Water-Based Alkyd is Best
Some paints show brush marks, ridges
and roller stipple no matter how skillful
or careful you are. Others go on
smoothly and then level out beautifully,
even if you're not a master painter.
If you want a smooth finish, choose a paint designed for that. Some paints,
even good-quality paints, just aren't formulated for smoothness. Smooth
paints are usually labeled “enamel” or “door and trim.” But the label alone
doesn't tell you enough; some brands of “enamel” are much better than
others. Advice from the store staff, and the price, are the best indicators.
Super-smooth paints often cost $25 to $30 per quart! But it's worth an extra 10 bucks per door to get first-class results.
Among the paints we've used, one category stands out for smoothness:
water-based alkyds. These paints dry slowly for extra working time and level
out almost as well as traditional oil-based alkyds. After applying them with
a high-quality roller, you can usually skip the brush-out step shown in Photos 7
and 9 and still get perfect results. Cleanup is as easy as with any other
water-based paint. The disadvantages of water-based alkyds are a very long
wait before recoating (16 to 24 hours) and a high price tag. Here are two we've
used: Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Alkyd and Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd Enamel. To find a
dealer in your area, go to: benjaminmoore.com or sherwin-williams.com.