This wooden door frame (see photo below) was painted high-gloss white a month or two ago. Using cheap paint and a cheap paint brush. The surface was superficially sanded (previously painted a number of times before), but cleaned quite well.

If I remember correctly, the ambient temperature would have been around 11-15C/50-60F.

Unless you pay attention it's not super obvious, but when you look you can see this effect, and you can very definitely feel the ridges when you go over them with your finger nails. I took the picture while shining a harsh LED light on it to make it more visible.

What could be the reason for this paint effect? I can think of paint quality, brush quality or not enough prep, incorrect application (although I don't regularly pain, I have painted quite a bit, and never seen the before). Or something else. Or perhaps it's impossible to tell from just a picture.

enter image description here

Could this be buffed out with a very high grit sandpaper or abrasive gel? Without losing the gloss.

  • Chep+Cheap+Cold+you did it. Does anyone ELSE notice it? If not, stop looking at it - One side effect of doing things is that you can only see the flaws, and most are flaws that only you can see, at least until you drag people around pointing them out in detail...
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 28, 2020 at 14:35
  • @Ecnerwal, no it's not obvious, and I'm not too bothered by it, but it's besides the point of the question. I'm simply about understand how different factors can influence the end result. But otherwise you make a valid point. Funny, I had actually not considered 15C to be cold, here in my country that's like the average temperature.
    – svenema
    May 6, 2020 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


That you have never seen brush lines before you have been very lucky. All of your ideas can affect how the paint goes on, cheap brushes, cheap paint are big ones but, the main reason I see for excessive lines is over working the paint so it won’t flow. when I do cabinets I don’t even try a brush but spray the paint and have used additives like floetrol a paint additive when I want glass smooth finishes. Sanding with a really light sandpaper will take the shine off, if I am putting a second coat on doors to get that perfect finish I will use 600 or finer paper wet to buff the door prior to the second coat if it is needed. I normally do this with clear varnish several times to get a real depth to the work, but not often on paints. You could sand the high ridges and reapply but make sure to over work the paint I see people put paint down spread it out then come back in a minute or 2 and run the brush over it again, this is when the brush marks stay or because of what I was taught is over working the paint.

  • Good tips, i've been using them. I've improved on a few factors, but I'm at this point mostly skeptical about the paint itself, still have half a can and not that much to paint, so it will be a while before I can try changing that factor. Learning a lot in the process. Thanks for the input!!
    – svenema
    May 6, 2020 at 8:09

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