This post was last updated on July 8th, 2018 at 08:27 am
Because of the wide range of paintbrushes on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to find a decent paintbrush, especially if you are looking for the best paint brush for trim.
However, if you know where to look and what brand to consider, you are likely to uncover some gems.
Fortunately, I’ve done the job for you so you don’t have to.
In this guide, you’ll find the best paint brush for trim work and be able to compare the features, pros, and cons of different brands to help you select the winner.
Why Buy A Specific Paint Brush for Trim Work?
Fact: Most brushes come in different sizes ranging from 1″ up to 4″.
In between this, you have a lot of different brands at varieties of price points.
Each brush is made to achieve a specific purpose, such as painting trim, varnish, or staining deck.
This is why most manufacturers often have a set that you can buy. Each set having different sizes so you can use them for different jobs.
To make it easy for you, all the paint brushes in this guide are suitable for trim work. Just compare the prices and features and choose the best one for your project.
Table of Contents
- So…Which one is the Overall Best Paint Brush for trim?
- Comparison Table of the Best Paint Brush for Trim
- Reviews of the Best Paint Brush for Trim:
- 1. Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set, 5 Piece [The Best Bang for the Buck]
- 2. Purdy 140853100 XL Brush 3 Pack [Best Purdy Paint Brush for Trim]
- 3. Corona 2.5″ Excalibur Chinex Paint Brush [Editor’s Pick]
- 4. Jen Manufacturing Inc. Poly Foam Brush [Best Foam Paint Brush for Trim]
- 5. Zibra PB100LZS Grip-n-Glide 1-Inch Square Paint Brush
- 6. Magnolia Brush 233 Low Cost Single Thickness Paint or Chip Brush [Low-Cost Brush]
- 7. Hiltex 00308 Brush Paint Stain Varnish Set with Wood Handles, 5-Piece
- 8. Richard 13415 Elegance Trim Brush with SoftGrip Handle
- 9. Purdy 144152125 Clearcut Series Glide Angular Trim Paint Brush
- 10. Proform CS2.5AVS 2-1/2-Inch Contractor Angle Sash Stiff Paint Brush
- Applying Paint to Varnish Trim
- Tips for Painting Trim
- Best Paint Brush for Trim
- Handling & Maintenance
- Ease of Use
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So…Which one is the Overall Best Paint Brush for trim?
This Presa Premium Paint Brush Set is the most popular and the best paint brush for painting trim.
After several hours of painstaking research and gathering different experiences of users, I’ve found that the best paint brush for interior and exterior trim is the Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set.
In fact, it is popular with hundreds of raving reviews as well as a good number of questions answered on the product page (which you can check here).
It is an excellent brush for trim, and although it is expensive, the superior performance makes it well worth the price.
Whether you are a handyman or a homeowner looking for the best brush for trim work, you’ll find the Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set to be suitable for this type of paint job.
In addition, the brush set provides a flexible solution for other jobs like staining, priming, and varnish.
The premium features on the help you improve your productivity. It is able to hold up to 30% more paint than competing brand, giving you the best use of your paint.
And most importantly, it is durable and can withstand heavy-duty jobs and the most abrasive surface.
Comparison Table of the Best Paint Brush for Trim
Reviews of the Best Paint Brush for Trim:
- Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set, 5 Piece
- Purdy 140853100 XL Brush 3 Pack
- Corona 2.5″ Excalibur Chinex Paint Brush
- Jen Manufacturing Inc. Poly Foam Brush
- Zibra PB100LZS Grip-n-Glide 1-Inch Square Paint Brush
- Magnolia Brush 233 Low Cost Single Thickness Paint or Chip Brush
- Hiltex 00308 Brush Paint Stain Varnish Set with Wood Handles, 5-Piece
- Richard 13415 Elegance Trim Brush with SoftGrip Handle
- Purdy 144152125 Clearcut Series Glide Angular Trim Paint Brush
- Proform CS2.5AVS 2-1/2-Inch Contractor Angle Sash Stiff Paint Brush
1. Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set, 5 Piece [The Best Bang for the Buck]
The Presa Premium Paint Brushes Set comes with 5 pieces of brushes with blended SRT (solid round tapered) filaments that help you save as much as 30% paint more than competing models.
