Surface Feel of Spray-Applied Acrylic Paint

Pigment characteristics and a rapid dry time seem to affect the surface smoothness of paint. March 12, 2015

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I can't get acrylic paint to cure so that it feels glass smooth. Is it me or is this the nature of latex and acrylic paints? My environment is/was dust free with an air makeup unit outside the booth. I was spraying Benjamin Moore Regal which is 100% acrylic (actually, no latex at all). I thinned it with water. No Flotrol (should I have used this and risk runs and sags and drips?).

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor::
House paint will not give you the look and feel of a wood finish. You can get close using an airless sprayer or a very good spray technique, but it will never be quite as nice/smooth (80-90%). It is possible to get the look with a basecoat/clearcoat system. Use a good quality housepaint for your color and then topcoat with a clear WB finish.

From Contributor U:
I have sprayed the BM Regal once or twice on interior shutters, as well as a few other brands, one being Sherwin Williams. I believe the biggest obstacle, at least in my case, has been the extremely fast dry time. The dry particles create something of a dust like feel, bad enough to bother me, but never has it been a problem to my customers. There is no retarder that I know of, to slow the dry time, but it does seem like floetrol helps a little. When I spray exterior latex paints, they seem to slick off better, but then they have longer dry times and the surface stays wet long enough for me to complete a spray cycle. This is why I prefer oil base paints on most of my interior work.

From contributor N:
It may be because most house paints have a higher pigment to vehicle ratio and have a load of lesser quality and coarser ground pigments (chalk) in them, then in finer finishes. Be wary of spraying clears on house paint acrylics since they have slower curing acrylics in them to make them brush-able. Some can be susceptible to crazing if you apply the clear before the base coat is cured. I did just finish two houses of doors for a contractor using Kelly-Moore's epoxy-modified acrylic and I was impressed; dried fast and very smooth to the touch, covered great and cured hard in just a few days. That said it was over 100 degrees with FYI; I sprayed them with an airless and a 411 tip, thinned it with just a couple of ounces of water.