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Picking the Right Brush and Avoiding the Dreaded Brushstroke

Vonda Youngkin |

Tips for Picking the Right Paintbrush and Avoiding
Brushstrokes when Painting Furniture and Cabinets

Want to know how the professional flipper avoids brushstrokes?  You've come to the right place for the latest information and best prices. Follow these quick tips and you, too, can leave behind aa smooth and silky finish! (Source: Fusion Prep and Application Quick Guide)


Before I get in depth with how to prevent brush strokes, here's a short list of what causes them.


  1. Incorrect brush selection.
  2. Too much paint on your brush.
  3. Overworking your paint by brushing back and forth in the same spot.
  4. Your local climate.


Select the Correct Brush.  Choosing the right brush for your DIY project can have a big impact on the finish.  Natural bristle brushes such as the Natural Series from Staalmeester® and the Original Series provide a more textured finish.  Fine quality synthetic bristles provide a smoother finish, such as the Pro-Hybrid series and the One series Staalmeester®.  The One by Staalmeester® series brushes all possess unique ultra-soft synthetic fibers providing the most flawless smooth application. The One collection contains a special selection of finishing and artist brushes that aren’t available in any other Staalmeester® series.  The One series can be used with all types of paint, and when you properly maintain the One brushes, they retain their shape, flexibility, and softness, even after years of intensive use. These are the best for beginner painters to achieve a brush stroke free finish.

My personal absolute favorite brush to use on just about every project is the Staalmeester Decoration Spalter Brush.  It's thin and small, so it's almost impossible to overload the brush, resulting in a beautiful finish! Other great choices are both sizes of the Spalter Flat Blending Ultimate ONE Synthetic Paintbrush.

Staalmeester Decoration Spalter Paintbrush

With so many brushes available, this simple guide should help you narrow down your selections based on needs.

Jump start your collection with the Staalmeester Painter’s Essential Kit Box Gift Set demonstrated by Jennylyn and Loree of Fusion Mineral Paint.

 Staalmeester Painter’s Essential Kit Box Gift Set


Use The Correct Amount of Paint.  Using too much paint will cause brush strokes. To ensure you don't, simply dip your brush into the paint a maximum of halfway up the bristles, remove excess paint so it is barely visible on the brush. Paint from one end to the other; avoid brushing back and forth too much as the paint will start to dry, and as it dries your brush will create texture, aka brush strokes on your surface.

For the Staalmeester Premium Microfelt and Fusion's Velour and Microfiber Rollers, dip the roller into the paint tray, ensuring you get qual coverage of the paint on then roller, then roll the excess paint off.  Rolling in one direction, following the woodgrain, apply light pressure with thin coats.  If you see an orange peel texture, you have too much paint on your roller.  For the ultimate smooth finish, glide one of the Staalmeester® One series Spalter brushes across a still-wet surface to smooth out any remaining texture in the paint.

Don't Overwork the Paint.  Fusion is water based paint which will start to dry the moment you begin painting. If you go back and forth over the paint, brushstrokes will almost certainly occur.  Rather, THINK THIN.  Instead of using globs of paint, apply multiple thin coats.  Also, brushing (or rolling) from one end to the other of your piece will avoid starting and stopping strokes.

Here are videos of Jennylyn of Fusion Mineral Paint demonstrating the proper painting technique and how to get the right amount of paint on your brush, and panting end to end. For more Fusion Mineral Paint videos, visit Fusion Mineral Paint YouTube Channel.


Dry Climate.  As mentioned above, Fusion will begin to dry when you begin to paint. If it's a dry day, you may need a bit of Fusion's Extender to extend the paint's usefulness open time.  Extender allows for a longer working time, slowing the paint drying process.  Adding Extender in a dry climate will help prevent texture and brushstrokes during application. Here is a video by Jennylyn of Fusion Mineral Paint demonstrating use of Extender. For more Fusion Mineral Paint videos, visit Fusion Mineral Paint YouTube Channel.



Wet Sanding to a Smooth Finish. Did those brushstrokes still rear their ugly head?  No problem!  A quick wet sand will fix you right up!  What is wet sanding?  The Wet sanding process is used to smooth out an imperfect surface using a high grit sanding pad and water. The water acts like a lubricant while the sanding pad removes the imperfections. Don't sand too much, just enough to get that smooth finish.  Some DIYers may choose to sand in between paint coats, or only on the final coat.  Here is a video by Jennylyn of Fusion Mineral Paint discussing the Wet Sanding Technique. For more Fusion Mineral Paint videos, visit Fusion Mineral Paint YouTube Channel.