How Does The Brush Achieve This?
The paintbrush is able to hold medium and heavy-body paints which are released evenly. Not only does this help you achieve a smooth finish but also that finesse and precision that’s needed for any trim work.
They are soft but thicker than standard chip brushes.
I’ve gone through many reviews that users just state that there is little to no bristle lost while painting across different types of paints and varnishes.
Also, the premium filaments are durable and easy to clean, something that is important if you want to reuse them again and again.
Using them for future projects is possible as long as you wash them immediately after each painting (don’t let the paint dry on them) and keep them in a safe box/bag.
What About the Bristles: Are They Good Quality?
The bristles are synthetic and of very good quality materials. As a result, you can use them for chalk paint, polyurethane, stain, and poly aside from your trim work.
In addition, they are designed to withstand abrasive surfaces, which you’d often come across when painting.
As a result, you can use them for heavy-duty applications and not just for trim work.
When you are spending more on a paintbrush, you should expect a premium quality…that’s what you get with these paintbrushes
The premium-ness of this brush is also evident in the integrity of the bristles.
Most other paintbrushes have issues with bristles getting loose and getting in the paint. But for this brand, no such case has occurred across several user reports.
The sturdy construction of the brush makes it difficult for the bristles to fall off.
Unlike other brands, the Presa Premium Paint Brush Set can be used for both interior and exterior trim. And since they trim well, you don’t need tape when handling your painting projects.
What Do I Like About it?
One thing I like about this set is that they can be sued for both oil and water based materials. Aside from using them for trim work around the house, they are great for painting corners, cutting-in and framing around rooms.
Since they come in many sizes, you can use them for many applications. So now, you have a paint brush that you can use for a wide range of projects at home.
So if your aim is to select the best brush for trim, you should check this out.
What Sizes Are These Brushes?
The sizes of the brushes from left to right are 3″, 2″, 1 1/2″, and 1″.
The handle length ranges from 4 1/2″ to 7″. This information is also listed on the silver plate that comes with the brushes. Look for this information so that you get to use the right paintbrush for the job.
What About The Downsides of this Brush?
Some users have found that it’s hard to clean and others reported that they may not be good for finishing or varnish.
However, what stands out from the reviews is that they are great for trim. And that’s what’s most important.
And with other features on the brush, it is considered best paint brush for cutting in.
2. Purdy 140853100 XL Brush 3 Pack [Best Purdy Paint Brush for Trim]
About the Purdy XL Series
The Purdy XL Brush series come with synthetic bristles with blended Orel filaments that versatile and usable on all paint and stains. This is why you can use them for interior and exterior jobs with all types of paints and in any environment.
They come with a unique copper ferrule with DuPont solid and around tapered Tynex that gives them an excellent paint distribution and paint lifting capacity.
What About the Quality of the Brushes?
The brushes are lightweight, easy to maneuver and couple with the fact that they carry a good amount of paint, you can do your job faster.
They have a special ability to spread the paint evenly and precisely without streak marks [which is common in cheaper brushes]. In addition, they allow for controlled and precise lines.
And while they work great for trim work you can also use them for cutting in corners and flat horizontal surfaces.
The brushes are available in either angular or flat styles. If you are looking to do trim work and cutting in walls and ceilings, the angular design is the best option for you.
The bristles on the brushes are made from synthetic and because they retain stiffness quite well, you can use them in both hot and humid conditions in the outdoor space. They are very soft so that they leave no paint strokes are clean up easily.
The handle also come in different styles such as short – which are ergonomically designed for painting in tight areas- and long – which is suitable for smooth edges.
Anything You Need to Know
Some people might fault Purdy Brushes for being expensive. But when your project requires premium paint brushes, you can’t just go to whatever store and get the cheapest.
