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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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..
 

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Learning by Doing
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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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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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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?
 

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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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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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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.
 

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Rubbin walls since'79
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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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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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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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Rubbin walls since'79
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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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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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The wood in the smooth example was not a heavy grained wood, and I'm sure was not "waterboarded". :laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
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:thumbsup:
 

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Stairguy
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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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Tileguy
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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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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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?

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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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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!
Sir, I am not that kid that yous speak of.

I merely voice my opinion against things I disbelieve.

To follow your metaphor, to become a great hitter in Baseball, one must train for years, to gain the feel for the bat, the ability to sense wind patterns, and many other qualities which the brain needs time to acclimate to and cannot be achieved in days or even weeks, no matter what strategy.

But painting isn't like that at all.

Painting simply requires knowledge.
Coating a hot steel paneled exterior door would not be more difficult or more simple with experience. It would simply require the right knowledge of how to do it.

Which is to say, Baseball is about how you perform an action. Painting is about which action to perform.

I mean, sure, there is a "how" to brush strokes and the like, but that's something you pick up naturally, and it's dependent upon the specific person.

I am a very careful person, so I believe I possess the ability to gain the "skill" of painting.

All I ask is for the knowledge.

For instance, I am computer-hardware major currently.
If you asked me how to build a computer, I wouldn't tell you that it requires decades of experience. I would ask you for your budget, your needs, give you a list of components to purchase and send you on your way.

In the same light, I had hoped that you lot would simply look at my photos (which were requested earlier), tell me what's wrong, how to fix it and send me on my way.

But I don't feel like anyone here truly want to help me.. :(
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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And you refuse to listen or cooperate. You send us pictures of a surface with some sort of fairly deep pattern, assure us it is sanded perfectly flat, and then complain when we assure you it is not. You then get annoyed that we will not help you put a smooth finish on it. You insist you have seen instances where such a finish has happened and we, with decades of experience, come back and state solidly that it just cannot happen the way you are approaching it.

And to use your analogy. Painting is not the same learning process as designing and building a computer. You don't position chips on a motherboard having to pay any attention to things like craftsmanship and aesthetics. For the most part, you get to cover over your mistakes when it comes to building computers.

Painting takes practice and not just raw knowledge and as was posted out of frustration? Some people will catch on and become good at it and other will never get it. I can tell just by how a person holds and takes care of their brushes. Real painters do not complain that it was work and took a lot of solvent to clean their tools. It goes with the territory.

"A man holding a cat by the tail learns things he can in no other way," Mark Twain.

Anyhow if you want to try again for a smooth surface you have to start with one. Paint will not make it so.

1. Sand your surface to be perfectly smooth. It does not matter what material you find or use but it is going to take you awhile with texture as heavy as you showed in your photos. Don't insult us and waste our time like you have been. And don't get upset because we are not telling you what you want to hear.

2. If you want to work with what you have? And given that much to sand you will be better off running the wood through a planer. A woodshop will do this for you. A power planer has blades that spin at high speed and that can carve a thick layer of wood from a surface.

3. Sand perfectly smooth after you have planed the surface starting with 80 grit and working your way up to 120 or so. Vacuum the work place to make it as free of dust as possible. Use tack cloth to get remaining dust off the surface.

4. Prime with a primer/sealer. Sand lightly to eliminate any grain that may have risen from the moisture in the primer. Water based primers are more likely to raise grain on soft woods like pine.

5. Use tack cloths to get residual dust.

6. Apply two coats of finish material. If you used an alkyd based primer you may use either oil or waterbased finishes over it. Add floetrol or similar product to latex products to reduce appearance of brush strokes and roller lap marks. Such products really enhance the application of sprayed finishes. You do not need it absolutely but it will make your work look better and it is not that expensive.

7. Allow latex products to cure for 30 days. Apply the glazes and matte topcoat I seem to remember you desiring in another post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And you refuse to listen or cooperate. You send us pictures of a surface with some sort of fairly deep pattern, assure us it is sanded perfectly flat, and then complain when we assure you it is not. You then get annoyed that we will not help you put a smooth finish on it. You insist you have seen instances where such a finish has happened and we, with decades of experience, come back and state solidly that it just cannot happen the way you are approaching it.

And to use your analogy. Painting is not the same learning process as designing and building a computer. You don't position chips on a motherboard having to pay any attention to things like craftsmanship and aesthetics. For the most part, you get to cover over your mistakes when it comes to building computers.

Painting takes practice and not just raw knowledge and as was posted out of frustration? Some people will catch on and become good at it and other will never get it. I can tell just by how a person holds and takes care of their brushes. Real painters do not complain that it was work and took a lot of solvent to clean their tools. It goes with the territory.

"A man holding a cat by the tail learns things he can in no other way," Mark Twain.

Anyhow if you want to try again for a smooth surface you have to start with one. Paint will not make it so.

1. Sand your surface to be perfectly smooth. It does not matter what material you find or use but it is going to take you awhile with texture as heavy as you showed in your photos. Don't insult us and waste our time like you have been. And don't get upset because we are not telling you what you want to hear.

2. If you want to work with what you have? And given that much to sand you will be better off running the wood through a planer. A woodshop will do this for you. A power planer has blades that spin at high speed and that can carve a thick layer of wood from a surface.

3. Sand perfectly smooth after you have planed the surface starting with 80 grit and working your way up to 120 or so. Vacuum the work place to make it as free of dust as possible. Use tack cloth to get remaining dust off the surface.

4. Prime with a primer/sealer. Sand lightly to eliminate any grain that may have risen from the moisture in the primer. Water based primers are more likely to raise grain on soft woods like pine.

5. Use tack cloths to get residual dust.

6. Apply two coats of finish material. If you used an alkyd based primer you may use either oil or waterbased finishes over it. Add floetrol or similar product to latex products to reduce appearance of brush strokes and roller lap marks. Such products really enhance the application of sprayed finishes. You do not need it absolutely but it will make your work look better and it is not that expensive.

7. Allow latex products to cure for 30 days. Apply the glazes and matte topcoat I seem to remember you desiring in another post.
And I will confirm - I have done every one of those things.

I sanded it absolutely smooth, first with 80 grit, then 120, then 240. I took a huge chunk off the top part of the wood.

Then, I went over it with my primer, with a brush, and the brush left brush strokes on it. I then hopped down to my local hardware store and asked for turpentine because that is what the can said.

Then, I started paint with my acrylic white matte paint.
First, I used a brush and let it dry for an hour, for three coats.
Then, I used a roller for 2 more coats.

That's when I realized that I had brush and roller marks all over the wood.

The paint cracks on the finish, I assume are because I didn't let it aptly dry.

But you guys were supposed to tell me that..

Now, I know my wood is perfect (unless, again, it's the wrong TYPE of wood), I know my primer is fine, I know my paint is fine.

So, the only thing I can think of is either using oil-based paint or floetroll.. will it really give me the finish I desire?
 

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Stairguy
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no, im not saying it isnt possible with a waterborne finish. It is easier to get a better finish with an oil base finish. There are a lot of cheap latex paints out there and most of them are just plain crap. There are some good ones though. Thats why im saying to avoid confusion go with a good oil base.
 

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Stairguy
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floetrol and penetrol will not work miracles. However i does help. Dont buy a cheap paint, add the additive and expect it to look great. go to harbor freight, but a $12 spray gun and go nuts. They work pretty good.
 
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