Help!! - Having problems painting trim without brush lines!!

thespianMarch 30, 2009

Hi all-

I've been lurking and searching for a while, but need direct help on this one.

I'm using Mythic semi-gloss to paint the trim in our house and I can't seem to get it to lay down flat and smooth without lines or "alligator skin." I've tried with both foam rollers (Wooster Pro) and brushes (Corona Excaliburs). I have also tried using Floetrol but to no avail. I have researched and been practicing the best way to paint with latex, but am not sure if I'm getting it right:

1. Dip brush into paint halfway up bristles

2. Tap on sides of container like a bell clapper

3. Brush at 30-40 degree angle in one direction for a few inches(with grain)

4. Then brush in other direction from a dry spot back into the wet edge

5. Move on and repeat without messing around in the wet paint anymore

6. After drying, sand between coats

I am quite anal about this and have frozen up on the project to the point that my wife is rather upset that I haven't finished yet. We're on Spring Break from work, so this is the week to get projects done. I really want to get this done so that we're both pleased with the results. (I have NO desire to have to go back and fix this later.)

Please help with any info, advice, or encouragement you can give!


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I am getting really good results with SW Pro Classic waterbase using Floetrol. I am not really having to be too careful, either. I see brush strokes but they lay down as it dries.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:24PM
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Sounds like you are using the right techniques. Are you painting over perfectly smooth trim, or does the original surface have brush marks from a previous paint job? If you're painting over brush strokes, no matter how smooth the new paint lies, the brush strokes will show through somewhat. A thorough sanding will help smooth down previous brush strokes.

Are you allowing a good 24 hours for the paint to dry before evaluating? It takes that long in some conditions for some paint to lay down.

Assuming you're painting over an acceptably smooth surface, then it may be the paint you are using.

I, like jockewing, have good results with the ProClassic and I don't use Floetrol with it.

I find it's hard to get a perfectly smooth surface when you're painting on vertical surfaces. It's best to take a door, e.g., and lay it horizontally, if possible. But with trim, you don't have a choice. You just have to do the best you can. Often, when I'm working very closely on something, I obsess over every imperfection, but when I stand back a few feet from it, it looks fine.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:09PM
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