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Best Brush for Varnish – Only Brushes for Clear Finish

by James Antony | Last Updated: 26th January 2020

The brush with which you apply varnish can make a huge difference in getting a clear finish. A cheap model can lead to a variety of problems, while a quality product can help you get the results that you are looking for. Though it may appear costlier than a throwaway model, one can get top-quality results with it.

If you take care of your brush, you can even get it to last for years. Using a brush rather than a cloth has many advantages. The protective finish is built up much faster, waterborne finishes can be used, and you don’t end up wasting the finish.

An obstacle that plagues customers the most is in deciding which product to get since there are scores of bristle brushes for varnish available at hardware stores and online. To that end, we have made Best Brush for Varnish Review to allow you to get the best finish that you can get for your job.


Pro Grade – Paint BrushesBest Paint Brush

Pro Grade Paint Brushes 5 Brush Set Review - Best Brush for Varnish

Pro Grade Paint 5 Brushes Set

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Perhaps the best brushes that you can get for varnishing purposes are provided by Pro Grade. In this set, one gets five brushes of different sizes that can take care of different varnishing needs.

Application

These brushes can be used both for interior and exterior projects of different sizes. Regardless of whether you are using it for paint jobs or surface varnishing, these brushes are bound to get you the best possible finish. Other than that, they can also be used for fence and deck painting as well as for arts and crafts projects.

Design

These brushes have stainless steel ferrules that can last for long periods of time, even after multiple washes. Its hardwood grip is quite comfortable, which is ideal for those who require precision in their jobs and reduces strain when painting for long hours.

Its filaments are made of thick synthetic that is designed to hold a lot of paint, thereby saving you time and get you the intended finish. Its tip is quite thin, that allows better control when painting and doing any trim work that the project requires.

Performance

Both professionals and amateurs alike can use all the brushes. Its SRT filament also ensures that there are no streaks on your varnish, and you end up with premium finishes that bring out the best in your projects.

Issues

One problem that has been encountered by people is that the bristles tend to separate into clumps when it is dipped into the paint. Besides that, these brushes are a steal, and one would do good to get them for varnishing projects of different types. We would much recommend the brushes, especially if you have never varnished surfaces before.


  • Great design
  • Ergonomic handling
  • Synthetic filaments hold more paint
  • Can be used for a variety of projects
  • The bristles clump together when dipped in paint

Presa Premium Paint Brushes SetBest Multipurpose Brush

Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set, 5 Piece Review - Best Brush for Varnish

Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set

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Next up, we have a high-quality product by a well-known company – Presa. They have a superior design to most other paintbrushes in its class and are sworn by hundreds of woodworkers and DIY project enthusiasts.

Applications

These brushes can be used for heavy-duty painting. Both oil – and water-based varnishes can be used with these brushes for most indoor and outdoor jobs, including walls, doors, fences, furniture, vases, and many others.

Performance

Users who are loth to dipping the brushes into the paint, again and again, would delight in knowing that these brushes can hold up to 30% more paint than other brushes. The filament provides a smooth release that ensures that the finish that one gets is even throughout. The precision and finesse that one gets with these brushes are bound to appeal to those who prefer to have full control over their finishes.

Design

The construction of these brushes is premium, which allows you to increase your productivity in a short span of time. The filaments are so durable that they can easily withstand abrasive planes, which make it quite versatile in application. They are also fairly easy to clean, which allows customers to use it time and time again.

Issues

The problem that plagues these brushes is their clumping together when they are dipped in paint. This can lead to a streaky painting, which one needs to be wary of. Still, this doesn’t keep professionals from choosing this product for varnishing and comes highly recommended.


  • Durable design
  • Holds 30% more paint
  • Is quite versatile in its application
  • Easy to clean
  • High precision
  • Filaments clump together when dipped in paint

Wooster Brush Softip PaintbrushBest Paintbrush

Wooster Brush Paint Brush Softip Paintbrush Review - Best Brush for Varnish

Wooster Brush Softip Paintbrush

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This product is one of the most popular brushes manufactured by Wooster Brush. The company is well known for its innovative design and high-quality tools, which is reflected in this product.

Application

The brush can be used for a variety of jobs, including various heavy-duty jobs. It works well with different paint types as well, including latex – and oil-based paints. This brush is ideal for those who don’t like switching between brushes to complete a job.

Performance

These brushes help one attain a streak-free finish on different surfaces due in no small part to their soft tips. Even if you are a beginner, you can get complete control over your finishes thanks to its short handle.

Design

This multi-purpose brush has a steel ferrule, which makes it ultra-durable. The handle is short, which provides a better grip. The chisel trim ensures that you get the best precision when working on delicate tasks.

Issues

Some customers have found the softer bristles tend to give an uneven finish though it must be said that it is a sentiment that is not shared by many. At this price, it is the best value that you can get for your money.