This will tell on the outcome of your project.
Most cheap brushes either leave streak marks, loose brush hair into the paint or just plainly run too fast for a decent painting job.
The Purdy XL series are very popular with painters, are well trusted by professionals and are able to hold up very well. This is why I consider them the best purdy paint brush for trim.
Aside from painting trim, they are also very good for painting furniture and since there are different sizes in the pack, it’s easy to get the right one for the job.
The Final Verdict
If you are starting out with painting trim or just want to buy multiple sets, then I highly recommend this set for you. There are three different sizes in the pack that should fit your needs. And the company carries other sizes should you not find the right size for your job.
3. Corona 2.5″ Excalibur Chinex Paint Brush [Editor’s Pick]
The Corona Excalibur Paint Brush is made in the USA and is of excellent quality.
Because it is a 2″ angled brush, it is excellent for trim work as well as painting doors and windows as it can easily get into corners quite easily.
The brush comes with a standard cardboard paper cover and the bristles also have very good paint release ability as the paint can go off the brush completely and unto the surface.
What’s more, the bristles are capable of leaving a smooth, blended finish, which is important for any trim work.
There is a handy taper at the tip of the brush that makes it easier to direct it in painting straight and smooth lines. It is moderately stiff and can hold up thick paint. So if you are planning to engage in projects outside your trim work, you should look at this brush.
What Do I Like About it?
The feature I like most about this brush is that it cleans up relatively fast.
Compared to other models in this class, you can wash off the paint from the bristles completely by just placing it under a running water. Or if you want, you can clean it with mineral spirits, which is also easy.
In fact, it is better than a Purdy premium paint because it can achieve a sharp straight edge without taping, which makes painting even more fun.
I consider it to be the best type of paint brush for trim work.
…it is an all-purpose paintbrush, meaning that you can use it for all paints and places. Whether you are looking to use it for oil based primer or stain, you’ll find that it’s adequate for your needs.
Another plus going for this brush is its shape, which allows it to go around the edges of windows and doors, making it the best for flat surfaces.
The handle is also shorter and thicker, which keeps it steady in the hand when gripped.
If you are looking for a premium quality brush that’s available for a decent price, this is it. Cleanup is not stressful like what you get from other brands, which I like because it saves time.
What is the downside to buying this?
It is a bit expensive. But since it delivers a good quality result especially for trim work, the investment will be well worth it.
It is better not to paint trim with cheap quality brushes, and considering the quality you get from using this, you’ll be better off than going with a cheaper product.
And sometimes, it can take a bit of time to completely clean out but you can speed up the process by using a wire brush to remove residue.
What’s my verdict?
If you are a DIY homeowner who likes painting without dripping or drags on wood trim, then this is for you. You’ll like this brush because it can produce consistent results for years when properly maintained.
With this paint brush, you should be conquering trim work in no time.
4. Jen Manufacturing Inc. Poly Foam Brush [Best Foam Paint Brush for Trim]
Where is this manufactured?
This is a high-quality foam paint. They are made in the USA by Jen Manufacturing USA. They are available in a pack of 48 pieces and for a fraction of what you get in big box stores.
I consider them as the best foam paint brush for trim.
They are ideal for quick paint projects and are great to have around the house, especially if you are an enthusiastic DIYer with a painting zest.
Are they durable?
Yes, and they don’t fall apart like other cheap ones. You can use the brush for oil paints, solvent based polyurethane, stains, and varnishes. Fortunately, they don’t leave brush marks and wear nicely.
The advantage this paint brush for trim has over others is that they hold paint longer especially if you want to apply grout sealant or contact adhesive.
They are very sturdy and works great as a disposable brush.
These Jen Poly Foam Brushes are considered one of the best paint brush for trim and doors because they are easy to clean and well made.
What do I like about this paint brushes?
If you are looking for brushes for quick touch-ups without any cleanup process, then these are great for you. I also like that they are well made and sturdy compared to other craft foam brushes on the market.
