Painting Tips for Eliminating Brush Strokes With Oil-Based Paint

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Natural bristle brushes are best for oil-based paint.

Oil-based paint is a popular choice when painting wood surfaces. When using oil-based paint, it is challenging to achieve a smooth surface with no brush marks. However, as long as you practice patience and attention to detail a flawless finish can be achieved. Remember that oil-based paint should only be used in a well ventilated area.



Ensuring the surface to paint is smooth is crucial to achieving a flawless finish. First, scrape away any loose or cracked paint. Fill any holes or cracks with wood filler. Sand the surface until smooth to the touch, using 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum or wipe surface with a tack cloth to remove all the dust. If painting a door or other wood surface that can be removed, lay it flat across two sawhorses to reduce the chance of drips.


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Flow Extender

An additive, called flow extender or retarder, can be added to oil-based paint to slow its drying time and reduce the surface tension of the paint, allowing it to level itself. The slower the paint dries, the better it flows and spreads out. Before adding flow extender be sure the paint manufacturer does not state that the addition of it will void its warranty. Follow additives directions for the correct amount to mix with the paint.



Oil-based paint is best applied using a natural bristle brush. These brushes are made from the hairs of hogs, oxen or other animals. Since the hair is naturally tapered at the end it has the quality required for the tip of the brush. It is up to personal preference if you desire to use an angled brush or flat brush, both can be used successfully to achieve a smooth finish without brush marks.


Proper Brushing Technique

The brushing technique used to apply oil-based paint will help to eliminate brush marks. Dip your brush into the paint and tap off the excess. Using a separate paint container is recommended over drawing paint straight from the can. Quickly coat the surface with a loaded paint brush. Quickly, within one minute of initial application, go back to blend and smooth the paint by slowly and lightly dragging your brush from edge to edge. Be sure to always back-brush from a dry area into a wet area.



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