How to Get a Smooth Coat of Paint

Here Are Some Practices to Keep Your Paint Smooth

Clean Your Surfaces

If you want a smooth paint job, it doesn’t hurt to have a smooth surface as your canvas. Thoroughly cleaning your surface is a necessary first step for both interior and exterior painting projects. Doing so removes dust, dirt, debris, and other materials that would otherwise stand in the way of the ensuing paint.

Be Sure to Sand

Of course, even the cleanest surfaces can be overly coarse or misshapen. Properly sanding your surfaces helps remove imperfections, even out the material, and create small, rough ridges that help with paint adhesion. As a rule of thumb, start with coarser sandpaper (i.e. lower grit rating) and end with finer sandpaper (high grit rating).

Prime Before Painting

Applying primer is another crucial step in the painting process if you want a smooth finish and strong adhesion. Primer serves multiple key functions -- it seals the underlying material, provides a more receptive surface for the paint to stick to, and can even help you with color coverage (i.e. tinted primer), especially if you’re painting over a darker tone with a lighter one. Without primer, your paint may partially soak into the surface, requiring more coats and resulting in less even coverage.

Mind the Paint You’re Using

It might seem obvious, but the paint itself can have a major impact on how smooth your coat turns out. For starters, you want to choose the right type of paint for your purposes (i.e. exterior vs. interior painting, metal vs. wood, and so on). From there, make sure you invest in high-quality paint. Cheap products are often thin, improperly mixed, and/or dry inconsistently, making it difficult to achieve even coverage.

Ensure You’re Painting in the Optimal Environment

Your immediate environment also plays a role in determining the smoothness of your paint job. Extreme temperatures can affect the consistency of your paint and interfere in both application and dry rates. Additionally, high humidity levels can get in the way of the drying process, sometimes leading to bubbles and blisters. So, if you’re painting outside, try to pick a day between 50 and 80 degrees with relative humidity levels between 40 and 50%. As for interior painting, do your best to control the internal climate so it’s consistent with optimal painting conditions.

Concentrate on Your Technique

The manner in which you apply your paint is the final determining factor here. Whether you’re brushing or rolling the paint on, don’t overload your applicator, as this can lead to dripping and other problems. Additionally, maintain a wet edge as you go and try to avoid going over spots that have partially or completely dried. If you’re spraying the paint instead, be careful to not hold the sprayer in one place for too long or too close to the surface. If you want to see how professional commercial and house painting services do it, you can find several videos and tutorials online that go over proper painting techniques for different application methods.

Smooth Sailing...Painting, Rather

As long as your surfaces are properly prepped and primed and you apply high-quality paint with proper technique in the right environment, you too can achieve the smooth results you desire. Of course, if you’d rather leave it to the pros, the experts at Endure Painting can ensure the smoothest paint job possible. We offer premier residential, commercial, and HOA painting services in San Francisco, East Bay, South Bay, Peninsula, and Alameda County, California.

For more information regarding our skills and services, call us at (510) 458-2120 or send us an email at

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