How To Eliminate Brush Strokes When Painting Cabinets?

When it comes to decorating your pieces of furniture, many people ask, “How to eliminate brush strokes when painting cabinets?”

The first time I painted my woody kitchen cabinets, there were unlimited brush strokes and similar mistakes. 

However, after some research and experience, I found a few valuable tips and tricks for the case.

If that is also your issue now, scroll down to see the solutions!


How To Eliminate Brush Strokes When Painting Cabinets? A Quick Answer

In short, there are three crucial tips you should bear in mind when painting cabinets yourself.

First, opt for the proper kind of brush. Second, use a suitable amount of stain.

Neither too much nor too little would make a perfect finish.

The last one is to paint from end to end.

What Should You Prepare Before Painting Cabinets?

Before diving into the preliminary information, it is crucial to prepare well.

There are some tools you need to have to give the perfect finish for the case, including:

1. Paintbrush

First and foremost, a good paintbrush is an unforgettable object. Like any DIY project, the brush would play an essential role in making a perfect finish or ruin it.

To my mind, you should opt for a high-quality paintbrush coming from a well-known brand. For instance, the Staalmeester or SmartVision is worth considering. Although it might cost higher than usual, it helps you avoid any bristles shedding anyway.

Furthermore, suppose you have to paint a large surface, think about using a roller. It saves your energy and time. Plus, avoiding brush strokes is not as easy as doing that with roller marks.

2. Sandpaper or sanding sponge

For most painting projects, a sanding sponge is a valuable tool to prep the surfaces. It can make the painted areas smoother.

With the cabinets, a 220 grit paper might be more than enough. However, if you are inexperienced, be careful when using sandpaper. Once you put too firm pressure, uneven sanding areas could appear.

3. Drop cloths

Believe it or not, you always need drop cloths to protect your pieces of furniture while painting. Once you use the paint, it is inevitable to get it everywhere.

Hence, the drop clothes would prevent your walls and doors from getting the unexpected color.

Plus, the helpful clothes also protect the cabinet from fibers or dust.

4. Suitable kind of paint

No matter how good other tools you prepare, the wrong type of stain would spoil your projects.

Therefore, take a hard look at the cabinet paint’s quality before purchasing one.

Some famous brand names I suggest are INSL-X cabinet paint, Nuvo Titanium kit, or KILZ TRIBUTE paint.

How to avoid brush marks painting kitchen cabinets? (Source: solvesonic)

5. Other tools

Besides the above types of equipment, there are additional tools you should pick up to create an impressive look on your case:

  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hanging rod or a clothing rack
  • Paint cup or paint tray

How To Avoid Brush Strokes When Painting Cabinets? Valuable Tips and Tricks

1. Pick up the right paintbrush.

First and foremost, you must opt for the correct type of paintbrush.

There are thousands and then some kinds of those tools on the market. The core principle is that it has to make you feel comfortable while holding.

Of course, it must be suitable for your current project.

There are some popular paintbrushes I recommend as below:

For more details, the Staalmeester brush is well-known for featuring a unique natural/synthetic bristle blend. It has a silky synthetic bristle blended with a shorter natural china bristle. The soft hair makes sure the painting process runs smoothly without mistakes and has minimal brush strokes. Plus, the china bristle can absorb water pretty well.

What’s more, the Coloratic brush is highly rated due to the premium synthetic bristles and comfortable wood handles.

That means the lightweight handle gives users better control on the whole tool and reduces the strain on your hand alike.

Another tip when choosing a paintbrush is to fan through a new one. That action would ease the number of tiny bristles falling out into your painting surfaces.

2. The Suitable Amount Of Paint

Another principle you should remember when decorating cabinets is to use a suitable amount of paint. Following some studies, many people tend to add too much stain to their brush. The aftermath is an ugly thick coat on the painting surface. Then, the brush strokes are inevitable.

To avoid the mistake, you should remove the excess stain on the brush after dipping it into the painting container.

