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Old 06-16-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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Trying to get a smooth finish


So, I've assumed the advice I got here with my last thread:

1.) I purchased a primer. It's a huge pain to clean off. I had to buy turpentine, and my entire house smells.
2.) I purchased a finishing glaze. It's smooth, which is wonderful, and it's matte, which is perfect.

But there is still something that I can't seem to fix..

First of all, this is what my other piece of wood looks like, with about 5 coats:


At first, I liked the natural-wood lines, but realized that's not what I was going for, which is this:


Which as you case see, is perfectly smooth. It almost seems god-like, impossible, especially with a brush..
This is what I've able to manage so far, with a lot more sanding, getting a groove-less surface:



As you can see, there are two major problems:

1.) The surface is by no means smooth. It looks like the barren soil of a desert. I've tried everything - brushes, rolls, sponge rolls..
2.) No matter what I do, or how much I sand, I constantly get those little dirt-looking things in the finish..

I would REALLY appreciate help on this. I've done everything you guys told me to do..


Last edited by Track; 06-16-2011 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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Trying to get a smooth finish


I doubt we suggested you use brushes and two or more types of rollers. You need to purchase an additive for your paint that will help it smooth out.

If you are getting 'dirt' in your finish, your work area isn't clean.

And, I can't see most of your pics. Just me?

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Old 06-16-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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Trying to get a smooth finish


I lost you starting with you bought a primer but you are finding it hard to clean off? With turpentine?

A paint additive, such as Floetrol (for latex only), will help level out brush and roller lap marks but you will never get a smooth finish with as much raised wood grain at the surface as your pictures show.

Paint is a finish and not intended as a surface filler or leveler. You need to strip what is on back to bare wood and sand the surface smooth starting with coarse paper on up to more fine paper or even steel wool. Then prime. Then apply two coats of paint with an additive to reduce the appearance of brush marks. You will probably want to rent or buy a random orbital power sander for this. I use a disc version with variables speeds to start a project like this and finish with palm sized detail sander.

Maybe I am missing something because I don't have the context of the other thread you mentioned?

Last edited by user1007; 06-16-2011 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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Trying to get a smooth finish


z2 about the grain above..

flowtrol will help level the paint.. but if your looking for ultra smooth there is no better way then to spray.

no matter what you will need to strip that paint off to get it to where you want to be.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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Trying to get a smooth finish


And just a tip when you get the surface as near smooth as you want. You still want to "feather" brush or roller strokes with the grain of the wood.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:59 PM   #6
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And i'm sure that skill, knowledge and technique can be achieved in a few days.
I'd skim it. sand spray prime, recheck , perhaps reskim if I was getting really anal about super smooth, reprime , spray a coat of finish- sand smooth, repeat.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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Trying to get a smooth finish


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And i'm sure that skill, knowledge and technique can be achieved in a few days.
I'd skim it. sand spray prime, recheck , perhaps reskim if I was getting really anal about super smooth, reprime , spray a coat of finish- sand smooth, repeat.
Of course it takes practice but why not start out on the path?

I hadn't thought to suggest skim coating I guess because it is a table top and I would be concerned about how well even hot mud drywall compound would hold up? Worth a try I guess.

You will need a nice wide drywall knife, a good drywall pan, and a sack of powdered compound. Compound is sold according to its set-up time from 5 minutes to 120. Start with 20 or even 45 minute until you get used to working with it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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Trying to get a smooth finish


The wood in the smooth example was not a heavy grained wood, and I'm sure was not "waterboarded".
Maybe MDf or poplar, a no grain paint grade wood.
Using what he's using is already a lost cause.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:50 PM   #9
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Trying to get a smooth finish


And he has a can of Zin 123 it looks like, and talks about using turp ( which nobody uses for 20 years or so for paint thinner) . 123 is waterborne, for those that don't know.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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Reading the can is one way to knowledge.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
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Trying to get a smooth finish


Guys, guys, the bottom pictures look to me like the rough unfinished underside of the thousands of closet shelves I've painted in my lifetime. That's NOT a table top surface suffering a bad application. If it is, and he's claiming that technique and skill are simple enough to pick up, he's decades away, not years. Those boogers he objects to in the finish are roller lint. Before he develops brush/roll skills, we should steer him toward using the proper tools to achieve. How about using a mohair or quarter inch cover as opposed to a three eight. The top picture to me looks like artificial grain, or it's the underside of the table leaves. Even running a finished table top under water wouldn't produce that type of grainy look. As sdsester said, paint doesn't fill grain, so your finish paint job can only be as smooth as the surface your finishing. OP, you're driving yourself crazy. Pay attention. I've been painting for a looong time, and I still struggle at times to make a brush and paint do what I want them to, and to me a brush is an extension of my hand, a sixth finger if you will. I had a kid with three years experience with me, and he had a huge problem. He fancied himself a mechanic, but he was far from it. He couldn't even begin to reproduce what I can do. He thought painting was so easy, that after three years he should be a mechanic. But he was frustrated because he knew he didn't possess the skills of a mechanic. His frustration at not being further along at something "so easy" was frustrating his efforts to learn. His growth as a painter was stunted. For the longest time the only brush work he did was cutting walls. It was just before he left that I finally starting giving him some six panel doors to paint, and he struggled. "I should be able to do this", that type of mentality. He was wrong, and you're wrong. To think that you're going to produce what brush men with decades of experience can do is wrong, and to tell them that is disrespectful, and ignorant. You might do a great job with that table, but a batter that hits one home run doesn't become a hall of famer. He becomes one when he hits them under different pitching styles, in different parks, and under all the other vagaries in baseball. Painting is the same way. How about coating a hot steel paneled exterior door in the summer with semi, that'll make you a hall of famer. How about coating piece of complex trim with shellac, which is drying as you brush it? Relax, put yourself into the proper perspective/place, ask your questions, LISTEN to the answers, and follow them, and you'll progress. But you won't if you think you know it all, so much so that you can teach us. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but when I followed the last thread, with the same topic, I heard and saw the kid I talked about. I'm just telling you what I see and think you need to hear. Good Luck!
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:29 PM   #12
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Trying to get a smooth finish


