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Getting a professional finish – a quick guide to gloss work

Posted by Adrian
June 1st, 2011

Graphic of a paintbrush dripping paint

Getting a professional finish – a quick guide to gloss work

When you are painting gloss paintwork many people find they end up with brush marks in the final dried paintwork. This could be due to a couple of reasons.

I have been asked, how come I don’t get lots of brush marks, runs or dirt in my gloss work.

Preparation, Brushes and Paint

Firstly, your preparation is vital and shouldn’t be overlooked. You may find my post on Decoration and Preparation of interest.

Also you need to use a good quality brush, many cheaper brushes can be too wiry and stiff which can cause brush marks in the wet gloss.

Another thing to consider is to use a good quality gloss paint; many top brands will flow well as you apply the gloss to the woodwork eliminating brush strokes as it dries. Cheaper brands or solid non-drip type gloss can be a bit thick to apply and may not flow that well.

Applying the Gloss Paint

The other thing you need to consider is how you apply the gloss, you need to put enough on but not so much the gloss runs. This comes with experience and knowing the products you are using.

Once you have applied the gloss, use the brush to go over the area you have just painted with long strokes with an unloaded brush, this will help spread the gloss more evenly. Once you have done this, go over the area again with the unloaded brush with even lighter strokes until you are barely toughing the paint.

If you follow these basic steps your gloss work should look more like a professional has done it.

Be aware that if you are painting gloss paint and it is in a damp atmosphere, such as outside, you may get a ‘bloom’ (a dullness) over it by the next day and the sheen will be gone, and you will have to re-paint it. To avoid this, don’t paint gloss in a damp atmosphere of too early or too late in the year when the damp can affect your paint.

Please note: This post refers to oil based gloss paint and not water based gloss paint, although the principles are the same, drying times and how it acts differ.

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Posted in Decorating Tips | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Getting a professional finish – a quick guide to gloss work”

  1. Giovanni Herring Says:

    Great article!!!
    Good job, very interesting post,
    Excellent article, bookmarked for future referrence.
    thanks for sharing this info!!

    Date posted : June 14th, 2011 at 1:51 pm
  2. andrew Says:

    A true Trades Man that takes the time to teach us how to better ourselves Painting, When we are Working outside our normal Day Job.

    Date posted : May 11th, 2016 at 10:08 am
  3. Dudley Edwards Says:

    I wish to blend paint by brush on a metal surface. Most paints dry too quickly. I rquire a paint that will remain fluid longer?
    Thank You.

    Date posted : July 10th, 2021 at 2:50 pm
  4. admin Says:


    An oil based paint would be the best option.

    Date posted : July 15th, 2021 at 4:50 pm

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