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  1. #1
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    Interior Painting Problem

    I'm painting the inside of my condo.

    I'm using flat latex interior for the ceilings, satin latex for the walls, and semi-gloss for the trim.

    I'm using Glidden Premium paint as it was recommended in Consumer Reports.

    The trim is new, and was factory primed.

    My problem is runs and drips painting the trim with the semi-gloss paint.

    I've tried more brushing out, less loading of the brush, and applying Zinser 1-2-3 primer over the pre-primed trim. Nothing works; I wind up sanding and painting over the flubs. There are too many to just let it go.

    I stopped at the local paint store and asked them for suggestions. He was stumped but frankly, I think he was more a cashier than a knowledgeable painter.

    Any suggestions on how to solve my problem? I have no problem with the flat or satin finish paint and it's from the same product line, but I'm mostly using a roller for those finishes vs. a brush for the trim.

    Is the next step to change brands of paint?

  2. #2
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    Is it an option to carefully remove the trim boards, then put 'em back when you're done painting the walls?
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  3. #3
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    use oil-based enamel for wood.

    latex paint sucks balls for that...
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  4. #4
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    I just did a job for friends that involved a bunch of semigloss white trim. I can see the occasional bobble--but my technique is to use two sizes of quality (I like Purdy) angle (sash) brushes, one narrow for edges, one wider for faces, paint narrow edges(against wall with molding for example) and then faces with the wider brush, taking care to not load up the brush enough that you run paint back off the edges.

    You need a good light (I use a portable halogen) and you need to constantly check as you go and lift off (almost dry brush) any place where the paint is starting to run, and smooth out...

    I used to be pretty good, but the combination of older eyes and less steady hands means it takes me longer now, and the results are not as good as they once were, but most of what I finished still looks pretty good.

    (I'm also a big fan of Benjamin Moore, but that's like preferring the Anglican version of the Lord's Prayer over the Americanized version--more a matter of taste than substance.)

    I also think the new latexes are just fine, so long as you have a quality compatible undercoat--they set up faster, with less odor and wear nearly as well.

    Runs and drips sounds like you are starting with too much paint on the brush--I use one of the strap-on-the-hand small containers, dip in no more than an inch or so, wipe lightly on edge of bucket--one side if you are trying to run a bead, both sides with the larger brush for the flats...

    Oh, and for prep, you always want to sand the factory primer and clean thoroughly
    Last edited by paredown; 06-23-2018 at 07:08 PM.
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  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    My problem is runs and drips painting the trim with the semi-gloss paint.
    Simply too much paint. Don't try to get it in one coat. Two light coats will provide a nicer finish.
    Also consider a mini roller. I always get better results with them over brushes.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown View Post

    Oh, and for prep, you always want to sand the factory primer and clean thoroughly
    Yep, any small bumps become drip seeds.

    Too much paint, that's the obvious cause. Lay it on, then do a smooth pass to lay off. Move to next section, THEN check the first section for drips, which you can likely still lay off.

    It may be that you will need to do two light coats. It may also be that you have a can from a bad batch with a bit too much water or a bit too few additives. But drips always mean too much paint and the solution is to put less on.

    And keep in mind that "too much paint" is a variable. Very humid or very dry days change how much you can lay on at once without drips.
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  7. #7
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Simply too much paint. Don't try to get it in one coat. Two light coats will provide a nicer finish.
    Also consider a mini roller. I always get better results with them over brushes.
    Definitely do two coats. You won't get good coverage with one coat unless you really slather the paint on, and that results in runs/drips. For the best results, prime everything first.

    I hate interior painting, but I'm fairly good at it, and people in my area want insane amounts of money to do it. I got a quote of $2000 to paint my kitchen. My wife and I did it in a weekend.

  8. #8
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    Are these drips coming from the nail holes on the trim? Have all the nail holes been filled and sanded flat? If not, fill 'em. Next, buy the best brushes that you can. Use one to put the paint on and then use the other as a dry brush to go back over the areas that may want to drip. Keep wiping off the dry brush to keep it dry.
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Hopefully you have lightly sanded the trim (don't sand through the primer!), filled nail holes and caulked all your gaps. Do 2 thin coats. If you are using stark or really light white it may take 3. Thin the paint with a bit of water, you need to be able to brush out the paint evenly and if it is too thick you won't be able to do that. Pre-primed trim can really make your paint thicken quickly causing you to apply too much. Some enamels are just more prone to sagging than others, you need to work out the technique to avoid that....i.e. more uniform spreading. Keep an eye on your work as go, look back at what you have done and brush out errors if necessary, although that may create more brush marks, it's better than sags. My best guess is the paint needs thinning. Just be careful.