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
The wood in the smooth example was not a heavy grained wood, and I'm sure was not "waterboarded".
Maybe MDf or poplar, a no grain paint grade wood.
Using what he's using is already a lost cause.
That's a crime against humanity. Good wit Brush
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
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Trying to get a smooth finish


like the guys have stated so far, its not always about the paint your putting on. Its about how smooth the wood is before you paint. water based primers and latex paints will usually raise the grain of soft open grained wood like pine. oil based will not raise the grain as much or if at all. You can dampen the wood before applying 1st coat to raise the grain, then sand it down smooth. Sanding between each coat will usually help too.

One thought. might sound a little crazy, but bondo will definitely smooth that table out. Give it a skim with that and that and it will paint like a car. At this point what do you have to loose.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:05 PM   #14
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Strip the paint and run the wood through a planer, then paint it. Even at that you will never get that wood/board to look like the desirable sample, they are two entirely different materials. Kind of like the sow's ear becoming a silk purse thing.

Bondo and spray paint would be the only other way I'm thinking.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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Trying to get a smooth finish


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
A paint additive, such as Floetrol (for latex only), will help level out brush and roller lap marks but you will never get a smooth finish with as much raised wood grain at the surface as your pictures show.
So, Floetrol will take away the brush marks? As far as I can tell, that is my only gripe with the finish.

But I've read dozens of articles and watched dozens of videos where a desirable finished was achieved and Floetrol was never mentioned..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarheadoo7 View Post
z2 about the grain above..
flowtrol will help level the paint.. but if your looking for ultra smooth there is no better way then to spray.
You might just be right, there. I sprayed another piece of wood (my house is filled with pieces of wood, now that I'm trying to learn how to paint ) and it turned out very smooth.

I just can't believe that it can't be achieved with actual paint, considering the above example.

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And just a tip when you get the surface as near smooth as you want. You still want to "feather" brush or roller strokes with the grain of the wood.
I have no idea what "feather" brushing means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
And i'm sure that skill, knowledge and technique can be achieved in a few days.
I'd skim it. sand spray prime, recheck , perhaps reskim if I was getting really anal about super smooth, reprime , spray a coat of finish- sand smooth, repeat.
First you try to insult me, and then you write a sentence that as a novice, you know I will not understand.

Sir, you are not very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
The wood in the smooth example was not a heavy grained wood, and I'm sure was not "waterboarded".
Maybe MDf or poplar, a no grain paint grade wood.
Using what he's using is already a lost cause.
Are you referring to when I claimed that I washed my first piece of wood underwater?

Wow, I am being made fun of for trying to learn? We all make mistakes..

What kind of a forum is this?

You tell me my wood is a lost cause but don't explain further.

All you're trying to do is harass me, just because I bruised your ego by insinuating that painting isn't as complicated as you make it up to be, claiming it takes 30 years to master it?

I'd prefer it if you did not include yourself further in this thread, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
Reading the can is one way to knowledge.
Yeah, that's what I did.

I looked at the can of primer and on it, it said "wash your tools with mineral turpentine."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
like the guys have stated so far, its not always about the paint your putting on. Its about how smooth the wood is before you paint. water based primers and latex paints will usually raise the grain of soft open grained wood like pine. oil based will not raise the grain as much or if at all. You can dampen the wood before applying 1st coat to raise the grain, then sand it down smooth. Sanding between each coat will usually help too.
So, you're saying it's not possible to get the above finish with without oil-based materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Strip the paint and run the wood through a planer, then paint it. Even at that you will never get that wood/board to look like the desirable sample, they are two entirely different materials. Kind of like the sow's ear becoming a silk purse thing.

Bondo and spray paint would be the only other way I'm thinking.
I don't know what a planer is.

If I am getting this straight.. you people think two things:

1.) My wood is not sanded properly. I assure you that it is. It's 100% smooth. I sanded it with professional random orbital sander to perfection (which I had not done previously).

2.) My wood is not compatible with the finish I desire.

Could you, thus, tell me which wood would be?

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