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Removing brush marks

Poor application technique can cause prominent brush marks on a finished painted surface. This problem can occur on all surfaces. In order to avoid brush marks, work slowly and carefully. Also, high-quality application tools are essential for an even paint finish.

Tools and materials

Sander, cloth, paintbrush, paint, wood stain


1 Obvious brush marks in different directions can make surfaces look uneven and poorly finished.


2 Machine-sand the area with a palm sander, applying light pressure. Wipe the area clean of dust with a damp cloth.


3 Repaint the area, keeping in mind the laying off technique described opposite. If using a natural wood finish, take care to apply stain with the grain.


Good painting technique

Most paints, especially if they have a sheen or are oil-based, require “laying off” to remove tool impressions from the finish. To do this, glide the unloaded painting tool very lightly over the wet paint, just touching the newly coated surface. The principle of laying off is the same for rollers and, to a lesser extent, for pads.


 Machine palm sanders

This is a small tool, which often has an orbital action, for use on small wooden surfaces or in awkward tight corners.