Looking to paint furniture a smooth finish? It’s so much easier than you think. Here are 7 tips for painting furniture without brush marks.
I heard you loud and clear. All those comments. All those opinions. Can I tell you how much I adore you?
And that desk?
No worries. I’m not painting it. 🙂
This is not a post about how to paint a desk without brushstrokes.
Just between us? The desk looked worried that it was going to change it so I told it that I loved it yesterday and that I might sand it and stain it sometime in the future. But for now?
I’m going to leave it as is and live with it in the room.
But all this painting talk got me thinking. Do you know the top questions I always get asked about painting a project like this round white table in the picture above that I got at a thrift store or these thrift store makeovers?
- How did I get the finish so smooth?
- How did I paint them to look like a professional did it?
- How did I paint them without any brush strokes showing?
No worries my incredible friend.
We got THIS.
Here are my best 7 tips for painting furniture without brush marks.
7 Tips For Painting Furniture Without Brush Marks
Tip 1: Use a paint sprayer
A sprayer is your friend when it comes to a smooth finish.
(total aside: this was so captain obvious that I had to get it out of the way at the beginning.)
They are so easy to use if you have the right one. I love this one that I’ve used for SO MANY different projects.
It is a little bit of an investment, but it has tons of power and the coverage is amazing and you just add the paint to the container and attach it.
If you are using a paint sprayer here are my best tips:
- Make sure you use fresh paint that’s not been sitting for a while to prevent glumping.
- Keep the sprayer about 12 inches from the furniture to prevent overspray.
- When you first go to use the sprayer, spray on a piece of cardboard first before you spray on the furniture to practice.
- Thinner even coats are your best friend.
But what if you can’t afford a sprayer or you just want to use a brush?
In amazing news?
You can still get a smooth finish with these tips.
Tip 2: The right brush
The right brush makes all the difference.
This one is my favorite and it’s the one we use for most of our projects.
The slanted surface allows for more flexibility when you are painting and the bristles are so close together that it leaves a smooth finish. Also, the bristles don’t come out and get stuck in your topcoat. There is nothing worse than getting everything smooth and looking down and seeing a bristle in your painted surface.
It’s only 1″ wide and has incredible coverage.
Tip 3: The right sheen makes all the difference
This is the tip that everyone kind of forgets about.
Here’s a painting truism.
The lower the sheen, the less likely your brush marks will show.
So for example, if you are using a semi-gloss, it’s much harder to disguise brush marks.
If you are using a satin or flat or eggshell, the brush marks fade.
Tip 4: Start with the details first
You want to paint the flat surfaces last to smooth them over, so when painting the table?
We started with the edges and the ridges of the table leg first.
See how the front of the table has a tiny lip? We started there first, getting the paint into those surfaces.
Then we came back and painted the flat surfaces last.
I always go over the final coat on flat surfaces with a foam roller to even out the surface. This kit is one of my favorites. I love having a mini tray for the roller.
Tip 5: Don’t press too hard with your brush
When painting furniture, you don’t want to press down too hard with the brush.
The brush is your friend.
Glide the brush over surfaces rather than pressing down so hard that the bristles spread out and leave marks.
You also want to keep an even amount of paint on the brush—don’t glump tons of paint or dip it just a little bit. I like to stretch a rubber band vertically around the paint can.
Then I dip the brush about 1/3 of the way into the top of the paint, wipe off the edges on the rubber band and glide over my painted surface.
Tip 6: Always paint in one direction
I learned this tip the hard way.
I used to paint in a cross-hatch pattern—swiping this way and that way in an “X.” I think someone told me once upon a time this is a good idea.
All those crosshatches show up when the paint dries.
Keep your brush and your paint going in one direction. You also want to make sure that you don’t overload the paintbrush with paint. It’s so much better when you dip the end of the brush in the top of the paint can and then add just a little paint at a time on the piece of furniture. It’s just like painting your nails—you don’t want to overglump the polish on. If you add too much paint at one time it dries unevenly.
Tip 7: Finish with a mini roller
Why? Because the BEST tip to getting a smooth finish without brush marks?
A mini foam roller. This kit is perfect for painting furniture.
After you’ve finished the last brush stroke, get out this mini foam roller and go over the surface lightly one last time.
Any brush strokes that are left will disappear right before your eyes.
Quick note: you can’t let the paint dry too much before you roll it or it will get tacky so work in sections.
That’s all you need to do to get a smooth finish without brush marks. You can make any furniture looks like it just showed up from a professional paint factory.
Do you have any painted furniture tips?
Do you have anything you’ve learned that you could share about painting furniture without brush marks?
I’d love to hear.
Hold on a minute.
I need to remind my desk that it’s not get painted…
….one more time. 🙂
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