  • Cheap
  • Durable construction
  • Short handle improves grip
  • Can be used for various jobs
  • Works with different paint bases
  • Softer bristles can impede work

US Art Supply Synthetic Bristle BrushBest Cheap Brushes

US Art Supply 3 Pack of Variety Size Synthetic Bristle Paint Review - Best Brush for Varnish

US Art Supply Synthetic Bristle Paint

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US Art Supply is a company of high renown that has become a household name over the years. This product includes three brushes of different sizes that allow one to administer varnish depending on the project requirements.

Application

The brush can be used to varnish woodworks, doors, walls, and can be used on different art projects by people with an artistic bent. These work well with different varnishes, acrylics, stains, and most paints.

Performance

The brushes have fully synthetic bristles, which aids one in getting a smooth finish. Users who require complete control over their work can benefit a lot from their wood handles that have a great grip. The tin ferrules are quite durable and can last for long periods, even after continual use and washing.

Issues

A few customers have had problems with the bristles falling out. However, this is not an issue faced by the majority, and one could very well rely on the built of the brushes. We would highly recommend this brush set for those looking to get a smoother finish and require total control over their projects.


  • Durable build
  • Smooth finishes
  • The handle has an amazing grip
  • Can be used with most paints
  • Bristles may fall out

Liquitex Professional Freestyle BrushBest Professional Brush

Liquitex Professional Freestyle Large Scale Brush Broad Flat Varnish Short Handle Review - Best Brush for Varnish

Liquitex Professional Freestyle Brush

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The penultimate product on our list is a freestyle brush by Liquitex. This brush is widely used by professionals and is one of the better products that one can find for various paint and varnish jobs.

Application

This brush is ideal for varnishing and is best utilized to attain broad brushstrokes that can cover large surface areas. For those looking to express their creativity on large scale projects, this broad and flat brush is hard to beat.

Performance

Designed for artists and woodworkers who are working on ever-expanding projects, the brush comes in especially handy for dragging, varnishing, and figuring. This is achieved thanks to its strong bristles and a great non-slip matte handle. This makes the brush very durable and comfortable for long-term usage.

Issues

The bristles are a little on the stiffer side, which may result in a streaky finish. However, if proper brushing techniques are used, this can be minimized. This product is highly recommended for those working on big projects that require wider strokes that cover a lot of areas.


  • Covers a lot of area in a few strokes
  • Amazing non-slip matte handle
  • Durable design
  • Ideal for large scale projects
  • The bristles are stiff

Wooster Brush Silver Tip PaintbrushBest Brush for Varnish

Wooster Brush Silver Tip Paintbrush Review - Best Brush for Varnish

Wooster Brush Silver Tip Paintbrush

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Last but not least on our list is another entry by Wooster. There aren’t many companies that can pride themselves on the quality of their brushes the way Wooster can, which is exemplified by this product.

Application

The brush can be utilized for applying varnish on wood, enamels to metal, and thinner coatings on wood. It works surprisingly well with most paints and can cover most of the varnishing needs for your projects.

Performance

Its filament is quite thin and soft, which renders it workable flexibility that allows one to minimize brush marks. The silvertip brush provides fantastic leveling, which ensures that your finish is smooth and without streaks.

Issues

There may be an issue with its paint holding capacity. This is due to the fact that the bristles are feather soft and may require you to dip into the paint frequently. Besides that, for all artistic purposes, this is a great brush that delivers smooth finishes without streaking.

  • Feather soft strokes
  • Has a durable stainless steel ferrule
  • The handle provides a healthy grip
  • Works with most paints and varnishes
  • May does not hold enough paint


Wooster Brush Silver Tip Paintbrush Review - Best Brush for Varnish


Best Brush for Varnish – FAQ


Can I use a foam brush to apply varnish?

Yes, in general you can use it. But keep in mind that it is not the best way to do it. The idea of finishing the finish is to do this final part of your project as good as possible, so you can expect smooth and clear final surface. The best way to apply varnish, which will make it possible to achive professional result is to use bristle brush.



What is the best way to apply varnish?

We will say that the best way is the most gentel one. Try to dip into the varnish only the tip of your brush. Apply varnish lightly and don’t be in rush. Always give enough time for varnish to dry and keep in mind that it is better to apply at least to coats.

Best Brush for Varnish – Final Word

Be advised that high-quality brush is always much better that cheap. In case you need a brush only for one time, it is your choice what to choose – price or value. But keep in mind that good brushes are always more effecient during the work. And in case you need a brush for several projects – don’t be miser. Our top choice – Wooster Silver Tip Brush.

Did you like our Best Brush for Varnish Review? Please comment! And don’t forget to check our Best Marine Spar Varnish Review!

P.S. Don’t forget to read about Potential Health Hazards and use all the necesssary protection.

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