Even though they are disposable, a good trick for using them for an extended period of time is to keep them wet and fresh in a Ziploc bag or similar.
What are the things I don’t like?
They are not very big compared to others I’ve seen – about 1 1/2″ wide, which is not up to 2″.
If you are looking for larger brushes for your trim work, you may want to look at other brands that have bigger sizes. These are
Who is this recommended for?
They are recommended for artists and painters looking for a more sturdy brush to paint their works.
Whether you are refinishing furniture, painting trim, or handling small woodworking projects, these are good paint brushes for you.
Enjoy a finished product like it was sprayed, and for the quantity in the set, they are well priced.
5. Zibra PB100LZS Grip-n-Glide 1-Inch Square Paint Brush
About the Zibra Grip-n-Glide 1″ Square Brush
This is a 1″ square paint brush that excels in trim works where strait brush falls short and is able to hold substantial material in each dip so you can save time on your painting projects.
Also, the bristles are stiff but soft and very fine which offers little to no paint dripping. It has a long-lasting ability and offers ultra smooth paint release.
The brush is designed in such a way that it’s easy to guide it in a straight line and you don’t have to go over each area more than one time since the paint spread out thickly and evenly.
This makes free-hand trimming easier and you don’t have to worry about stray bristles getting into the paint.
Most importantly, if you have issues with your grip or experience hand numbness when painting, you need something that it is easy to grip.
Fortunately, the brush lends itself to easy grasping for an extended period of time. I actually like that the brush provides smooth paint releases with no bristle loss.
Who Is This For?
If you are a beginner looking for fine trim and painting good borders, this Square Paint Brush will give you an edge.
The Zibra Grip-n-Glide Pain Brush allows you to carry a significant portion of paint to detail and is better than larger paint brushes because it helps you minimize mistakes.
The shape of the brush makes it versatile as it lends itself to any number of uses such as painting flat moldings and other trim work.
Thanks to the round, solid, tapered brush tips, you can now get a smooth, crisp, uniform coverage with no streak on the surface. In addition, it features the Hourglass handle that not only provides comfort but also multiple grips like rolling, flipping, spinning.
What Are the Downside to this Brush?
The downside is that the handle gets dry and might become uncomfortable to hold and it can be a bit difficult to clean because of the thickness of the bristles.
However, if you can practice cleaning it immediately after each use, you shouldn’t have any problem. Take good care of it and it will serve you for many more projects.
I recommend this to you if you are looking for the best paint brush for exterior or wood trim.
6. Magnolia Brush 233 Low Cost Single Thickness Paint or Chip Brush [Low-Cost Brush]
This paint brush is 2″ or 1 1/2 wide. You choose either of these depending on the type of job you want to do. Since you are looking for the best paint brush for trim, I recommend you buy the 2″ wide brush.
What’s the handle material?
The handle is wooden, exactly the same you’d find in hardware stores (even though those are more expensive).
How’s the Construction of the Brush?
This brush is thin and soft, which makes them a better option for one-time projects. Because they are throwaway brushes and shed easily, they may not be ideal for heavy-duty jobs like painting glass.
But for trim, rough work, priming, quick stain or a light paint job, they are great.
This comes in a pack and in each pack are 24 brushes. This means after you buy them, you now have an army of paint brushes you can use for light painting jobs.
They are relatively short and works well on thick products. They are also cheap enough that you can toss them after using them instead of cleaning.
What’s should you watch out for?
The fact that the brush is very soft, you may experience a small amount of bristle loss.
I recommend that you throw them away when you are done. This is since brushes like this can turn a nightmare when you want to clean them after staining.
If you are keen on preserving them after each use, then look at the Presa Premium ones since they age better than this one.
Aside from trim work or applying paint stripper, don’t use them for substantive painting like house painting. You can use them for smaller craft projects too, but not more.
7. Hiltex 00308 Brush Paint Stain Varnish Set with Wood Handles, 5-Piece
What sizes are these available in?
