Painting wood to achieve that glossy sheen may not be as easy as you see from exterior painters and hoped for but neither is it such a daunting task. Preparing the surface well and using good brushing technique will do the trick for you. As to what paint to use, oil-based ones still top the list of many pros because these are slow to dry and allow those brush marks to flatten out. High quality latex paint, which dries fast, can likewise do the job. You also do not get that pungent smell of oil that last for days and can easily be cleaned using soap and water.
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