Painting a Smooth Finish on an Interior Door

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I have a new interior door and I have some new acrylic paint from Lowe's. Whats the best way to paint it so that there is a smooth finish?
I bought a fine brush, but I don't have the technique down so that I can lay the paint smoothly. I also used a roller that paints it evenly but doesn't leave a very smooth surface.
Thanks for your help and time, Matt
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On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 15:19:01 -0800, Matt <"No Email"> scribbled this interesting note:

You want a smooth finish? Follow these instructions...
First, throw away that acrylic paint. Second, clean off all the paint you've already put on the door. Now, go find some very good oil based enamel and some very good oil based primer.
Sand the door. Clean the door. Prime the door. Repeat two more times.
Sand the door. Clean the door. Paint the door with the enamel. Repeat at least one more time.
At the end of this process you will have a very smooth finish. Use either a very good paint brush made for use with oil based paints, or learn to use a sprayer. HVLP sprayers work great in this kind of application, but a paint brush can give almost the same finish if you are careful and thin the paint a very small amount.
Good luck. You won't get a smooth finish with acrylic paint.
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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One rule I always start with is to take the door down and put it on saw horses. This makes the prep work easier, and when painting, stops any runs or drips as the paint lays flat. This is on top of all the other suggestions. I agree, if available, oil base paints rule for this job.

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John Willis wrote:

Amen. It always irritates me that they even call it paint.
--
dadiOH
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Matt wrote:

Fill the wood surface if necessary Brush, not roller Thin the paint a bit Do not rework the paint - lay it on, brush it out, move on Several thin coats Sand between coats
R
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RicodJour wrote:

You're a regular whose advice and expertise I respect so I am being neither facetious nor rhetorical whan I ask, how do you sand it? I've never encountered a latex finishing paint (other than flat) that would react to sandpaper in some manner other than gumming it up.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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dadiOH wrote:

I think it's all the granola in my diet that keeps me regular. ;)
The OP should certainly be using a semigloss or gloss paint if he's painting a door and that sands just fine. If you're trying to sand it before it's dried and hardened sufficiently, it's more problematic. Once the brush strokes are there everyone wants to hide the dead bodies as soon as possible, but you have to wait until it's dry before you can proceed with any correction. It also might be a problem with the sandpaper you're using. Garnet paper is meant for sanding bare wood and will clog very quickly. Sandpaper that is stearate treated works much better. With any sandpaper, wiping the surface with a damp cloth or tack cloth after sanding is a must or you'll get a furry surface, and then it's back to square one.
There may be some misinterpretation of what is meant by sanding. The sanding is meant to knock down any nibs and smooth the highpoints of any brush strokes. It is not meant to sand until the surface is dead smooth. That's the function of the primer and paint (and possibly filler if necessary) being built up in several coats and why it is slightly thinned so it will lay down better and not leave brush strokes in the first place.
Here is a link that gives a pretty good overview of where we are with the different choices in paint. http://www.hometips.com/cs-protected/guides/paint.html And this one from Sherwin Williams specifically addresses how to achieve a smooth finish: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/pro/problem/problems/sw_pro_ps_int_ext_layout_17_7807_4170.jsp
R
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RicodJour wrote:

I prefer to use popcorn :) ______________

Aluminum oxide preferred but he only thing that provided semi-useful results with latex was wet sanding with silicon carbide. _______________

That *might* be it. To me, "sanding" means abrading until the entire surface becomes uniform; i.e., sand down to the lowest low (within reason and without cutting through) then apply the next coat.
There was a possible clue to the solution in another post of yours in this thread; namely, the word "acrylic". My experience with latex paint and sanding has been so bad over the years that I avoid that type of paint except for areas such as walls. I really don't know if that experience includes 100% acrylic latexes or not. I'm going to buy a small can and see.
Thanks for the response and links.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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dadiOH wrote:

I see no reason to discriminate when it comes to roughage.

You want to use the whitish sandpaper - that's the stearate coating which is essentially a lubricant and keeps the paper from clogging.

No problemo, dadiOH.
Latex paints come in a lot of flavors, and the cheap ones aren't worth dipping a brush in, much less your time. But latex has come a _long_ way in the past decade or two, and I expect it will continue.
Check out Fine Paints of Europe's web site if you want to see some truly high end paints. They have some waterborne finishes that are killer. Prepare for sticker shock.
R
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If you want a real smooth finish latex is never it. For the best get Ben Moore primer Enamel Underbody a sandable primer, 2 coats maybe then sand primer with 220-320, use Ben Moore Satin Impervo oil finish, add Penetrol to make it flow, it can look like its sprayed, but it takes practice. latex cures to fast to allow no brush marks.
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Matt wrote:

the advice here is incredible no?
sand door 4 times, 4 coats of primer? that sounds a little obsessed, but I bet it would make for a glass finish or very close
you may decide to use the acrylic... i mean, you already got the paint right?
try not to dip brush more than half into the paint
use long strokes, don't chop at the door with the brush no matter how you look at it, you're moving a quart of paint with a brush
have a brush technic, don't hold the brush like a child holds a spoon, but in your fingers like holding a book stand away from the door, extend your arm... stretch out some you will get cleaner lines and smoother finish...pull straight with your body not just your arm...like firing a rifle...stay relaxed but focused in the hand see...anticipate where the brush is headed
don't go back over acrylic after 1:30 seconds, it will pull let it dry then go back over
one good hog bristle artist brush is very handy for getting around hardware, or a small craft brush can do, just that you can load a little more paint into a soft hog bristle brush (and they are like a dollar each)
3 thin coats is better than 1 gloppy heavy
make your own primer by dilluting your door paint with it's proper base (in a seperate container)
acrylic is waterbased...so... make a little primer...it just needs to be thin in order to penetrate...the grain
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Matt wrote:

