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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 320 days ago 4487 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mean_Dean

1260 posts in 1748 days


320 days ago

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

2089 posts in 812 days


#1 posted 320 days ago

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

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DrDirt

2359 posts in 2343 days


#2 posted 320 days ago

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

1093 posts in 570 days


#3 posted 320 days ago

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

1646 posts in 1094 days


#4 posted 320 days ago

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.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

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tefinn

1199 posts in 1038 days


#5 posted 320 days ago

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.

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Clint Searl

1389 posts in 962 days


#6 posted 320 days ago

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.............We deserve what we tolerate

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1570 days


#7 posted 320 days ago

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.

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Earlextech

903 posts in 1291 days


#8 posted 320 days ago

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"!

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bondogaposis

2446 posts in 952 days


#9 posted 320 days ago

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

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Clint Searl

1389 posts in 962 days


#10 posted 320 days ago

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

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 887 days


#11 posted 320 days ago

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

903 posts in 1291 days


#12 posted 320 days ago

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

1389 posts in 962 days


#13 posted 320 days ago

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.............We deserve what we tolerate

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jap

1224 posts in 655 days


#14 posted 320 days ago

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

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BentheViking

1746 posts in 1165 days


#15 posted 320 days ago

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

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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