How to get a smooth finish with brush-on polycrylic?

I got my black dresser painted and I'm satisfied, finally. I tried the spray-on polycrylic by Minwax, shook it for >1 m, and got a horrible, splattered finish. So I tried the brush-on version in gloss. I used a Wooster angled brush and brushed a thin coat from one end to the other without stopping. I see the instructions say not to over brush, and while I definitely made an effort to keep brushing at a minimum, I did some extra brushing where it didn't look even, and perhaps that was where I went wrong. The finish is ok - it's a little streaky in some places (I've done 3 coats). I get the impression that getting it really smooth takes practice, unless I did something obviously wrong (like over brush). Any feedback?
6 Comments Displaying 6 of 6 comments
  • Is that a water based product? If so, I can give you some tips.
  • J S Austin, TX
    Yes. I'd love some tips.
  • I actually prefer Stays Clear by Ben Moore. Here are the tips: If the product is thick, thin it about 10% with water and stir. Never shake a top coat product because it produces bubbles. Apply it with a tight foam roller SLOWLY. Allow it to dry and
  • Great tips, Kass. I will have to try the Ben Moore product for my next project.
  • J S Austin, TX
    Thanks Kass, why do you prefer the BM product?

    I finished today - it was as I thought and what you said, no pressure, just glide from one end to the

  • I have not used the minwax top coats but have used Stays Clear for years. I like the way it levels and keeps brush strokes to a minimum.
  • Like

    Kathy Hoss