You’re here probably because you’ve tried your hand at a bit of home painting and found you’re not getting the smooth, unblemished painted surface you hoped for. We’re here to tell you not to give up! Heed these tips to avoid pesky brush and roller marks.

Tip #1: Avoid Using Low-Quality Tools

It may not seem like it matters that much which brush or roller you use, but it does. And sadly, you only find out once you’ve started painting and notice that it’s leaving marks on your walls. Aside from streaks, low-quality tools also tend to shed. The brush bristles or roller fibers will stick to your painted surface which you’ll need to pick out and remove. Hassle!

So, go for good-quality tools. Streaks are less likely with these because they are able to hold a good amount of paint. This makes it easier for you to apply paint smoothly and evenly. They’re also resistant to shedding and are more durable which means you’ll be able to use them again for your future projects. Sure, they cost a little more than the cheapest ones but they’re definitely a smarter buy.

Tip #2: Check Your Application Technique

If you want a smooth, beautiful finish, you’ll have to hold back a bit on freedom of expression. No haphazard and heavy-handed strokes for now as a little more control is needed. For beginners, there are three things to keep in mind.

First, try not to put too much pressure on your brush or roller. This is one of the most common ways beginners get marks on their surface. Just think of it like you’re laying down the paint on the surface. There’s no need to press down so hard. Otherwise, it shows up as uneven paint distribution and streaks on your surface.

Second, follow the M-pattern technique. This means you paint as if you were drawing a giant letter M on your wall. You can see how it’s done in this video (find it at around the 2 minutes and 20 seconds mark).

Remember to maintain a wet edge too. Meaning when you need to reload your tool with paint, don’t let your last roller or brush stroke dry before you start painting again. You want to overlap all your strokes a little bit and it’s best to do so when the paint is still wet.

Tip #3: Always Mix Your Paint Before Use

This is something a newbie might overlook but Boysen engineers advise not to forget to do: Always mix your paint before you use it. Just like why you shake medicine bottles beforehand, a bit of settling and separating happens in paint cans. So, take anything you can mix with, like a scrap piece of 2×2 wood, and stir your paint before use. This ensures that your paint is the same consistency all throughout and makes it easier to achieve a smooth finish when applied.

With ready-to-use paint, of which most Boysen products are, there will be no need to thin. However, some may prefer to thin out their paint when they find the product too thick for their liking. You can do this as well. Just make sure to check the packaging label for the appropriate thinning solvent and how much of it you can add to your paint. If you add in too much, your paint becomes too thin which will make your brush or roller marks a lot more noticeable.

Bonus: Fixing Brush and Roller Marks

No need to beat yourself too much over brush and roller marks. With a little more experience, you’re sure to get the hang of it. In the meantime, fixing the marks in your paint is relatively simple although it does require additional effort.

You can first try going over the marks with fine sandpaper (grade 320 to 1,000/1,2000) to even out the surface. If the marks are still noticeable, there’s nothing left to do but apply another layer of topcoat to hide them. Using the tips above, you’ll have a much better chance of not getting any more streaks—or at least lessen them this time around.

Good luck and happy painting! If you found this blog post helpful, you’re more than welcome to subscribe to the Let It B newsletter (via the sidebar) to stay up-to-date with all the exciting things going on at


Jill is a writer on a continuous journey to learn about paint and share them with you, the reader. She has an interest in the technical side of things but also thoroughly enjoys playing with colors. She likes calm greens, quiet blues, and mellow yellows best.

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