Black China vs. White China Bristle Brush: What’s Better?

what is china bristle brush made of

The more paint your brush can hold, the less time it will take for you to complete your project.

You increase your productivity because you have to dip your brush in the paint fewer times.

This is where a China bristle brush can help.

But what are these brushes made up, what can you use them for and what are the different types you can choose from?

We will get into all these details and much more, in the article below.


What is a China Bristle Brush?


Simply put, this is a brush made from natural hog bristle.

It is perfect for use with oil-based paints, clear coats, varnishes, urethane, and stains.

The soft-flexible nature of the bristles will hold more of the materials as it is being applied to the surface. 

Because the bristles of China brush are made from the natural hair of animals, they have natural filaments that are superior to even the best synthetic bristles.

This is because synthetic brushes lose their shape when primers or oil-based paint is applied.

Unlike natural bristles which are strong enough to keep their shape and not leave behind any brush stroke marks.

What is it used for?

This type of brush is used by professionals to hold more paint or materials so they can complete the job faster with no loss in quality.

However, you can purchase such brushes in the stores to help you become more productive when you paint.

They are labeled as China Bristle brushes on the store shelves.

You can find them in either white or black.

The China Bristle brushes are mostly used for stains, oil-based paints, and some types of varnishes.

Remember that you should not use latex paints with a Black China or White China bristle brush as this will ruin the brush.

Plus, never clean them with water as this will cause them to lose their shape and you will lose control when using the brush.


Differences Between Black & White China Bristle


The differences in the types of China bristle brushes come down to the manufacturer and the blend of natural bristles that are used.

The basic blends are Black China, White China, and Ox Hairbrush.

Each type can be combined with other natural or synthetic types to create a bristle brush.

Black China

This type of brush is best suited for enamel and oil-based paints along with primers.

The stiffness of the Black China bristle brush allows it to hold up better in carrying more paint.

White China

White China brushes are best suited for stains, varnishes, and polyurethane paints.

The bristles themselves are finer and offer a better finish when using these substances.

However, be on the lookout for cheap knockoff brushes that will fall apart rather quickly.

Ox Hair

This is most suited for the clear wood finishes that require the softest of bristles to apply.

Ox Hair types are usually blended with either Black or White China and some synthetic bristles as well.

This is to achieve the perfect balance of softness and stiffness to apply the product.

natural china bristle brush

Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Brush for Your Projects


Now, when you are ready to search for the right brush, the first tip is to avoid the temptation to purchase the least expensive brush as they are not all alike.

Instead, you should look at the materials used in creating the brush and pay what is necessary to get the results that you want.

In other words, you will probably have to pay more to get the most out of your brush.

It may seem off-putting to pay a considerable amount for a branded brush offered by Purdy or Wooster, but it will save you time and effort on your project.

a) Size & Shape:

Brushes come in different sizes from 1.5” up to 4” in width.

Choose the one that is best suited for the project you are about to tackle.

Fine work can be done by artistic brushes to touch up small areas.

And brushes larger than 4” in width can be used for decks or fences.

When it comes to shape, the two basic shapes are angled and flat.

Angled brushes are great when dealing with corners while flat brushes are better suited for painting large, flat surfaces such as the siding on your home.

b) Handle and Ferrule:

A good wooden handle is better than a plastic one, so go with the wood.

The ferrule is the metal band that holds the bristles together on the brush.

The ferrule should be made from brass-plated or stainless steel so it will not rust.

Plus, they should be held in place with rivets or screws.

The cheaper kind is held in by glue which tends to fall apart after a while.

c) Ease of Cleaning & Maintenance:

Since China bristle brushes are good to use with oil-based paints, you should never clean these natural bristle brushes in soap and water.

Instead, clean them in thinner solvents that will keep the bristles from flaring.

After cleaning, always allow them to dry completely before placing them back into their keeper.

When buying a China bristle brush for oil-based paints, you should keep all these cleaning instructions in mind.

The Bottom Line

China bristle brushes are made from natural materials and are good for a variety of different applications.

To better understand which one to choose from between black China vs. white China bristle, it pays to know the differences.

Before you buy them from your nearby paint store, get a feel of the brush in your hand. Be sure that it feels right before you make the purchase.

If you are buying them from online stores like Lowes or Home Depot make sure you check the reviews to get an idea of how well they performed for others.

This will hopefully help you in making a wise decision.

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