How to Prevent Streaking with Water Based Topcoat

From General Finishes University, How to Get a Streak-Free Finish with Water Based Topcoats. Follow along as Rob Szwedo demonstrates the common causes of streaky water-based topcoat, and the right way to apply it.


To apply High Performance Topcoat, Rob used a paint pad applicator for large surfaces, as well as a Wagner Home Decor Sprayer - a cost-effective way to begin your journey into speeding up production time using spray equipment.

GF PRO TIP: For optimum topcoat performance, use a semi-gloss sheen for the first 2 coats and a flat or satin for the third.

The flatter the sheen, the more likely it is to streak if not properly applied. Flatting agents required to reduce sheen in flat or matte topcoats also slightly reduce clarity, water resistance, durability and resistance to common household contaminants, such as ketchup, soap, chemical cleaners or ammonia. This is not much of a concern in low-use areas, such as bookcases, but is important for tabletops and kitchen cabinets.

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