In Advice, Painting

Paint brush strokes or streaks are caused from improper application of paint, and lack of enough paint to provide perfect coverage.  Usually the minimum amount of coats that should be applied when painting is two that is not including any primer.

There is another issue that would cause you to have paint brush strokes or streaks left behind and that would be if you try to paint over a damaged area that has patches of streaks caused by extensive cleaning and cleaning products.  This is referred to as paint burnishing and if you try to touch up the paint over this area you will get streaks and be able to see each brush stroke of the fresh paint.

Here we will explain how to prevent having paint brush stokes or streaks visible on your next home painting project.

Why Does Paintbrush Leave Marks or Streaks

If you have ever wondered about painting a smooth surface without leaving any brush marks or streaks, you are not alone.  Often times you may wonder how do the professional painters get it so perfect.  Well there really is no secret to it, it is all about the technique, knowledge and experience.

For DIY painters, learning the proper technique of how to apply paint will come with practice.  The more painting you do the more of a technique you will develop.

The most common reason for paintbrush marks or streaks is because of not allowing enough drying time in between paint coats.  We recommend you purchase the best quality paints to begin with as they provide the best coverage and allow for the proper dry time between coats.

    Causes For Paint Streaks or Marks

    1. Poor application of paint
    2. Use of low quality paint for a high traffic area
    3. Using a flat paint or poor quality that does not hold up to the constant in a high traffic area .
    4. Using an abrasive cleanser to wash the painted walls.

    How To Prevent Paint Brush Marks or Streaks

    Here are a few tips on how to avoid paint brush streaks or marks.

    1. Always use the same brush stroke when painting.  For example if painting in the corner of a ceiling or near a baseboard or trim, you want to paint with the brush in a horizontal position and continue in that motion until complete.  Do not go over the horizontal with vertical strokes as this will show the strokes of the paint brush and leave you with streaks.
    2. If painting wooden surfaces always paint in the same direction as the grain.
    3. Apply at minimum two coats of paint.  Anything less than two coats will not provide you decent coverage, and two coats usually helps to not get any streaks or brush strokes left behind.
    4. Use good quality paint brushes to apply any paint to achieve best end results.

    Remember the importance of letting the paint completely dry before applying another coat. Patience is valuable when painting any interior or exterior and it that old saying of when things are extremely boring and slow it is like watching paint dry.  Yes it is boring to wait until the paint thoroughly dries in between coats, but it is your guarantee at getting the best end result.

    If paint is already dry and the surface is still not smooth, simply give it a light sanding, clean off any dust with a damp and lint free cloth and paint over it again using the above tips.

    If all else fails and you want to abandon the though of painting yourself, contact Ottawa painters.  We can ensure you get a streak free and mark free finish to any interior or exterior painting.

    Schedule a Free Painting Estimate


    This post was originally published on Jun 29, 2015 and edited on Apr 28, 2020