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Old 02-28-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
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Visible brush strokes


I always have a problem of seeing the brush strokes on the surface I've painted after it's dried. What causes this problem? Is it the brush, technique, paint I'm using, finish of the paint? Or am I just being too anal about it?

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Old 02-28-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Visible brush strokes


Could be any one of them.
Buy cheap brushes, you get brush marks.
What are you trying to paint?

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Old 02-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
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Visible brush strokes


Molding and trim work. What's considered a cheap brush? Price, material of bristles?
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Visible brush strokes


Get yourself a Perdy brand 2-1/2 sash brush made for the type paint your using. It will say right on it oil, latex, or poly.
Some paints are just harder to work with adding some of this may help if your using latex.
http://www.homedepot.com/buy/flood-f...e-fld6-04.html
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #5
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Visible brush strokes


Consumer Reports rated paint for brush marks (and other things) within the last few years. I think I have a printout of it somewhere.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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Visible brush strokes


As Joe says, buy a quality brush......that's 90% of the battle. Purdy or Wooster.......plan to pay $15 -$20 for a quality 2.5 inch brush. Quality paint is important as well. Don't buy the Olympic/Valspar/Behr brands from the big box stores. These paints contain lots of chalky filler material that affects how your paint flows. Today's paints also set up very fast, so you have to move quickly and you can't keep brushing back into the wet paint film.

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Old 02-28-2013, 10:29 AM   #7
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Visible brush strokes


Both the brush and the paint combine to smooth out brushstrokes. A good brush should cost $15-20. With latex paint you should clean it well and it will last a decade (since you are anal, this should be no problem :-)

Better trim paints flow better and smooth out. If you want to keep the paint you have, then consider adding something like Floetrol to it. A good brush and that should do the trick.

Also think of putting trim paint on in 2 passes. First pass get the paint onto the surface, with enough thickness to coat and cover and stick to the entire area. Paint can have some choppy brush strokes in it at this point. Second pass, start from one end and lightly brush across the entire surface (or as far as you can go) with one uninterrupted smooth movement. This will make the final finish as smooth and consistent as possible.

Last edited by jeffnc; 02-28-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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Visible brush strokes


Another thing that can cause brush strokes is working the paint too much. Your newer quality paints have levelers in them, think Ben Moore or Sherwin Williams. You put these paints on and leave them alone don't keep fussing with them and they will smooth out.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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Read up on floetrol here before you dismiss it. It sounds like it works. It made someone's clear finish cloudy but it's not supposed to be used with clear finish. Another person thinks it slightly yellowed his semigloss.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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Visible brush strokes


Who dismissed it?
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #11
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Oh, they dismissed Perdy but quoted too much so it was confusing.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:17 AM   #12
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Visible brush strokes


Come on guys this is not helping the OP with his question and this is why so many come here ask a question and then disappear.
To the OP yes Flotrol is a good product so is XIM Extender so is Purdy brushes all, plus some practice, will help you to eliminate brush strokes.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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Visible brush strokes


What I have found is first of all it is very difficult to completely eliminate brush strokes when you are brushing things. It just sort of comes with the territory. The best way I have found is to place the item to be painted on a flat surface, then quickly put on a heavy coat of paint. It will be thick enough to extend drying time and it is trivially easy to have it level out. But this is often not a practical way to paint many things, as they will be in some vertical position and not possible to move.

For vertical surfaces (installed trim, etc.) you need to use the correct amount of paint - too little and there will not be enough "liquid" to allow the surface tension of the film to level out, and too much and it will drip and sag. Some paints are more forgiving than others, you will need to find the best technique for the specific paint you are using through practice. I try to let my brush touch the paint on the surface only three times. First for the intiial application, then a second time for spreading it around, and then a third time to "tip" the paint off, moving the brush over the entire surface in a light motion from end to end. This will at least align the brush strokes,and the final light tipping off will tend to make the film more uniform and likely to level. Working quickly (but accurately!) is key since the rheology of the paint changes quickly as it dries.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #14
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Visible brush strokes


Good advice from the newbie, and bonus points for using the word "rheology".
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:49 PM   #15
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Visible brush strokes


Quality paint is important as well.( considering rheology)
so which Semi Gloss latex brushes on better,read smoother ,with less stokes , over primed pine , PPG Royal Manor
or SW Pro Classic?

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