Keep in mind that the less, the better. Plus, the first layer has to be thin all the time, no matter what kind of cabinets are.

When you change from dark to light hue, there might be a chance the surface has not been entirely covered. Add another thin layer of stain would help.

Imagine when you are polishing your toenail. You use a thin layer first. Then, if that has not satisfied you, you apply the next layer.

Most of us understand that a large amount of nail polish at the first time would cause more trouble than make a beautiful look.

Not only does it needs more time to dry, but it also creates room for mistakes.

How to avoid brush strokes when painting kitchen cabinets? (Source: solvesonic)

3. From end to end

Painting from end to end is the last rule to avoid brush strokes. Although that sounds too obvious, some of my friends still get in trouble for doing the opposite.

When they start to cover the cabinet’s surface with paint, they do that from the left-hand (or right-hand side).

After they finish the part, they move to the different one.

However, cause the left side is dry, it looks like splotch. As a result, they repaint the area. Now is when they make real splotches.

To avoid trouble, bear in mind to paint the surface totally from side to side.

Please do not make it halfway, then wondering why you always meet problems.

Often, most mistakes come from your unthinking hand.

Moreover, painting from end to end is efficient to ensure the depth is consistent in any part.

Take a look at this video to know more about painting cabinets without brush marks:

How To Have Smooth Painting Finishes?

To paint the cabinets or do any other DIY projects, you need to follow essential steps strictly.

Within this article, I want to introduce you to a six-step guide to complete the job.

1. Make the painting area ready:

Before covering the cabinet with paint, do not forget to use drop cloths and the sanding sponge to sand the area.

If you have a particular place for painting, that would be best.

If not, carefully lay and tap the clothes down to make sure they would not move.

Lightly use the sanding sponge (or sandpapers) on the cabinet.

After that, get rid of any extra fibers or dust.

2. Remove hardware:

Secondly, remove any hardware from the painted areas, such as hinges or handles.

3. Use primer:

The next step is to apply the primer and do the sand job to make the stain adhere better.

4. Paint the first layer:

Coming to the painting first, do not forget the tips I mentioned above.

You should not use too much or too little amount of paint. Plus, do from end to end would remove any mistakes.

5. Please wait for the stain to dry:

It often takes two to four hours for the first paint layer to dry.

Using a rod or clothing rack and hang the object would speed up this process.

6. Sand the stain and add the second coat:

You need to apply the second one because the first layer is pretty thin.

Before that, do not forget to sand the paint. Lastly, finish the job with the topcoat and wait for it to dry.

How To Eliminate Brush Strokes When Painting Cabinets? People Also Ask

1. What should you use to paint the case: brush or roller?

That mostly depends on the size of the surfaces.

If you have a large cabinet to paint, it is wiser to choose a roller.

That is much faster, and it takes less effort. By contrast, if it is only a 20-inch container, using a paintbrush is fine.

2. Do you need to make the paintbrush wet before painting?

Making the brush pre-wetted is helpful for the reason that the stain can transfer quicker to the surfaces.

However, ensure to use a suitable kind of liquid to wet the brush.

Plus, it should not be too wet before painting.

3. Why do you have brush marks when painting?

Most people get brush strokes because the stain is dried before fully flowing out.

That is the reason why you might need the correct kind of slow-dry paint and paintbrush.

Color from end to end is to ensure you do not add another layer to the painted area.

4. Should you spray kitchen cabinets?

Of course, you can spray the cabinets if you have a good sprayer.

The method reduces the number of brush strokes. Moreover, it is faster than the traditional ways.


To conclude, above are the primary information related to the question “How to eliminate brush strokes when painting cabinets.”

First, you need to prepare well. Buy the correct and best types of paintbrushes and paint would help. Plus, do not forget the sandpaper, drop clothes and others.

Then, learn by heart the core rule: painting from end to end. That would reduce many of your mistakes.

Further Reading: 

Tags: #Polyurethane  #Closet #Brush #Coat #Primer #Waterproof #Paint #Spray #Blinds #Wood 

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