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How to Get a Smooth Finish With Paint On Bare Wood?

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Forum topic by Mean_Dean posted 09-10-2013 06:23 PM 5688 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mean_Dean

1460 posts in 1802 days


09-10-2013 06:23 PM

Hey Guys,

I just finished a set of cabinet doors, out of poplar, and finished them with a good-quality paint, but the texture of the paint is rough to the touch, not smooth.

These are the steps I followed:

#1) Sanded the doors to 150 grit

#2) Brushed on 1 coat of Kilz water-based white primer, and allowed it to dry overnight

#3) As the grain was raised, I sanded the primer with 150 grit to smooth it.

#4) With the primer coat now smooth, I brushed on 1 coat of the water-based, latex paint, and allowed it to dry overnight

#5) The texture was a bit rough, as I brushed on the 2nd (and last) coat, and let it dry overnight

The texture is slightly smoother, but still feels a little rough to the touch. Does anyone have any suggestions to get a smooth finish? Am I doing something wrong, or skipping a step?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

-- Dean


19 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

2277 posts in 866 days


#1 posted 09-10-2013 06:27 PM

The best way I know to get a really smooth finish is to spray.

If you can’t spary, make sure to have a really good quality brush and add some Floetrol to the paint. That will help it self level much better.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2446 posts in 2397 days


#2 posted 09-10-2013 06:31 PM

http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/article/better-painted-furniture.aspx
http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/article/three-steps-to-a-flawless-painted-finish.aspx

FWW did a few articles –
One used a tinted lacquer brushed on
The other (better painted furniture) used automotive products, and talks extensively about using auto primer, which acts as a grain filler also to get glass smooth surface to paint.

Key is getting the surface level and sealed – so the primer is the most important.

Good luck

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1149 posts in 624 days


#3 posted 09-10-2013 06:33 PM

Did you tip it after you brushed? I spread an even coat and then right away take a clean brush and run the tips over the surface to give it a very nice finish. That’s how I was taught when painting my dad’s 145 commercial fishing vessel. I was always responsible for hanging over the side and doing the lettering. Of course that is a steel boat not a wood one. Tipping though is key, I did that with the front door of my house.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1789 posts in 1148 days


#4 posted 09-10-2013 07:14 PM

I think it may have been the paint. If that was just a latex paint, as in paint for walls, then you may have done much better with an acrylic latex.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1210 posts in 1092 days


#5 posted 09-10-2013 07:23 PM

Those FWW articles are only available to paid subscribers!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1455 posts in 1016 days


#6 posted 09-10-2013 07:31 PM

What I do:
1. Sand to 220, and remove all dust
2. Brush or roll a coat of flat latex/acrylic premium wall paint. I prefer Behr. Skip the shellac.
3. Smooth it back with 220 drywall sanding screen.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3
5. Brush or roll the final coat in the sheen of choice.

I usually stick with flat and top with either waterborne poly if brushing or CAB acrylic solvent lacquer if spraying

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1624 days


#7 posted 09-10-2013 07:31 PM

Foam rollers will give you a good finish if you can’t spray. Build a heavy primer base and sand it back glass smooth, then top coat.

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

979 posts in 1345 days


#8 posted 09-10-2013 07:44 PM

Latex is never a proper final finish on any cabinetry or furniture projects. You should be using a tinted lacquer/poly/shellac for a furniture quality finish.

If you’re going to stick with latex, add Floetrol and use a foam roller or a $30 brush.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1006 days


#9 posted 09-10-2013 07:50 PM

Sand the primer to 320 before apply paint. Sand each coat of paint to 400 except the final coat. Rub the final coat w/ a brown paper bag if it is rough.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1455 posts in 1016 days


#10 posted 09-10-2013 08:45 PM

Why isn’t latex/acrylic ever a proper finish? Inquiring minds want to know.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 941 days


#11 posted 09-10-2013 08:54 PM

We topped our painted cabinets with some water-based, satin poly. So far, a bit over a year in service and they look great. Have to let the acrylic dry well before putting poly on.

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

979 posts in 1345 days


#12 posted 09-10-2013 08:56 PM

Clint, Really or are you just playing?
I know you agree because your post says you top coat with poly. For others that don’t know, latex is house paint. Go ahead and paint a table top with latex, let it cure as long as you want, then put all your favorite things on it. Framed pictures, humidor, books. Let them sit there for a couple of days. Now try to remove them without pulling the paint off.
Also, latex was not designed to be sprayed. It just doesn’t lay down a nice smooth finish like a lacquer or a poly.It has to be modified to spray and that can ruin the properties of the paint.
Latex is rubber, if you want a rubber finish on your furniture, great, but I don’t and my customers don’t.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1455 posts in 1016 days


#13 posted 09-11-2013 12:35 AM

Sam, I may have misunderstood your earlier comment. I’m a big fan of interior acrylic wall and trim paint for anything colored. It (I prefer flat) goes on smooth and builds fast. I always top it with a waterborne poly or solvent lacquer, though I think that in semi -gloss or gloss, premium formulations dry hard and fast enough NOT to exhibit the stickiness of the old latexes. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it on cabinets.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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jap

1229 posts in 709 days


#14 posted 09-11-2013 01:17 AM

This is an interesting read on painting a mirror finish http://forums.shoryuken.com/discussion/67501/how-to-paint-mdf-to-a-mirror-finish-worklog

-- Joel

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1752 posts in 1219 days


#15 posted 09-11-2013 02:35 AM

I just redid all my cabinet doors by spraying enamel and they came out great. Assuming you can’t spray then try at least brushing/rolling it on. Its pretty thin so even thick coats leveled out nicely. I used SW Proclassic Latex enamel. And no stickiness after it dries.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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