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topic 493

Preventing visible brush strokes when refinishing antiques

How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques

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Question on refinishing a few antiques I bought at auction. I am using an enamel and am having trouble with brushstrokes on the finished product. I'm trying to get a smooth black finish that isn't high gloss and I can't manage to avoid them. Any suggestions?

- Canada


To Abrachman you do not say weather these are metal or wood antiques you are painting, or if they have been stripped of any previous finish. If you want to avoid brush strokes you need to spray the paint. To get away from the gloss you need to use satin or matte finish paint. Hope I helped.

Joel R. Cotton
- Buffalo, New York


The best way to avoid brush-strokes is to use a sprayer. However, if that isn't available, you can get good results with a brush. Use a very good brush, either bristle for oil-base paint or nylon-polyester for water-based acrylics. Then reduce the paint with the recommended thinner until the paint will "flow out" leaving no brush marks, while not running on vertical surfaces. The thinning will probably mean that you have to use multiple coats to get the desired thickness of paint. This gives you the opportunity to sand out any brush marks, bubbles, etc. using very fine Sandpaper [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] between coats. Apply the thinnest coats that you can without excessive brushing, and don't go back over any wet paint.

Good luck!


Andy Brush
finishing equipment - Strongsville, Ohio

Pumice Stone & Rotten Stone

I am applying new finishes to tables I am building out of antique parts and new wood. I am using a technique I read about in a book using pumice stone and naptha followed with rotten stone on shellac. What are the advantages of using Varathane or varnish if any, and if so is there a way to get similar results without this painstaking process. I find myself rubbing through the finish.

i also use paste wood filler before I stain. this whole process takes a ton of time and I am searching for a better end result.

Van Stephenson
- Brentwood, Tennessee

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