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Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel Too Thin

I purchased a quart of Semi-Gloss Ultra White Enamel and painted one side of a new bi-fold door to make sure I liked it. I've used both matt (ceilings) and flat enamel (walls) in other areas of the house but the semi-gloss enamel is noticeably thinner even though it was shaken at the store and stirred at home. While painting the door last night I kept thinking it was too thin and the brush strokes were very noticeable. Checked it this morning... coverage looks better but it needs another coat. However the brush strokes are so bad I don't like the way it looks at all. I searched online and noticed lots of complaints about the paint being too thin and people hating it, so I'm not alone. Not sure what the problem is so I don't know what to do next.

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Posted 2013-10-20T14:13:19+0000  by 65Cobra 65Cobra

The BEHR Ultra Pure White (color) is considered the whitest white on the market..All other paints add a little bit of black tint - which aids in the coverage.  Ultra Pure White will not cover as well as these other due to this fact.


Also, semigloss paints tend to be slightly thinner in nature due to their "gloss" qualities which allows for them to be applied in thinner coats.  The thinner coats help the product to cure (become hard) and retain their elasticity.


   The secret to getting a smooth finish with less brush strokes is to use the best quality soft bristle brush (like PURDY), complete small sections before moving on, and finishing with your last stroke almost like a feather soft pass. Painting in an environment that does not cause the paint to dry fast (like sun, an operating fan, or warm temperatures) will help the paint to lay out - reducing brush stroke texture.


In your situation, wait another day and lightly sand the heavy brush strokes until somewhat smoother.  The new layers of paint will help fill in those voids and give you a smooth finish. 


One more tip:  if possible, remove the door and paint it on a set of sawn horses.

Posted 2013-10-20T15:35:26+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL


To those of us who were raise on oil paints, the hardest thing to do is resist the temptation to keep on brushing, thinking that that will reduce the brush strokes. Unlike oil paints, water based acrylic / latex paints set very fast, trying to form a film within a couple minutes. If you continue to brush, you are stealing time from the paint's ability to flow out and level itself. Get the paint on quickly, evenly, and then leave it alone!


Whenever possible, I like to use a foam trim roller along with the brush. The roller gets a nice even coat on quickly. I then use the brush to get into corners and edges and then lightly knock down the roller "dibble" left by the roller.


Remember, acrylic paints will level themselves, it you let them!


I keep a sample of Ultra Semi-Gloss on the paint counter which was painted over urethane varnish. The sample was made to demonstrate Ultra's ability to adhere to slick surfaces, but I am often asked, "Was this brushed"?, as it is so smooth.

Posted 2013-10-20T16:20:02+0000  by ordjen

All the suggestions make sense so I plan to take a deep breath, use a quality soft synthetic brush, change my strategy, and give it another go. Will report back in a few days with the results. Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.



Posted 2013-10-20T17:40:29+0000  by 65Cobra

I was ready to try again but decided to take a step back because I'm concerned the Ultra White paint I purchased is too white. Is there a standard white color that's used for doors and trim?



Posted 2013-10-23T01:12:38+0000  by 65Cobra




I would agree that Ultra Pure White straight from the can tends to be a little stark. During my paint contracting days, I rarely used pure white, except for when it came in contact with clear, pastel colors. The greyed down whites look terrible against pastel colors.


A bonus to warming up  of a pure white is that it also increases the whites hiding ability. Every painter knows that a couple drops of raw umber or lamp black will greatly enhance how well it covers.


Unfortunately, there is no standard "off white" in the paint industry. Each manufacturer has its own palette. Behr has a broschure of  whites . In this  folder you will find many variations  of whites .  A favorite of mine is "Decorators White" which has been slightly darkened and with a hint of cream. 



Posted 2013-10-23T03:13:42+0000  by ordjen

Thanks. I was planning to stop at HD in the morning so you at least gave me something to start with.


Posted 2013-10-23T03:46:07+0000  by 65Cobra
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