Annie Sloan Proucts

PAINTING FURNITURE – How to Minimize Brush Strokes

Brush strokes, some love creating them to add texture and others would do anything to get rid of them. Have decided to write this post on how to minimize brush strokes in hand painted furniture.

I don’t believe that you can fully ‘eliminate’ brush strokes when you are hand painting a piece. If you are going for the flat manufactured look, you can spray the piece using a paint sprayer, this will eliminate brush strokes. You can however minimize the appearance of brush strokes by adjusting your painting technique also the quality brush you are using matters too. So here are my tips for a smooth painted surface with minimal brush strokes visible:



You may not have realized it yet, but your brush may be your mortal enemy when it comes to brush strokes. If you are using a cheap chip brush or brush with thick coarse hairs then you are pretty well guaranteed to see noticeable marks from the bristles or worse have bristles left behind in your paint. Invest in a good quality smooth brush where the bristles are fine enough to be able to get smooth strokes. I tend to use my Purdy brush (you can get a 3 pack of various sizes at Masters for $35) when I am trying to get a smooth glassy finish on my pieces. You don’t have to use Purdy but it gives you something to compare to 🙂


Jar of water

A thinner coat tends to go on smoother with less visible brush strokes. You can achieve this by adding water to your paint but I find it easier to have a tub of water next to me that I constantly dip my brush into to not only refresh it but to thin out my paint. Beware that thinning out the paint means that more coats will be required to get solid coverage. It is also easier to get run marks with runnier paint so be ware of this too.


Pay attention to your first coat as it lays the base for the following coats. If you take care with the first coat then the quality of the following quotes will be much better!


fine sponge

It may sound like a lot of work but its not really that hard and it brings great results. Sanding between coats is vital if you want a smooth finish. You don’t have to break your arm sanding. I use a very fine grit min 240 grit or more to lightly rub out any stroke marks and smooth out the surface between each coat. Before waxing make sure you check over your piece to see if any more areas need smoothing out with a super fine grit sand paper (320 – 400 grit) and your piece will feel smooth as glass!!


Vintage Dressing Table

What if you have an existing piece that has brush marks.Unfortunately just adding another coat probably wont give you the results that you are after. To minimize them I would suggest that you sand them out and then add a new top coat, adjusting your technique as per the above. Or maybe add a little dark wax and embrace them, after all brush strokes can add texture and movement and when used correctly can even be your friend!
Side Table French Vintage Style Chalk Paint
Happy painting all 😀

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