The Hiltex Paint Brush comes in different width. This include 1″, 1-1/2″, 2″ and 3″ types. And each brush is built with Terylene bristles with feathered ends.
This will give you paint holding capacity that is very useful when you are doing trim work.
If you are looking for a paintbrush to do simple trim works, this is an inexpensive option to look at.
While they do a decent job for the price, if you are uptight about your paintings, you may want to look at the Purdys/Presas on this list for your trim work.
When you do edges with it, it easily slides under the surface so that you get a decent edge. The bristles come to a fine point at the tip and are not as thin as other models, which helps them hold together nicely.
What are downsides to this product?
Like other cheap paint brushes out there, you may see occasional bristle fall out into paint or varnish. Most of the time, this bristle loss won’t be an issue.
However, if you are doing some work like re-staining a table (where you have to be uniform all across), it may not pay off well if so you may need high-quality brushes.
While researching this item, I found that some users were complaining about missing some items in the package.
The Hiltex 00308 Brush Paint Stain Varnish Set is a decent paint brush for trim. If you are looking for the best paint brush for window trim at the fraction of the price of other units, you should check out this unit.
Aside from the occasional bristle fall, it’s a good one to have in your toolbox.
If you are looking for a higher quality paint brush and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, you should look at the first product (Presa Premium) or choose one of the Purdy paint brushes.
8. Richard 13415 Elegance Trim Brush with SoftGrip Handle
This round-shaped paint brush is designed for cutting-in jobs and smooth finishing. WIth the soft-grip handle, you get to have complete control over what you are painting.
The paint brush is versatile. Edge walls and doors, paint windows and trim, and even more with the Richard Elegance trim brush.
I like that it cleans easily and is able to glide easily when painting all possible because it feels great in your hand. Most trim works don’t need a flat brush and fortunately, it is rounded so you can pull it in a consistent position all through.
While you may struggle with a certain aspect of trimming like maintaining a straight line with a flat brush, a brush that is shaped in this way makes your job a lot easier. It also holds a lot of paint and can paint a clean line.
Is there any downside to this paint brush?
You might not be able to find it in big box or hardware stores. You may want to order enough set to see you through small trim works for an extended period of time.
What’s the verdict?
If you are looking to handle a lot of trim work, this will do well for it. Most importantly, those who have used it attested to its ability to handle trim work.
9. Purdy 144152125 Clearcut Series Glide Angular Trim Paint Brush
About the Purdy Clearcut Series
The Clearcut series is made in the USA. This brush has a round edge, stainless steel ferrule that helps with speed and a smooth finish.
The brush is a 3″ clear-cut angular trim paint brush with superior cutting-in capability.
The tip of the brush is about 1/4″ of whitish tone while the top part is of a brownish color and very soft. The clearcut angular design makes it ideal for painting in cramped quarters or cut-in or trim work.
If you are looking for the best paint brush for cutting in, then this is it.
Performance: Is it Reliable?
It is able to hold more paint than most other brushes and most importantly, it leaves a nice even distribution [just like other Purdy brushes].
The superb Tynex nylon and durable Orel polyester on the bristles makes it possible to use with all paint. As far as quality is concerned, it meets up with the quality set by Purdy.
The downside to buying it is that it can get a little bulky after a few hours of painting, but that is to be expected for a decent paint brush.
What Are the Drawbacks of this Brush? Is It Recommended?
It is also more expensive than others but the high ratings and positive reviews by previous users make it well worth it.
If you are looking for a paint brush that applies paint without leaving streak marks or just for trim and cutting in, then this brush is ideal for your purpose.
10. Proform CS2.5AVS 2-1/2-Inch Contractor Angle Sash Stiff Paint Brush
The Proform Contractor Angle Sash Brush is an angled brush that works well when you are trying to reach corners.
It is stiff, thick, and comes at half price of competing models. If you are looking for incredible straight cut without tape, then you need to buy this.
