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I have a painting tip to share today to help you get an extra smooth finish on trim, woodwork, and furniture. This tip helped me get the finish on our DIY board and batten to match the professionally painted finish on the rest of the trim in our house. I also received quite a few questions on the type of paint I used, so I will start with that, but I am convinced the secret ingredient is more important.
We wanted to match the paint of the existing baseboard trim exactly. Although you can match a paint color to any brand of paint, we decided for the perfect match and the perfect sheen to use the exact paint our builder used for the rest of the trim. The paint was Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex in Satin finish. The color is Divine White. It was the most expensive gallon of paint I have ever purchased, but you can tell immediately it is quality paint.
In addition to quality paint, the secret ingredient to my smooth paint finish is Floetrol. It is a paint conditioner for latex paints designed to make the paint application smoother and reduce brush strokes. It totally works! I painted all the battens with a brush and they dried with an ultra smooth finish. Floetrol does not water-down the paint, but it makes it smoother and you can tell it applies differently. Floetrol can reduce the sheen of the paint slightly. I did not notice a difference with the satin finish paint, but it is probably more noticeable with gloss. For oil-based paints use Penetrol.
I think another important key for getting a smooth finish is to use quality brushes. Using an angled brush is a must for painting trim. I use Purdy brushes. They are some of the more expensive brushes you will see at the home center or paint store, but they are high quality and will last a long time. There is a little paint residue on my cleaned brushes, but I tell you those bristles are still baby soft and ready for the next paint job. Sherry, from Young House Love, tipped me off to using a short-handled brush. The one I use is called the Purdy XL-Cub Paintbrush. It has been a game-changer. I used to always clench my brushes at the base of the handle. For me the short-handled brush is so much more comfortable to hold and maneuver with. I have much better control with the short-handle.
So, in a nutshell, my tips for getting an extra smooth finish on woodwork and trim are:
- Sand and prime your surface properly
- Use a quality paint recommended for interior trim
- Use a paint conditioner (Floetrol or Penetrol) to minimize brush strokes
- Use high-quality angled brushes and give the short-handle a try for better control
Any tips you would like to add?
The opinions in this post are my own. I was not compensated for writing this post or any of the opinions contained within it. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission on purchases made after following an affiliate link.