PAINTING: MINIMIZING BRUSH MARKS
There are four things you
can do to help minimize brush marks and leave a smooth surface on your
your loaded brush down on a dry section of the wall - or the trim,
or siding, etc. - lift it from a previously coated, still wet section.
sure your paint is the right consistency. Thicker paint holds marks
more than thinner paint does. If you've left paint in a closed can
overnight, it will dry out and thicken up a little. Thoroughly stir
the paint and, if it seems too thick, add thinner sparingly - you don't
want to get it too thin. Stir it thoroughly and try it again.
the right brush and to make sure it is in the best condition. Oil-based
paint, shellacs and varnishes should be applied with a china bristle
paint and stains should be applied with a good quality nylon/polyester
brush. These are often labeled "for use with all paints." Better
synthetic filament brushes have more 'flags' - the splits at the end
of each filament - and the filaments are round and solid, not flat
or hollow – they resemble real bristles.
Maintain your brushes clean!.
If a brush has not been thoroughly cleaned, all the way back into the
ferrule, and the bristles and filaments combed straight and wrapped
in a cover to dry, they may start to bond together into small spikes
that are likely to create and leave small furrows in the paint.
PAINT – STORAGE AND SHELF LIFE
Remember all paints have
a shelf life; some shorter and some longer. Water based paints such
as household (or house) latex paints have a shelf life of six months
to two years, depending on ambient temperature conditions. Once you
have opened the can of paint, the shelf life may be shorter. Even though
the published shelf life of the paint you intend to use may have expired,
that does not automatically mean that you should discard it. If the
paint appears to mix properly and does not show signs of livering (rubbery
or coagulating), separation or anything else unusual, you should still
be able to use it.
The key to long-term storage
of paints is an airtight environment. Water-based paints contain ammonia.
It is the ammonia vapor that attacks protective linings of paint cans.
This leads to surface rust and damaged paint. If you transfer leftover
paint to airtight plastic containers, the threat of rust is eliminated.
Furthermore, you should place these containers upside down on storage
shelves - this way the airtight seal is better because the air pocket
in the container is fully insulated and not subject to failure of the
lid seal. This also minimizes the thick, scum-like surface that forms
over once-opened paint.
If you are only storing paint
for a short time and wish to keep it in its original container, there
are other methods of ensuring a tight seal.
Make sure and wipe as much
excess paint from the rim as possible prior to closing. A piece of
plastic wrap stretched over the rim prior to placing the lid back on
will also improve the seal. Set the lid into place over the plastic
and secure it with a light hammer, tapping on alternate sides of the
Another method of keeping
leftover paint fresh is to transfer it into a resealable plastic bag.
Squeeze the air out before you seal the bag; then put the bag into
the original paint can and tap the lid closed. It's wise to transfer
leftover paint into smaller containers if the original can is only
half full. You are then dealing with a smaller amount of airspace that
tends to dry up paint. However, this might be a little messy and difficult
Another preventive measure
is to cut a circle of heavy wax paper that is the same diameter as
the interior of the can and float it on the paint surface. The wax
paper acts as a barrier, reducing the interaction of the oxygen and
If you are dealing with oil-based
paint, spray a thin film of mineral spirits over the surface of the
paint prior to resealing the can. Use only one teaspoon to a half-empty
gallon of paint. This will provide the same type of barrier as the
wax paper on latex paints. Keep the film intact as you seal and store
the can. Take care not to shake or agitate it.
Even if paints are correctly
stored, paint separation can still occur, regardless of its quality.
Color enhancers separate from the paint base, which can be corrected
by simply stirring the paint. The ingredients easily combine.
Biocides mixed into today's
paint by the manufacturer will stop mildew / bacterial growth. This,
combined with an airtight environment, should prevent problems. Paints
can be stored in any standard well-ventilated room. Please note: They
should never be used or stored around an open flame, such as a gas
If you live in a colder climate,
be sure your water-based paints are stored away from freezing temperatures.
And, as far as quality of
the newer water-based paints, manufacturers say that today's technology
has advanced acrylic latex paints to the point that their durability
and application parallels or even exceeds oil-based products.
Please remember that each
paint manufacturer have “how to” as well as “care” tips
easily available in brochures available at stores or on their websites. Refer
to these as much as possible, especially now with not only new generation
paints, but because there are specialized finishes now available to
the consumer (river rock, suedes and other textured paints).