What Does It Mean When You Have A Heavy Flow Painting Without Roller Marks and Brush Marks

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Painting Without Roller Marks and Brush Marks

Most ready-made paints are created for certain average conditions that generally do not exist on the day you decide to paint! The result is that the paint doesn’t flow well and leaves a smooth finish and you end up with unsightly roller or brush marks, streaks or fold marks.

Generally, the paint is made for what would be the average room temperature or outdoor temperature for the market in which the paint is sold. The problem is that whenever there is a deviation in temperature up or down, the paint will be more difficult to brush off or roll onto the wall. Water-based interior paints, emulsions, or latex tend to dry too quickly when the temperature is higher than average, and the result is that each new piece painted may have streaks because the previous piece dried too quickly.

Painters/decorators describe this phenomenon as ‘losing the wet blade’. Painting ceilings can be particularly problematic because all the warm air in the room rises to the ceiling and thus worsens the problem of drying too quickly. If you are applying water based/masonry paint to exterior plastered or similar walls and the weather is dry or dry with a breeze or worse, if the sun is shining directly on that wall while you are painting… you will have a really tough job because those weather conditions mean that you will lose that ‘wet edge’ almost as soon as you apply the roller full of paint.

It is best to choose a day that is neither too hot nor too cold for painting exterior walls etc. If you are applying oil based paints or varnishes, especially outside on a nice day, you will notice that your paint becomes very heavy and the brush will drag making the painting process much more tiring . The reason for this is that the solvent in the paint evaporates quickly in warmer conditions and it will be necessary to thin the paint slightly to facilitate application.

To help your paint or varnish flow, historically a little water is added to water-based paints and a little alcohol to oil-based paints. This usually improves the color flow. There are several negative consequences when the paint is thinned in this way, for example… the paint loses some of its ‘covering power’ which can be a nuisance when using ‘low cover’ paint colors (yellows, reds etc) as you will probably need to apply it additional coats to get the finish and block the previous colors etc.

With gloss and other oil-based paints, etc., thinning this way will improve flow, but will destroy covering power and lose a lot of gloss after a while. Another alternative would be to use a paint additive that is made to improve the flow and coverage of your paint in less than ideal conditions, etc. You can get paint additives (sometimes called paint conditioners) for emulsion and oil based paints at most better paint stores. A water-based additive (conditioner) is ideal for any paint color, but will not be suitable for water-based varnish due to its milky appearance. However, it does not change the color or finish etc.

Water-based paint additives are designed to keep the wet edge open and usually give you a finish without brush marks or streaks. In fact, some water-based paint additives actually help dramatically with concealment, especially in subdued colors like reds, yellows, etc., where you can save several coats and a lot of hard work. Oil-based paint additives will work well in all oil-based paints and varnishes. Check your paint to see if it cleans with white spirit etc and if so it means it is oil based and suitable for that paint.

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