My goal for this weekend was to finish off the stairs and have the cottage finally in shape for rentals. With this round I was going to paint the risers along with the molding around the stairs an antique white and then do another coat on the treads.
I picked up a quart of Behr Palimino white in semi gloss for the risers. I decided to not get porch paint for the risers since I figured they'd take less abuse and I wanted to use the paint for the trim/molding too. While at the store I saw a bottle of Floetrol and I read on the craftsmanblog.com that it was a good idea to use a paint thinner like floetrol to get a better finish without brush marks.
I started with the white paint and mixed in some floetrol to thin it out. Not sure if it was my inexperience, but the Floetrol was a disaster. It made the paint so runny and even if I wasn't getting brush strokes, I had splatters, spills and pooling of paint all over the place. Luckily I was going to go over the treads for a 2nd coat because I was dripping paint all over them. After 2 risers I gave up using the thinner and just switched back to standard paint with no thinning agents.
Still had some drips without the Floetrol, but it was a lot easier to apply although I did find the Behr paint harder to work with compared to Benjamin Moore. I painted the trim and risers without tape and it was hard to get the Behr paint to flow to the edges nicely. After I finished the trim and risers, I went back and hit the treads with a 2nd coat of the porch paint. This covered all the slop I introduced from painting the risers. All said, I'm happy with it came out and the edges look pretty good for no tape. Up close you can see some issues but luckily the cottage can have a "rustic" look.
After finishing up the cottage, I took care of a few other minor tasks of sealing some outdoor wood and then went to Goshen Gardens to pick up more native plants for the flower beds. I'm still on the fence about the native plants in that they definitely don't have the "Wow" factor compared to marigolds, impatients, sunflowers, etc. They kind of look more like weeds, but I guess I need to accept it.