  11. #11
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    after flipping ten houses, I've probably painted several miles of wood trim.

    my SOP was always to sand existing painted finish (if it was latex, apply light coat of oil-based primer first then lightly sand), base coat of OB enamel, spackle divots, sand, then top coat. always used top-quality brushes, they're worth it. never used painter's tape, prided myself in being able to cut a razor-sharp edge.

    have be able to give even horribly beat-up 75-yr old stuff a glass-like finish with this process.

    trying to sand latex is an absolute PITA, imo it's horrible product for wood trim.

    pro tip: using Flood Penetrol additive helps immensely when condition aren't good...too hot, too cold, high humidity...
    Last edited by Oxtox; 06-25-2018 at 09:34 AM.
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  12. #12
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    We've done a whole lot of interior painting in our old house the last few years, including ceilings, walls, trim, doors. We've used Benjamin Moore paint for all of it, and been very pleased. I don't really know if it's better than other brands, but I've not had the problems you describe. We use their "Advance" brand for the trim, which they describe as a "water-borne alkyd". It really does act like enamel when fully cured. One coat usually covers over a good primer, but it depends on the color. As others have said, you can't put it on too thick if you want to avoid runs on vertical surfaces, so sometimes two coats is unavoidable.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm already using Purdy brushes specifically for latex paint. I've puttied the nail holes and used wood filler over them. Instead of sanding, I applied Zinser 1-2-3 primer on the most recent door trim in the hope the factory primer just plain sucked. I tried using Floetrol and it was a horror show; I had to throw the gallon out.

    I'll report back after I try some of the suggestions to see if anything improves.

  14. #14
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    Floetrol thins out the paint to make it take longer to dry, and make it easier to spray. That's the last thing you want to use. As others have said, multiple thin coats. Additionally, even with the primer, you need to sand all the filler smooth.

    Alkyd paints are what you want for trim. They don't the to play well with too many brush strokes (unless you thin it.) Brush on thin, move along, put a second or third coat on it necessary. Don't try to get it done in one go, you'll just give yourself more work. Alkyds don't dry quickly, but they do gel quickly, running the brush over that feels like you are dragging it through tacky glue.

  15. #15
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    An old college buddy of mine spent a bit of time working for a painting contractor. He said you have to live by the Three L Rule, "lap it, leave it, lie about it".

    I hope that helps.

  16. #16
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    To clarify some of what I've been doing:

    I puttied the nail holes in the wood trim with wood putty. I tried lightly scuffing the factory primed trim with 220 grit sandpaper. The drips don't seem associated with the locations of the puttied holes, which were sanded when dried.

    I had no idea Floetrol was meant for ease of spraying; I was using it with a brush (on trim) and roller (on drywall) in the hope of achieving a brush-free finish. I quickly learned how wrong that was!

    It will be roughly a month before I tackle the next door frame but I promise to report on whether what I learned here helped.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    To clarify some of what I've been doing:

    I puttied the nail holes in the wood trim with wood putty. I tried lightly scuffing the factory primed trim with 220 grit sandpaper. The drips don't seem associated with the locations of the puttied holes, which were sanded when dried.

    I had no idea Floetrol was meant for ease of spraying; I was using it with a brush (on trim) and roller (on drywall) in the hope of achieving a brush-free finish. I quickly learned how wrong that was!

    It will be roughly a month before I tackle the next door frame but I promise to report on whether what I learned here helped.
    the Floetrol may be making your paint too thin and causing some of the drips.
    I concur with many on here, good brushes, proper prep and enamel paint
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  18. #18
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    I generally pull baseboards so I can set them up on sawhorses and roll them. My back doesn't have it in it anymore to paint them down on the floor. For door trim I start at the bottom of either side and finish at the bottom of the other side maintaining a wet edge. Two thin coats is better and I tend to paint pretty quickly. Once paint is on I don't go back over it other than to pick up the previous wet edge. Paint starts skinning pretty quickly and is best left alone to flatten out. For window trim it's pretty much the same with me doing the sill last. FWIW I used semi gloss Glidden Premium Granite Grey for the trim in the main living areas of my house and didn't have any problems with running.
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