Poor flow and levelling is when paint fails to dry to a smooth film, resulting in unsightly brush and roller marks after the paint dries.

Possible Cause

Causes of poor flow and leveling include:

  • Using inferior quality paint
  • Applying additional paint to 'touch up' partially dried painted areas
  • Re-brushing or re-rolling partially dried painted areas
  • Use of the wrong type of roller cover or a poor quality brush



Use a premium quality water-based paint. These are generally formulated with ingredients that enhance paint flow and lead to a smooth film. When using a roller be sure to use a cover with the recommended nap length for the type of paint being used. Use of a high quality brush is also important; cheaper brush can result in bad paint flow and levelling.

More problem solving advice


Yellowing is the development of a yellow cast in aging solvent-based enamels. It’s most noticeable in the dried films of white paints or clear varnishes.  For each problem you’ll find a guide to identifying it, its causes and solutions.

When droplets appear on acrylic paint

Have you noticed small droplets appearing on your fresh coat of acrylic paint? This is known as 'surfactant leaching'. Don't panic - it's a normal part of the curing process.  For each problem you’ll find a guide to identifying it, its causes and solutions.