CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Tips on painting with a brush too make it look less 'brushy'

In the continuing saga of painting the wonky part of my pickup I brushed on some enamel paint. It is, of course, way thicker than the spray paint I always used before. It was quiet and pleasant, less solvent. But the brush strokes were obvious. Are there tricks that would make it appear less brushy? Some applier other than a brush? Thinning it?

It puts the rest of the body to shame; now I’ll have to paint the whole thing…

Then a cold front moved in and it rained: it’s too cold to continue, possibly until spring.

Small diameter 3 inch long roller .

2 Likes

Thinning the paint will help some. It extends the drying time and that allows the surface to flatten better. Sanding with increasingly fine grits in-between applying layers of paint is very effective at producing a shiny surface. Paint is pretty soft & easy to sand. A wood working hobbyist acquaintance of mine told me he applied 19 layers, sanding between each one, to a tabletop project of his. This method indeed produced a very nice appearing table. Better than anything I’ve seen in a furniture store.

1 Like

There is something called flortrol (? sp) you can buy from the paint stores that thins the paint and makes it have less brush marks. On small areas, I wet sand with a fine grit paper and get good results but for larger areas this could get to be too much work.
Harbor freight has cheap electric sprayers and also spray guns you can use with a compressor. Not sure if that is an option for you.

1 Like

Yeah agree with the flotrol or whatever it is. I use the Wagner variety in my airless so I can spray real heavy stuff. Like said you could also try a foam roller. You’ll get some goose bumps that may or may not lay down but no worse than the orange peel on some cars. You know, Henry Ford used to brush paint their cars but then they would rub it out smooth. So you could color sand it with 2000 or so grit paper and rub it out.

When I painted my bike way back about 1960, I finally convinced my mom to let me use her Kirby vacuum with the sprayer attachment. She wasn’t too thrilled but I was careful. It essentially was a high volume low pressure sprayer that came with the accessory package. If you know anyone with a Kirby yet. Or gee go to HF and get a $10 gun and a little compressor.

1 Like

Look up “roll and tipping” painting, a technique used for boats. Requires two people though. First person uses a roller second person tips the paint with a high quality paint brush.

1 Like

Rollers waste a lot of paint. Some spots aren’t accessible.

Maxfield Parrish achieved his remarkable effects with many thin washes. For a banged-up '87 pickup…

I don’t want to spray, and this is for touch up. Maybe if I decide to paint the whole truck…

Great idea! Now I just need to make a friend…

Use a fine brush, thin the paint, make long strokes. All will help the finish. Once thoroughly dry, wet sand with 600 grit paper - the black stuff - to knock down the brush strokes, then 800, then 1000 grit. At this point, the paint should be smooth but have no shine. Use a bit of rubbing compound and finish with polishing compound. Given the rest of the truck, that should be good enough.

Can all be done by hand but it is easier with machines.

Some people paint entire car with Rust Oleum and get great results, but they sand and polish to smooth it out.
Google it :slight_smile:

Color sand it?

I like the OP’s idea of brush painting his truck. I’m leery of spray painting methods (at least as done by humans, for robots it’s great) b/c of the risk of breathing in some fumes and resultant lung damage. I wonder if there are any two-part paints commercially available that are applicable to brush painting? Then you’d get the best of both worlds, the toughness of two-part paint, and still avoiding most of the paint fumes.

Use good respirator with the fumes/odor filter and it takes care of protecting your lungs.
Last time I used 2-part paint to restore bathtub in place (brush, not spray!), the odor was so strong my eyes were burning, and respirator was making it totally odorless.