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Flawless paint finish

Listed under Adam Bermingham, Axus, Blog, Painting Posted Oct 29 2013

In this post Traditional Painter’s man in Ireland, Adam Bermingham, unlocks some of the secrets to achieving the professional Flawless paint finish that professionals and D.I.Y enthusiasts strive for. What kit does he use? Where does he buy it? How does he use it to best effect?

hand painting techniques

On a number of recent contracts I have been using some new painting kit, and I thought by sharing my experience, I can help homeowners & keen DIY, achieve better finishes when painting their woodwork.

Whether it’s a kitchen, a piece of furniture or your front door, this should help…

Hand Painting Techniques

The one thing to get to grips with is a process of “laying on & laying off.” Let me explain…

Laying on – with a foam roller apply a smooth even coat to the surface. You will notice that the paint is not smooth, no matter what you do. You will create an orange peel effect & sometimes bubbles.

Laying off – with a brush make long sweeping strokes, length-ways, softly along the surface. As you do this, you will see the paint begin to level. With each pass, soften your stroke & the brush marks will lessen each time.

(In the boat painting world it is also referred to as Rolling and Tipping. The lacquers and finish coats are applied with a foam roller and invariably there are tiny bubbles in the surface. With the tip of the paint brush, you literally tip off the tops of the bubbles. A light touch.)

In kitchen painting, the lay on / lay off process is a useful technique especially on Shaker style doors. This is a demo by Mark Nash my Traditional Painter colleague, with Tikkurila paint.

To perfect this technique takes time and a lot of practice. A good quality paint conditioner helps level oil paint, or a drop of water and conditioner in water-borne paints, but the best place to start for a flying start to a good finish is high quality professional painting kit…

* Wooster Flawless

The 2 inch Wooster Flawless is a new addition to my kit in recent weeks. It is a white, chemically tipped polyester paint brush, specifically designed for the above techniques. It is the best brush I have ever used for laying off water-based top-coat. (Recently I have been using it with the hybrid Colortrend Historic Eggshell.)

hand painting techniques The hybrid paint has good flow, and the Flawless eased any marks away with ease. This review from Lee Simone in Yorkshire confirms that the Flawless is a great brush, but best suited to “lighter” paint, compared to, for example a stickier oil based eggshell.

It removed the ‘orange peel’ effect you get from roller application really well though it took a very light touch to avoid any brush marks. It also seemed to clog up a bit, but this was easily remedied by removing the excess paint with a lint free cloth. I think it would be a brilliant brush for paint that has more self levelling qualities than Dulux’s oil eggshell…

He later confirmed that it tips off wax oil (and varnishes) perfectly, or should we say flawlessly.

Axus Decor Lime Wood Finishing Sleeves

hand painting techniques
I am very struck on these distinctive *velvet flock sleeves available from My Paint Brush.co.uk.

They are lightweight, load a massive amount of paint and leave minimal orange peel effect. Always remember to get yourself a good quality roller frame. If the sleeve does not spin correctly it’s an uphill battle achieving a good finish.

The lime sleeve has become a big hit with professionals.

Adorn DuPont Tynex

hand painting techniques
I was recently sent this brush for testing and have been very impressed with its performance in oil-based primer, Zinsser Coverstain, for example.

My Traditional Painter colleague in Warwickshire, Ron Taylor, who knows a bit about brushes too, concurs that the Adorn is a great all-round brush, its pick-up is excellent and is equally good at laying off on moldings & trim. It cleans well & at this price, it’s shaping up as a hit purchase.

hand painting techniques hand painting techniques

Well that’s all for now. Get yourself the right kit and start painting. Keep practicing, and over time your hand painting techniques will improve and so will the finish.

… Happy Painting.

Joseph & Sons kitchen painting furniture painting West IrelandSpecialist painter and decorator, Adam Bermingham, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for hand painted furniture and kitchens Ireland.

Joseph & Son is Adam & Tom Bermingham, a father & son team with diverse backgrounds covering specialist painting and decorating, antiques and interior design.


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2 comments to “Flawless paint finish”

  1. Pat

    Hi. After reading the artical regarding how to get a flawless finish, I’m thinking of ordering some Axus velvet flocked sleeves. But not sure if they will be suitable for my project. I want to paint a dining table, which is quite large. I want to use a roller, then use a brush for laying off. But with it being a large area,I’m thinking by the time I get to the last bit with the roller, it might be too late to do the laying off. To make things worse, it is a round table. Is there anywhere I could get this type of roller in a wider size, or do you think I should stick to my purdy brush for the whole lot. I am using Tikkura Otex primer,then with Helmi furniture paint. Also, would It need to put a clear varnish on to give more protection. It have used this paint before, but never on a table. Any tips would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Apply paint with a roller in a narrow band and lay off. Get a feel for how the paint stays open and adjust your technique when you move to the next band, you will be fine keeping up.

    Manufacturers seem to advise extra coats of paint rather than sealer, to avoid adhesion issues with clear sealers.

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