no brush lines. plan to glaze and use a polycyclic sealer.


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