Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting rid of brushstrokes

When I look at a piece of nicely refinished furniture, I am always amazed when I learn that it was brushed on instead of sprayed. Of course, investing in a spray gun, compressor, and all those fun toys is a step beyond what most DIY'ers want to spend. I, myself, have done some refinishing in my life, and believe you me, it's more work than I think the pieces were worth. Not to mention, I could never completely get rid of those darn brush strokes. So imagine my delight when I read on Centsational Girl today about paint conditioners.

Here's the blurb:
"...paint conditioners are key for me for refinishing cabinets and furniture.  Penetrol is for oil based (alkyd) primers and paints.  I used it to refinish my kitchen island and the finish is so smooth, you simply cannot tell it was painted with a brush.   Trust CG on this one.  Floetrol is for latex paints and I used it on the gray blue dresser in my foyer. 
image source
These two favorites are not paint thinners, they are conditioning additives available at larger home improvement stores in the paint department.  They practically eliminate brush strokes and drag in your paint, plus they lengthen your drying time just long enough to get a smooth finish.  I love these conditioners, and won’t paint furniture with a brush without them anymore." (source)
Have any of you worked with this additive? Does it do as promised? I might be more inclined to slap a fresh coat of color on more items if I had a secret weapon in my back pocket that really worked!


10 comments:

Elizabeth Brown said...

Yes, I have used it and it does indeed work! Well, in fact. I found out the hard way though. This is after the heartbreak of painting new built-in book cases, only to get unsightly streaks, sanding down, over and over, until I finally went back to the paint store in despair.

Kelly Berg, IIDA, IACC-NA said...

Great tip! I'm gonna have to try that one...

A Color Specialist in Charlotte said...

It also depends on what kind of brush you're using. Synthetic for latex and natural bristle for oils.

Barbara Jacobs said...

I have used both over the past years since 1984, have done a Lot of furniture from picture frames to chairs, toentertainment center cabinets, from 'new, unfinished' to going over old finds from the local "transfer station swap!" I even tried at one point to make a stain using Penetrol with my own tints (Mixol, the hands-down favorite for tinting anything) and it worked. Floetrol I"ve used a lot in the past also, way before discovering "faux effects" products many years ago. It was the perfect additive for water-based glazes, and also to 'paint ahead' for a wall finish to keep the wet edge.

Short story: yes they are both excellent. Also, good tip about the brushes.
Other tip: wet-sand between layers with with 400-600 grit w/s paper, wipe with tack cloth. Do multiple layers, minimum of 2.

aneyefordetail said...

Thank you! I've never heard of it, but will definitely try..

Kristie at The Decorologist.com said...

Great tips. I have used Penetrol and Floetrol both when painting trim work and crown molding in high gloss. Makes a big difference, especially because glossier paints can show more brush strokes!

Anonymous said...

In my experience, and having painted ALL the window trim, bookcases, and mantel w/white (my first mistake?) latex enamel, Flotrol has its limitations. I'm obviously not a professional painter, but I've known about Flotrol for years because my brother is/was a pro painter.
The Flotrol seems to have worked as promised w/the exception of exceptionally long expanses, such as the span of the shelf that covers the shelving on both sides of the fireplace and bridges the fireplace. I must have painted, sanded, repainted, resanded. . . that 4" x 14' strip at least 3 times! The brush strokes are still there, so one of these days, I plan to finely sand yet again and apply a flat latex paint, let it dry completely, then apply sealer or a wax or ??? I've done this w/ non-white, painted surfaces before w/great effect.
If you're painting something that you can get a full stroke on w/o interrupting/lifting the brush to continue the width or length of the item, then the Flotrol could/should be useful. The key, I think, is to brush it on and leave it alone. Let the paint level itself. Like frosting a cake, sorta? Don't over work the frosting or the paint or it'll get gooey, which may or may not be desirable w/frosting, but not for the thing you're painting.
Just my nickel's worth.
Enjoy the sun!
Susan

Philippines Real Estate said...

Fine mixing of paints can give perfect blends of colors that makes our home beautiful inside and outside.

Emom said...

WOW! never heard of them...but so glad to know there is such a thing...I might just paint something too....smiles

Anonymous said...

Like most things in life, seldom do you get something for nothing. While these products might improve flow and leveling they also seriously degrade film performance and in some cases, color. For painting furniture, that is often clear coated anyway, this is not an issue but for regular painting, your best bet is to just buy a premium can of paint that offers good flow and leveling in the first place. Trust me, if there was some secret sauce that could be added to paint to improve open time along with F&L without trading off film performance, the paint manufacturer would simply add it.