Painting Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JamieD, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    Hey folks. Not necessarily DIY speaker related, more DIY in general related. How do you get your smooth (no brush mark) finishes? I've been using some oil paints on some projects, and I sand down to a flat layer, but then when I put the next coat on to "level" the color, the marks are back! Should I spray, sponge, roll, brush, thin the paint, or wha? Thanks!!
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Jamie,

    OK, here's some tips for you.

    1) Sand your primer coat with a good 300 grit sandpaper to smooth it out.

    2) If you use latex paints, use Floetrol - which is latex paint conditioner and is sold in quart containers. This will allow the paint to go on much smoother than if you were just using paint without the conditioner in it. For oil-based paints, I believe the conditioner is Penetrol.

    3) Use a good brush. I see so many people buying $2.00 paint brushes - then, wonder why the completed job looks like crap. Here in the U.S., we can buy Purdy paint brushes for approx. $12.00 for a 2.5" size. In my experience, these are great brushes because they have bristles that are engineered in a way to allow you to smooth out the paint better.

    4) Don't "overwork" the paint. Once you have the paint on the surface, apply a final long stroke to even it out. Don't go back after 5 minutes and touch that same area again because the paint has started to set up and you'll just add additional marks to the paint. If you need to hit an area again, do it in the form of a 2nd coat of paint after the first coat has sufficiently dried.

    Plus, the Purdy brushes are easier to clean for me than regular paint brushes. I only own about 5 or 6 of these brushes because I use them in my daily work, too.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  3. Ken Cline

    Ken Cline Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,

    Where can you find Floetrol or Penetrol?
     
  4. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    In my experience, it's VERY difficult to get a perfectly smooth "native" finish with a brush. The first problem is of course brush marks, but you can get a surprisingly brush-mark-free finish with a brush if you know what you are doing and use good tools--as Wayne suggests. The other problem is simply that paints designed for brushing by nature dry fairly slowly... providing the opportunity for dust, bugs, etc. to compromise the finish.

    For me, there's no substitute for spraying. My compressor and guns have paid for themselves many times over in time saved and results achieved. Modern automotive acrylic enamels flow very nicely (minimal "orange peel") and dry fast. But without a spray booth, it is still common to have problems with foreign material landing on the surface. For a truly perfect finish, plan on color sanding the last coat and polishing to mirror finish or steel-wooling to a perfect satin finish.

    I used the word "native" above because you CAN achieve excellent results color-sanding and polishing brushed finishes, but you need to make sure that the coating is thick enough that you don't "cut through" --especially on corners. You also need to use the correct paint. Common alkyd and urethane enamels generally don't color sand well. Acrylic enamels are a little better but tend to dry too quickly for brushing all but small projects. You can help this situation by using "slow" reducer. Lacquers are the best but they dry very fast. It's generally necessary to use slow thinner and retarder to avoid pulling and dragging when using a brush.
     
  5. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    Sorry folks, but a lot of this is going over my head. Like "color sanding". Any good site suggestions?
     
  6. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    These paint conditioners are on the shelf in the paint section at your local Home Depot or Lowes stores. The price is approximately $3.99 (U.S. $$) per quart of Floetrol.

    Also, this evening, I realized that Lowes carries a paint conditioner by Wagner now in addition to the Floetrol. A quart of the Wagner paint conditioner for latex paints run about $6.25 a quart (U.S. $$) - but, only 4 oz. of Wagner conditioner is required for a whole quart of paint, so this stuff lasts quite a long time.

    Finally, I've purchased latex paints from many different manufacturers due the type of work that I do. There's one that remains a favorite of mine because it is like silk when you spread it on. The paint is by Enterprise and is sold at Lowes. The high gloss and semi-gloss versions of this paint essentially don't require any paint conditioners at all and, in my opinion, flows just like the oil-based enamels do. The end result is truly beautiful. Also, I've learned that Lowes doesn't carry the high gloss version of this paint. But, Enterprise is owned by Valspar - so, I picked up a quart of their high gloss enamel this evening which I'll try on a project that I'm working on. I'll see how this fares vs. the Enterprise high-gloss that I was used to.
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Jamie,

    Just go back up and review the steps that I provided in regards to applying a good latex finish with a brush. The steps will give you a better quality of finish than you are used to. Give it a try on some sample wood - and see how it turns out. I'm sure you'll be happy with the results. [​IMG]
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I just thought I'd add a link to a thread where I posted some pictures of my work. I used to really *hate* painting several years back because it really frustrated me. However, now I have learned a lot of good methods to do a great job (which I have basically outlined above).

    Link to pictures of my work
     
  9. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    Well, just an update. Using Penetrol and a nice brush, still disgusted with the results. Don't really know what I'm doing/not doing. So I may soon just give up, and go with what I can do. Probably overbrushing, or overloading the brush, or something, but most paint folks around here seem pretty clueless about anything other than walls.

    I think the lesson is I'll be investing in spray as soon as I can afford to. [​IMG]
     

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