Smooth Brushwork skills by Tom Baker
Photo: John W. Taylor
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16. Paint with "Sprayed-On" Results

You've seen it—trim painted so smooth and free of brushstrokes that it looks factory coated—but didn't know how to achieve it. After reading this, you will:

1. Prep the surface by sanding to knock down old blobs and brushstrokes. Vacuum and wipe with a tack cloth.

2. Brush on a high-build alkyd- or water-based primer. When dry, sand with 220-grit paper, and tack.

3. Filter 100 percent acrylic latex gloss paint through a disposable strainer bag to remove any impurities.

4. Mix in a few ounces per gallon of a latex paint conditioner such as Floetrol to slow dry time and improve flow. Slower drying allows paint to spread or level before it skins, minimizing brushstrokes.

5. Using a top-quality synthetic brush, apply the paint in long strokes. Come back with one final stroke using just the tips of the bristles to smooth the finish.

6. Let the paint dry. Sand lightly between coats with 220-grit paper, then tack and apply the final top coat.
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