The little 4" foam rollers work pretty well and give an even surface, but it isn't really smooth. I don't think you can get a really smooth surface with latex without spraying it.
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For what it's worth I found I can get good results using a paint or water based poly pad and moving the material the entire length of the doorin one stroke. Takes som getting used to but results are passable and the job goes quickly. Good luck!! Happy New Year to all of you. rank

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Primer needs to be sanded to remove woods raised grain and imperfections, there is only one brushed on primer I know of designed to be sandable as it has a soft enough cure Benjamin Moore Enamel Underbody it is advertised for sanding on the can. With 1 coat a pro may do it, or he may cut an edge. There are only 2 paints I know of that you can paint glass and have no brushmarks, and Ive tried every oil made, Ben moore Impervo and P&L Effecto lines, These are top lines around forever , a gallon of primer, paint, and quart of Penetrol retail I guess for 70$, But for quality in the best of homes these are the Standard. Penetrol an oil type thinner actualy allows better flow out for a brushless finish. I have done high gloss brush that look sprayed and you could see yourself in the reflection. Once finish coat is on , thats it for apx 1-2 months, sanding earlier only rips up the paint, oils take a year to fully cure. These days few painters even are aware of what real quality is. Latex is for apartments and walls.
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John Willis and m Ransley, Where did you learn the technique to use multiple coats of primer? Primer's function is as a sealer and bonding coat. It is purposefully thinner to soak in rather than sit on the surface. It seems to me that once the surface is sealed there isn't much reason to seal it again. At that point you want to start filling voids and adding durability and color - in other words, the top coats.
To the OP: I just noticed that you didn't specify what finish your paint is. I trust it is semi-gloss or gloss. Those finishes will give you a smoother finish than something more matte. I also neglected to mention that removing the door from the hinges and laying it on some sawhorses so you can paint it flat will allow the paint to lay down better so there are no brush marks. Just watch out for the drips over the edges and clean them up before they set up.
Contrary to popular opinion, sanding acrylic paint works. Latex paint is softer and doesn't sand well. Sometimes the two get confused. You will have to make sure that the paint is totally dry before attempting to sand. You're not relying on the sanding to smooth out the surface so much as knock down the nibs and high spots a bit in preparation for the next coat. The final coat does not get sanded, so you need a dust and draft free space to work in.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

you're trying to knock the man out every paint can says, use only in well ventilated areas
i think you have painted one too many "draft-free projects i'll tell you that much
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scribbled this interesting note:

Why use multiple coats of primer? To fill imperfections in the surface. Primer is easier to sand and dries fast, thus multiple coats are easy to put on, sand, and clean up.
One coat of primer will seal the surface, more or less. Multiple coats, with light sanding and good cleaning between coats, will provide a very smooth surface and give higher quality results in the final finish.
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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John Willis wrote:

The primer is the bonding/sealing coat, or in your case, coats. The finish paint is the wear and cosmetic coats. As long as there is an equal amount of finish paint applied, I see no harm in applying more primer coats. It just seems like it would take more time as you can't skip the finish coats.
Primer is cheaper than finish paint, and for a good reason. It has little of the more expensive ingredients that give finish paint its durability and hiding power (resins and tints).
Sometimes someone will tell me about their miraculous way of tinting a primer so they can get by with only one coat of finish paint on the walls. Ain't happening. I want the longevity of at least two finish coats and that's what I'm willing to pay for.
R
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scribbled this interesting note:

It does take more time. The results, in my opinion, are worth it.

In my original reply to the original poster, I suggested, for a nice, smooth finish, three coats of primer, with sanding and cleaning in between, and two finish coats, with suitable sanding and cleaning in between. This process fills imperfections in the surface with the primer and give good coverage with two finish coats. Of course, more may be applied if one desires...
Of course, all this is with oil based primers and enamels. With the current crop of latex paints commonly available in the U.S., it is my opinion that on interior work, latex only belongs on the walls, not the woodwork.
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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John Willis wrote:

I'm sure you get good results, John, but it just seems to me that you're using a product to do something it wasn't designed to do. Primer has very little body and build up. Essentially you're using something closer to water than paint to fill imperfections. If the surface needs to be filled, use a filler and sand it prior to priming. Otherwise finish paint has far better filling capabilities than primer.
I'd imagine that part of the reason you do what you do is the longer drying time of oil paint. The oil primer would dry more quickly than oil finish paint, so in that respect you save some time. Still a lot longer time in between coats than with latex, but to each his own.
R
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