How can I eliminate brush strokes on painted surfaces?

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I need to refresh the white paint on some flat surfaces. I added Flotrol to top quality paint but still have visible brush marks. A while back I read something about watering the paint down a bit for the final coat to get it to lay down smooth. Has anyone done this? Result? If I put polyurethane on it, will I just add more brush strokes?

  9 answers
  • Fauxgal Fauxgal on Oct 12, 2017
    You brush is probably the culprit if you have a top of the line paint. You will need a fairly soft synthetic brush. Just ask at your local paint supplies, and don't buy the cheapest brushes.

  • KattywhampusLOL KattywhampusLOL on Oct 12, 2017
    Hello Retta Robinson :) I hope the links below can be of help to you in eliminating brush strokes on the flat white painted surfaces you are working on, and good luck :) Thanks for asking HOMETALK "how-to"!

  • Jean Jean on Oct 12, 2017
    1) go against the grain of the existing brushstrokes
    2) Purdy makes the best brushes you can get in most stores for a reason.
    do not skimp on brushes.
    3) don't be afraid to work the paint in to the surface a bit if you're not going for a gloss finish.

    are you sure they're 'your' brush strokes, and not in the existing paint job? that's a pretty common problem




  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 12, 2017
    What brush was used?

    • Retta Robinson Retta Robinson on Oct 14, 2017
      Hi Janet, I often see your advice on here. I was using a nice soft Purdy brush over a finish that had been sanded perfect leaving no gloss. I want semi-gloss on these installed surfaces; they can't be taken out and sprayed. After a week most of the brush marks did lay down, but what I still see is the point where each new stroke starts. If I sand that off I am left with matte top again. My REAL question was about diluting the paint for the final coat. Any thoughts on that?

  • KatAych KatAych on Oct 12, 2017
    Ditto the aforementioned response -- you might also want to look at rollers and/or foam applicators.

  • William William on Oct 12, 2017
    Floetrol thins down paint so it will flow better when using a sprayer. I like to use foam rollers and foam brushes when I need a finish on small projects. No brush marks.

    • Retta Robinson Retta Robinson on Oct 14, 2017
      Won't they also leave marks, esp. where each new stroke starts or along the ends of the roller where paint tends to collect? I think my Purdy brush tip was softer than a foam roller. Is there a particular type of foam you recommend?

  • William William on Oct 14, 2017
    I just buy foam rollers and foam brushes in the paint department. They leave no marks. When painting you overlap the wet edge. Also paint tends to be self leveling. Never heard of watering down paint except for a translucent finish over raw wood or for dry brushing.

  • Fauxgal Fauxgal on Oct 14, 2017
    Well... You can thin it ever so slightly. I do it instinctively, but only a very little bit.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Feb 07, 2019

    Try buffing/polishing with a white sanding pad. This smooths with an ultra fine sanding which leaves a slight polished look and I never have brush marks showing.https://www.homedepot.com/p/Diablo-12-in-x-18-in-Non-Woven-White-Buffer-Pad-DCP120WHTM01G/202830978