It is able to hold the heavy paints of today and comes with a flat edge that allows you to trim and cut in like a pro.
The angled sash makes it easy to perfectly cut into square and tight corners without using the painter’s tape.
Remember when you are painting, it is important to have the right tool and if this gives you that precise line you are looking for in your trim work then it’s a great option.
Compared to Purdy or the Presa Premium brushes, the Proform Angle Sash Paint Brush is less expensive.
Applying Paint to Varnish Trim
One of the troublesome and problematic situations you’re most likely to run into at some point is applying paint to varnish trim.
The trim might be a baseboard around your windows or doors or it might even be a crown molding. The main thing you have to do is since it’s been varnished, proper surface preparation so the primer and the paint will stick to it. Your best friend is a good painters tape.
The first thing you want to do is to mask off both the floor and the wall and the easiest way to do that is this:
If you have a carpet to lay down the tape and then gently tuck it under the baseboard work in small sections. It’s easier to do it that way if you have wood floors.
You’re just going to use masking tape and put it directly on the floor and then seal the edge very well. You also want to protect your walls because you are going to be washing the baseboard and sanding it again.
Work in 24″ lengths or so so that it’s easier to handle. Get it well positioned and then once you have it right where you want it, press it in place with your fingers and then use a painters tool or putty knife to very firmly press it in place in order to get a clean edge.
Once you have the edge of your flooring protected, then put down a tape to protect the rest of your carpeting or flooring from other possible spills.
If you feel more secure about it, you can actually do another layer of masking or painters tape in order to hold this in a place where you’ve got a baseboard.
Related: Best Paint Brush for Baseboards
If you have residue built upon it, you can take some TSP or a TSP substitute and scrub the molding very well.
Since you have your masking in place, you may want to be liberal in applying detergent to the nooks and crannies. When you are done with this, you are going to want to rinse it with clean water and then make sure it’s dry.
Next step is to sand it.
You’re doing this for a couple of reasons:
- First of all, it’s a way of getting rid of drips or drops from other painters or paint that might be in the finish itself.
- The other thing is to give a little rough surface so that the primer that you put on next has a good surface to cling to for large flat areas. Just use a flat sanding box with some fine sandpaper in areas that are more curved.
With a piece of towel or dowel wrap your sandpaper around that to get into the recesses make a crease in the sandpaper to get the little cracks and crevices where other pieces won’t fit.
Use a few mineral spirits.
It’s safe on all clear finishes, dampen a rag and then use that to get up the residue. What you want is a nice even layer of primer you want to go with the grain.
If you want nice even strokes, use a slightly loaded brush get into the crevices first do the rounded part next get the top done and then finish with the widest surface last.
Also Read: Painting Your Firearms
The last thing left to do is to paint.
Get your paintbrush lightly loaded and give it a few taps to get rid of the excess paint and then bring it over your baseboard and paint away.
Again a lot of people like to do the little crevices and curved parts first and that way you can finish up with long broad strokes to finish up the rest of it and even out the things you’ve done before.
Tips for Painting Trim
Use a good quality paint brush. When you are dripping your paintbrush into the paint, don’t get the paint all the way up onto the silver part of the brush. That helps keep it from getting on your hands. You want to keep the paint to about half way to the bristles.
Another thing is to paint your trims before they’re installed whenever possible. Some trims even come pre-primed so you can just give them a quick touch-up if needed.
After installation lay the paint on and smooth even strokes making sure you listen to your paint. If your brush strokes are sounding a little scratchy, you don’t have enough paint on the brush.
Move down to a new area and lay more paint on your final stroke in the new area should blend back into the previously painted area. Feathering out the stroke keep painting and blending in this manner until the trim piece is completely painted.
When painting a room, paint the door trims first. You don’t have to be so careful not to get paint on the wall when you are cutting in. That narrow edge of the door trim then you can easily cut in the wall color next to the trim since you are painting on a flat surface.
With the best paint brush for trim, you should now be able to paint trim like a pro.