How to Get a Smooth Paint Finish - Techniques | Annie Sloan
Techniques

How to: Apply Chalk Paint® for a Smooth Finish

So, to do my flat finish what I need are some flat brushes. So I’ve got these, these are my brushes here. You know they’re my brushes because they have my signature on them. They’re very good quality, they’re soft, and they allow you to put a lot of paint on them and smoothly paint. I’ve got a big one, which I’ll do the larger pieces, and the smaller one there. I’ll probably use that for these edges.

Now, there are other brushes on the market which look like my brushes, but they’re not my brushes at all. They don’t have my signature on them. Also they’ve been cut – my brushes haven’t been cut. And these are quite sharp at the edges, so when you brush you don’t get a nice smooth finish, you get a slightly scratchy finish.

It’s quite a shiny surface but I still don’t need to prepare, I don’t need to prime it, I don’t need to do anything – I can go straight on there with this brush.

So I’m going to charge my brush with quite a lot of paint. You’ll find a lot of brush marks – don’t worry about that. I’m going to go up and down, try to get it as smooth as I can.

Wipe it gently (it’s called feathering) – so that I’m hardly touching. If you press down hard, even to that degree, what you’ll get are lines. So that’s why, you see, I’m brushing at that sort of angle. If you do too many it starts picking up on the paint which is drying, so you’ll start getting a rolled finish.

You never quite know with a wood how many coats you’re going to need. Usually one coat will do. This is quite a shiny surface, and the colour is relatively light, so I’m going to need two. I’m going to get rid of the excess paint. And now I’m going to brush every which way and just get rid of any excess.

Follow this step-by-step guide to creating a flat, smooth finish with Chalk Paint® for an authentic mid-Century modern look.

Chalk Paint® wasn’t just created for vintage, distressed looks. You can also easily create an authentic mid-Century modern look by applying the paint smoothly. By using a Flat Brush and lightly feathering, you can easily banish brushstrokes altogether.

In this tutorial, Annie started by mixing a mid-Century colour – a lime green made from a mix of English Yellow and Antibes Green. Next, it’s time to apply the paint. The secret to creating a flat finish is in the application – use a light touch, feathering as you go. You want to keep the brush at roughly a 90º angle to the surface. Your best friend here will be an Annie Sloan Flat Brush – you can use a large brush for larger section and a small brush for any details.

If the surface isn’t smooth to start with, you can use a sanding pad to remove any unsightly lumps and bumps or texture. You can also sand lightly after painting to smooth out any brush marks before waxing.

Step by step guide to painting a smooth finish

  1. Use an Annie Sloan Flat Brush and charge it with Chalk Paint®. If the paint is feeling thick, you can dilute it with a little water.
  2. Paint your surface as smoothly as you can, keeping the brush at a 90º angle and feathering the paint as you go. The feathering, which is like sweeping the paint very lightly with the tip of your brush, will help minimize any brush marks.
  3. Once touch dry, apply a second coat if necessary, brushing lightly in every direction to reduce brush marks.
  4. Once fully dry, you’re ready to apply Chalk Paint® Wax to seal in the paint. For an ultra flat finish, you can also sand the surface with a fine Sanding Pad before waxing.

By painting with a very light touch, you can create a smooth, flat finish with ease. If you’re finding the paint a little thick, dilute it with water to help it go on even more smoothly. You can also sand lightly when done, too. After painting, seal indoor furniture with Chalk Paint® Wax. On floors, seal with Chalk Paint® Lacquer. Watch the next instalment in this tutorial to learn how to create a smooth finish with Wax.

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